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Fox Chapel girls knock off Butler; fall to Mt. Lebanon

Robert King | for The Valley News Dispatch - Fox Chapel's #23 Taylor Cohen drives the ball on Butler's Alyssa DiPippa at North Allegheny High School on Tuesday, February 19th 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Robert King  |  for The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Fox Chapel's #23 Taylor Cohen drives the ball on Butler's Alyssa DiPippa at North Allegheny High School on Tuesday, February 19th 2013.
Robert King | for The Valley News Dispatch - Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias fights for a loose ball with Butler's Alyssa DiPippa on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at North Allegheny High School.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Robert King  |  for The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias fights for a loose ball with Butler's Alyssa DiPippa on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at North Allegheny High School.
Steven Dietz | for The Valley News Dispatch - Mt. Lebanon's #5 Margie McCaffrey drives the ball on Fox Chapel's #23 Taylor Cohen during a playoff game at North Allegheny High School on Friday, February 22nd 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Steven Dietz  |  for The Valley News Dispatch   </em></div>Mt. Lebanon's #5 Margie McCaffrey drives the ball on Fox Chapel's #23 Taylor Cohen during a playoff game at North Allegheny High School on Friday, February 22nd 2013.
Steven Dietz | for The Valley News Dispatch - Fox Chapel's #35 Erin Mathias bows her head in frustration after a loss against Mt. Lebanon at playoff game at North Allegheny High School on Friday, February 22nd 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Steven Dietz  |  for The Valley News Dispatch   </em></div>Fox Chapel's #35 Erin Mathias bows her head in frustration after a loss against Mt. Lebanon at playoff game at North Allegheny High School on Friday, February 22nd 2013.

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Top high school sports
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 5:15 p.m.
 

The Fox Chapel High School girls basketball team survived a close encounter with Butler on Feb. 19 in a first-round WPIAL Class AAAA playoff game.

The Foxes had jumped out to a 24-17 lead at the half but Butler wouldn't go away as the Golden Hurricane took a 34-33 lead with three minutes left.

The Foxes remained calm and eventually pulled away for a 45-36 win.

That triumph moved the Foxes onto what head coach Meghan Meabon called her team's “biggest challenge of the year.”

The Foxes proved to up to the challenge against a Mt. Lebanon team that had lost only two games all year.

Fox Chapel stayed with Mt. Lebanon throughout the game before falling by only three points, 45-42.

The Foxes (18-6) held a 12-10 halftime lead but trailed 29-25 entering the fourth quarter.

Erin Mathias scored 19 points while Kayla Slovenec scored 14 for the Foxes.

Though not claiming a moral victory, Meabon felt the way her team played will help the underclassmen when they return to the court.

“I think realizing how close they were to beating the top seed will help us down the road,” she said. “We had Mt. Lebanon on the ropes but we made a few mistakes and they made us pay.

“We're hoping our season isn't over but, regardless, I'm so proud of these girls and how hard they have worked.”

In the game against Butler, it was Alexa Yaksich who led the way for the Foxes with 13 points. Slovenec added 10 as the Foxes used a balanced attack.

Mathias, who appeared woozy after falling to the floor hard in the fourth quarter, scored nine and Taylor Cohen added eight.

“Butler did a good job containing Erin,” Meabon said. “But the rest of the team picked up the slack as they've done all year.

“We've faced adversity before and we didn't panic when Butler took the lead.”

Yaksich agreed.

“We're a young team but we've been in close games all year and we've stepped up,” she said. “We knew Butler was concentrating on shutting Erin down and we showed that we're able to adjust and do what we had to do to win.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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