Third-quarter surge leads Burrell girls to quarterfinal victory
TribLIVE Sports Videos
These 18-0 runs are becoming a habit for Burrell basketball teams.
First the boys used an 18-0 run en route to a Wednesday victory over Washington.
Friday night, the Buccaneer girls went on an 18-0 surge to break open a close game against McGuffey and the end result was a 61-41 win at Keystone Oaks High School in Dormont.
The WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal victory puts Burrell (22-2) into the semifinals for the first time since 1994.
The Bucs will battle Bishop Canevin — a 56-44 winner over Mohawk — Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
Friday's Burrell victory also secured a berth in the PIAA tournament, which begins March 8.
McGuffey's season is on hold with a 20-3 record. The Highlanders need a Bucs victory on Tuesday night to make the state tournament.
Sophomore Sydney Bordonaro led the Bucs with 17 points, but it was a strong first half by junior Kelsey Oddis that was a key factor in the victory.
“It just depends how the defense is,” Oddis said of her early opportunities. “All five of us can score no matter what, and we know we have five all-around players.”
Oddis had 10 in the first half, including eight of Burrell's first 13 points.
“Kelsey's been showing up really strong and handling the ball well,” Bucs coach Meghan Ziemianski said. “She played extremely well tonight.”
With Burrell in front, 25-23, midway through the second period, sophomore Erika Finn came off the bench to score five points in 35 seconds, and the Bucs were on their way.
“After she loosened up, she has a great stroke and she's a threat,” Ziemianski said.
McGuffey started the second half empty on its first seven possessions as Burrell continued to build its lead.
“I think some things didn't go our way,” McGuffey coach Amanda Burchett said of the 18-0 Bucs run. “We had six fouls, and they had none the first four minutes of the second half. That kind of swing made us adjust our game plan. That kind of deflates you.”
By the time sophomore guard Sammie Weiss posted a three-point play, Burrell had pulled ahead, 43-23.
Weiss scored 14 points in the first half as the Highlanders shot well. But the Bucs turned up the heat on Weiss, who managed just two second-half field goals and finished with 23 points.
“We just played our man-for-man,” Ziemianski said. “We looked at the book, and she had 14 at halftime. We held her to 13 for the whole game last year. So we switched Natalie (Myers) on her with those long arms of hers and told her to make Weiss put it on the floor.”
“Our girls are very young, and this is the first real experience we've had in the playoffs,” Burchett said. “We're all underclassmen, and I just think we got beat by a better team. Our girls have surpassed any expectation we had. We've done things that have never been done in McGuffey basketball.”
Bordonaro had six steals and Oddis had four.
Myers chipped in with 12 points and led the Bucs in rebounds with seven.
George Guido is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.