Mt. Pleasant girls rout Southmoreland
Thursday's Section 3-AAA girls basketball game between Mt. Pleasant and host Southmoreland featured two teams in different stages of a building process.
The Vikings (10-11, 6-6) are trying to gain momentum for the upcoming WPIAL Class AAA playoffs while the Scotties (3-19, 0-12) are looking to build on a core of young players who gained valuable varsity experience this season.
As for the game, Mt. Pleasant took care of the outcome early. The Vikings built a 13-0 lead to open the game and cruised to a 57-15 victory over the Scotties.
With the game never in doubt, Mt. Pleasant was able to go deep into its bench, allowing the starters to get rest while depth players got valuable playing time, just in case their number is called in a key situation, possibly as early as this postseason.
“After having a disappointing night against Uniontown (a 53-31 loss Wednesday), it was good for us to play well and have a nice experience,” said Mt. Pleasant coach Scott Giacobbi, whose team snapped a two-game losing streak.
Eight Mt. Pleasant players scored, led by Jordan Toohey's 16 points. Alexa Szelong and Morgan Bartock each finished with 10 points.
“We are working to build that bench depth,” said Giacobbi, whose team will play Burrell in a nonsection game Saturday. “Hopefully, we'll be ready to go for the playoffs.”
For Southmoreland, Thursday's game marked the team's first competitive action since Jan. 31. Scotties coach Brian Pritts said the long layoff didn't help his youthful team.
“It's tough to have a week off and then go and play a really good team like Mt. Pleasant,” Pritts said. “With a young team that has struggled, that was tough, and we came out rusty.”
The Scotties' main problem was on offense; they managed just four baskets in their final game of the season. Brooke Cottom and Bethany Siebert each finished with five points to lead the Scotties. Cottom hit Southmoreland's only 3-pointer.
Despite the lack of scoring punch, Pritts liked the way his team continued to play hard.
“We were building consistency and we've watched film and I have seen improvement,” Pritts said. “I'm proud of the girls, and the good news is that there are no seniors on this team, so hopefully they'll all come back and we can build this thing up.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.