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Girls in 1st place with a week to go

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Rachel Poth, a junior for the Lady Jays, passes the ball during the girls' win over South Allegheny. PHOTOS:John Howard | The Jeannette Spirit
Jeannette Coach LuAnn Mills talks to her team during a timeout in the Lady Jays' 70-47 win over South Allegheny last week.
Ciara Gregory, Lady Jays' all-time leading scorer, makes a shot for two points.

Some call them trap games.

Those games on the schedule just before or after a big game against a big rival.

Coming off of a big win over perennial section rival Greensburg Central Catholic that gave Jeannette a one-game lead in Section 3-AA, the Jayhawks gave back that game last Tuesday night at Riverview when they lost one of those trap games to the Raiders 60-54. The loss brought Greensburg Central Catholic back into a first place tie with Jeannette and took away whatever margin for error the Lady Jays had.

For Jeannette, the loss was the result of a poor shooting night combined with a loss of emotional control in the fourth quarter.

“We shot 26 percent,” said Jeannette head coach LuAnn Mills. “It is going to be hard to win any game shooting like that.”

Jeannette lost some of its focus late in the game when it took two fouls out of frustration. Mills talked to her team about the need to keep their emotions in check in close games.

“Emotions definitely got us at the end,” said Mills. “We talked about having to stay focused and to not allow our emotions get the best of us.”

The Jayhawks took Mills' advice and, with the help of a much better shooting night, took down Springdale last Friday to move to 8-1 in the section and 11-5 overall. Jeannette was led in scoring against both Riverview and Springdale by the WPIAL's top girls basketball scorer, Ciara Gregory, who poured in 25 in each contest.

Gregory's efforts were supported by Monique Redman who scored 15 against Riverview and 21 in the win over Springdale.

Redman has been coming on strong this season and her contributions have not been lost on her coach.

“Monique has really been coming through for us when we have needed her most,” said Mills. “We are all so proud of her.”

Jeannette enters the final two weeks of the regular season in a familiar position — at the top of the section and positioning themselves for a potential long run in the WPIAL playoffs.

WPIAL Class-AA,

Section 3

Jeannette (8-1) (11-5)

GCC (7-1) (12-4)

Riverview (5-4) (11-6)

Springdale (4-4) (9-9)

Shady Side (4-5) (6-10)

South Allegheny (2-7) (7-10)

East Allegheny (0-8) (1-14)

Dave Moio is a freelance writer.

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