Burrell girls basketball team ducks North Catholic
Burrell's halftime contest this season is called “Chuck-A-Duck,” in which fans throw small, numbered plastic ducks at a bull's-eye near center court.
Burrell's girls basketball players didn't get to participate, but they still had all of their ducks in a row Saturday evening.
Burrell, the new No. 2-ranked team in Class AA, used a commanding first half to take control and ease past Class A No. 3 North Catholic, 56-33, in a nonsection game.
Burrell (12-2), one of the top defensive teams in the WPIAL, held the visiting Trojanettes (11-7) without a field goal for 11 minutes of the first half.
The Bucs built a 31-10 lead by halftime.
“I thought we played fantastic defense,” Burrell coach Meghan Ziemianski said.
“We want them to be relentless and have that mental toughness for the entire game.”
Sophomore Sydney Bordonaro scored a game-high 23 points, and freshman forward Natalie Myers added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Burrell.
A 13-0 run pushed the lead to 21-6 early in the second quarter.
Burrell had a double-digit cushion the rest of the way, with North Catholic only able to cut the deficit to 35-20 with an 8-0 run in the third quarter.
Burrell ended that quarter on a 12-2 run, capped by a quick hoop off an inbounds pass by Myers and Bordonaro taking in a coast-to-coast layup.
Burrell had some success against the Trojanettes in summer-league play, so it knew it could run with them. This time, the Bucs ran past them, though, in a sprint.
“We only have seven girls, but we all want to win and we play well as a team,” said Myers, who scored 10 in the second half.
“We don't get tired too much. Our adrenaline keeps us going.”
Burrell played mostly man-to-man defense on North Catholic star guard-forward Lauren Wolosik, who scored all 10 of her team's points in the first half and finished with 22. The 5-foot-10 senior, who has more than 1,000 career points, will play collegiately at Central Connecticut State.
“Burrell is a nice team; they are unselfish with the ball and play well together,” North Catholic coach Molly Rottman said.
“I thought they did a nice job on Lauren. They were very aware of her.”
Burrell, whose losses are to Class AAAA Shaler and Class AAA Keystone Oaks, beat Indiana, a Class AAA team, last week.
“When we come out and move, we're fine,” Ziemianski said.
“That's when they're all out there smiling and having fun. And when that happens, look out.”
Junior guard Jaila Manga added nine points for Burrell, including back-to-back 3-pointers for the team's first six points.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the Local Sports Editor of the Valley News Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.