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Hampton girls basketball falls behind early, can't recover against South Park

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal
Senior Julie DiBucci and the Lady Talbots won the section title and won a playoff game.
Pine Creek
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal Senior Julie DiBucci and the Lady Talbots won the section title and won a playoff game.

The Lady Talbots had been down at halftime before, but they hadn't experienced anything close to the 23-point deficit they faced against South Park in the AAA WPIAL quarterfinals.

Still, they talked about making an impossible comeback in their locker room at halftime.

“We knew that it was little bit insurmountable,” Hampton coach Mary Bukovac said. “Those aren't odds you would ever want to be up against.”

Hampton chipped away offensively after only putting up 10 points in the first half and posted 27 points in the second half to lose to South Park, 69-37.

“They had some subs in, so that gave us a little bit of an opportunity at the end,” Bukovac said. “That's what we've been like all year. We just never give up.”

Never giving up is part of the reason the Talbots went undefeated in their section to claim the Section 1-AAA championship.

“With the group we have and the team unity we've built, we went undefeated in our section,” Bukovac said. “It's never an easy task to go undefeated in anyone's section.”

While Hampton decisively won their its 11 section games, it found itself down five points to Kittanning at halftime in their 12th and final section game this season.

The Lady Talbots outscored the Wildcats, 29-15, in the second half to maintain a perfect section record.

“We would never give up and stop fighting in any game,” Bukovac said. “That's what this team is about, and it's what made us successful.”

Bukovac counted on her seniors to provide leadership this season. Point guard Bri Intieri ran the Lady Talbots' offense.

“Bri is always talking to our other players, and she's always letting them know what we need to do out there,” Bukovac said. “So she truly has been a point guard and leader out there on the floor.”

Center Sara Pilarksi, who led Hampton with 16 points against South Park, led the team in points and rebounds this season.

“Sara is our defensive leader and communicates a lot down low,” Bukovac said. “She gives you a lot of opportunities inside, and she never stops fighting.”

Guard Julie DiBucci provided offense from the perimeter.

“She can give us some points, too,” Bukovac said. “She's a good three-point shooter.”

While the Lady Talbots have been eliminated from WPIAL playoffs, they could still play in state playoffs if South Park wins against Hopewell.

“We might not be done yet,” Bukovac said.

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