Belle Vernon Area braces for rematch with Greensburg Salem
If Belle Vernon Area girls basketball coach Lisa Fairman wants a good scouting report on the Lady Leps' opponent in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs, all she has to do is look at the tape of BVA's game on Dec. 17.
That's because the Lady Leps dropped a 63-53 non-section verdict to Greensburg Salem. At the time, it was BVA's first loss after opening the season with four wins.
BVA (15-6) and Greensburg Salem (16-6) meet for the second time this season 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hempfield.
“We know each other pretty well because we play each other in the summer leagues as well,” said Greensburg Salem coach Janine Vertacnik. “I know their strengths and I'm sure (Fairman) knows ours.”
The game will feature a battle of talented sister duos on each team.
While the Lady Leps are led by senior Jessica Slagus (19.8 ppg) and her younger sister, sophomore Kaitlyn (10.3 ppg), the Golden Lions are led by senior Jayne Oberdorf (17.2 ppg) and her sister, sophomore Claire (16.3 ppg).
While the Slagus sisters are both over 6 feet tall, the Oberdorf sisters are guards who do a lot of their damage from the outside.
“We are entirely two different types of teams,” Vertacnik said. “They like to do all their damage by pounding it inside and we like to shoot the 3's. We will try to run it and hopefully get them into some foul trouble.”
Jayne Oberdorf (24) and Claire Oberdorf (21) combined for 45 points in that Dec. 17 meeting while Jessica Slagus had 19 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Jayne Oberdorf is a deadly outside shooter. Her next 3-pointer will be the 200th of her career.
Meanwhile, her sister Claire is more of a “slasher, junk player,” according to Vertacnik.
“She is so quick and she goes to the basket a lot. She is hard to stop,” Vertacnik said of Clair Oberdorf. “She has shot like 170 free throws, which is twice as many as the next highest player on our team.”
The Golden Lions also have another offensive threat in 5-11 Karly Mellinger, who averages 14.8 ppg.
In fact, Greensburg Salem is the third-highest scoring team in the Class AAA playoff field, averaging 60.2 ppg. Defensively, the Golden Lions give up an average of 46. 3 ppg.
BVA, meanwhile, is not too far off either of those numbers as the Lady Leps average 57.2 ppg and give up an average of 42.4.
“I honestly think it will be a close game,” Vertacnik said. “We are the eight and nine seeds, so we should be pretty even. It will come down to mistakes and fouls shots.”
PRE-GAME NOTES: Greensburg Salem played three games at Hempfield earlier this season in the Hempfield Tournament ... BVA defeated Greensburg Salem last year, 59-53, last season ... The winner of tomorrow's game will meet the winner of top-seeded Blackhawk (22-0) against West Mifflin (10-12) on Saturday ... The second game at Hempfield is a AA boys game between Burrell and Washington.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or email@example.com.