ShareThis Page

Girls basketball picks up tough nonsection win

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Murrysville Star
Erin DiFalco drives to the hoop for Franklin Regional after getting Greensburg Salem's Karly Mellinger to fly past her with a pump fake during FR's nonsection win on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Matt Grubba | Murrysville Star

With a week off between halves of the section schedule, Franklin Regional's girls basketball team didn't back off from some out-of-section challenges.

The Panthers lost on Thursday, 72-60, at Class A No. 4 Quigley Catholic before picking up a 60-49 win at home over Class AAA Greensburg Salem.

Both Quigley and Greensburg Salem lead their respective sections, and to pick up the one win they got, the Panthers had to come up with a physical performance.

Maggie Kimmich had 15 points, Erin DiFalco scored 10, and Baylee Buleca had 12 points and 14 rebounds to lead Franklin Regional (8-6) in its victory. Karly Mellinger led Greensburg Salem (12-4) with 17 points, and Jayne Oberdorf scored 16 for the Lions.

“This game, we challenged them to raise their energy level and their effort, and I think we had the best energy that we've had all year,” Franklin Regional coach Rick Klimchock said.

“I think we needed this game to boost our energy before we play (section games),” Buleca said. “I think we needed to prove to ourselves that we still have it.

The game featured 45 total fouls called against the two teams — 22 against FR and 23 against Greensburg Salem — but the Panthers handled the situation well, as they made 24 of 32 free throws, and only Kimmich picked up a fourth personal foul, which happened late in the final quarter.

“Our girls do a good job of staying poised. They don't yell at referees, and they don't get caught up in trash talk,” Klimchock said. “We didn't shoot the ball well from behind the arc. We were 2 for 25 from there, but we did a good job from the foul line, and I was proud of that.”

The Panthers opened the game on a 7-0 run, and they steadily increased the lead throughout the game. Buleca was the Panthers' most effective player on both ends of the court, as she used her height advantage to help the team offset the poor shooting night.

“We usually rely on our 3-pointers, but today we dominated in the paint,” Buleca said. “That's not something that we usually do. That's sort of my territory, but today we did a really good job inside.”

Buleca didn't have to do it alone on the inside.

Dana Eastman came off the bench and added six rebounds and a blocked shot, while Mary Komandt, Gillian Kane and DiFalco each had five rebounds to give FR a 47-39 edge on the glass.

“Tonight, we didn't have our best offensive game, but we got it done defensively and on the glass against a Greensburg team that's got some firepower,” Klimchock said.

Greensburg Salem cut the lead to single digits in the fourth quarter, but Franklin Regional did a good job playing a more deliberate style of offense to protect its lead and force the Lions out of their zone defense.

“I think our biggest problem is that we don't always pass that well. Today, we did a really good job with our victory play, where our guards pass the ball around and have to make decisions with where to pass,” Buleca said.

“I think this game proved that we can pass the ball as a team very well.”

The Panthers were scheduled to return to section play on Tuesday, after this edition's deadline, against Fox Chapel.

Franklin Regional's next game is a Section 2-AAAA contest at Penn Hills, Friday at 6 p.m., for the first game of a girl/boy doubleheader.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.