Lady Hounds win, Hounds lose to Westinghouse
There was agony and ecstasy for the Monessen boys and girls basketball teams in their home non-section doubleheader against Westinghouse on Saturday.
After the Lady Greyhounds held on for an exciting 45-42 win in the opener, the Greyhounds dropped a tough 65-61 decision in the nightcap.
In the first game, the Lady Greyhounds (6-11) blew a 17-point halftime lead against the Lady Bulldogs (11-8) before holding on for the win.
Monessen led 31-17 at halftime thanks to a 27-2 run to close the half.
But in the second half, Westinghouse mounted a run of its own and took a 39-38 lead with 3:50 to play on a short jumper by Lashae Stinson.
Monessen regained the lead, 43-41, on a three-pointer by Mariah Ward with 3:05 to go, but the Lady Greyhounds lost Ward – their leading scorer with 24 points – on fouls with 2:14 play and a 43-42 lead.
The hosts held Westinghouse scoreless after Ward went out and Mariah Johnson and Chelsea Szakal each hit a key free throw in the closing seconds to seal the win.
Westinghouse's Tierra Gordon missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
“Westinghouse is very athletic and they came after us in the second half,” said Monessen coach Gina Naccarato. “But our girls kept their composure and for the second straight game didn't back down at the end and won the game. That is encouraging.”
Szakal had 10 points and 14 rebounds while Johnson had 10 points. Ward added seven rebounds.
Westinghouse was led by Brittany Jackson with 15 points and Stinson with 13.
In the second game, the Greyhounds (7-10) and Bulldogs (10-7) exchanged big second half runs and it was Westinghouse's surge that held up at the end.
The Greyhounds took a 29-24 halftime lead as Justice Rawlins scored 16 points.
In the second half, Monessen went on a 15-4 tear to open up a 46-31 lead with 2:08 left in the third quarter. Clintell Gillaspie (nine) and Rawlins (eight) combined for 17 points in the period.
However, Westinghouse responded with a 28-13 spree that tied the game at 59-59 on one of two free throws from Robert Bailey with 3:04 to play in the game.
“I think after we got the 15-point lead we relaxed too much and they came back at us,” said Monessen coach Joe Salvino. “Plus we turned the ball over way too many times. Our stats said we had 22 (turnovers) but I thought we had at least 30.
“Every time you turn the ball over, that is less times you have to score.”
The Bulldogs took a 62-61 lead on a three-pointer by Sonte White with 1:35 left and never trailed again.
Bailey led Westinghouse with 28 points.
Meanwhile, Rawlins had a monster game in a losing effort with a career-high 28 points to go with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Monessen's Clintell Gillaspie had 23 points, 18 coming in the second half. Teammate Tyler Yuille had 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.
“For the most part, I thought we played well against a very athletic team,” Salvino said. “We just have to cut down our turnovers.”
NOTES: The doubleheader started nearly two hours late because Westinghouse's bus was late to the gym … The Lady Greyhounds travel to Geibel tonight and visit Frazier Wednesday while the Greyhounds have a busy four-game week, going to Carmichaels Tuesday, at Geibel Wednesday, hosting Mapletown Thursday and then closing the regular season in a boys/girls home doubleheader Saturday against Clairton.