Share This Page

Mt. Pleasant girls beat Yough, zero in on playoff spot

| Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, 10:06 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant's Alexa Szelong moves the ball upcourt in the first half of the Vikings' matchup against Yough at Mt. Pleasant Area High School on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Mt. Pleasant's Casey Zelenak (center) breaks through the defense of Yough's Natalie Peebles (left), and Sam Miller in the first half of the Vikings' matchup against Yough at Mt. Pleasant Area High School on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier

After enduring a rough stretch in which it lost five of six games this month, the Mt. Pleasant girls basketball team is trying to get its footing and lock down one of the four playoff spots in Section 3-AAA as the regular season winds down.

The Vikings took a big step toward securing their spot in the postseason Monday by defeating visiting Yough, 48-20. It was Mt. Pleasant's second win in a row after dropping three straight.

“We're looking to build positive momentum as we head into the last three section games on our schedule,” Mt. Pleasant coach Scott Giacobbi said. “It's absolutely important because every game down the stretch has consequences and we have the goal of the playoffs and getting the best position as possible.”

The Vikings (9-9, 5-4) were focused and were able to quickly build a lead against the Cougars, which has lost six of seven and has fallen out of the playoff race.

In the first quarter, Mt. Pleasant dominated low, with Casey Zelenak getting a couple of easy conversions in the paint. When the inside was shut off, the Vikings turned to Elaina Fearer, who hit two shots from the outside.

Her 3-pointer helped Mt. Pleasant take a 14-6 lead. Zelenak led all scorers with 12 points, and Fearer finished with eight.

“That balance is very important,” Giacobbi said. “That's what we're trying to achieve. We had good penetration and good perimeter shooting.”

The Vikings also played well defensively. Mt. Pleasant was tenacious in the second quarter and outscored the Cougars, 14-2, in the frame. That included a 12-0 run to start the quarter and end Yough's hope of a comeback. Mt. Pleasant was in front, 28-8, at halftime.

“I thought we played hard the whole game, but Mt. Pleasant is a very tough team to play against,” Yough coach Greg Melvin said. “But we never quit.”

Yough's offensive struggles continued in the third quarter, with only one basket. Natalie Peebles and Jojo Sterner each finished with five points to lead the Cougars (7-12, 2-8).

The Vikings put the game away with a strong third-quarter effort from Jordan Toohey and Alexa Szelong. Toohey hit three shots on her way to an eight-point game. Szelong made a 3-pointer and finished with seven points.

The Cougars will host Frazier on Wednesday in a nonsection game. Mt. Pleasant visits Greensburg Salem on Thursday for a Section 3-AAA game.

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.Reach him at jblack@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.