Bethel Park too much for Lady Colts in WPIAL title game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Chartiers Valley girls basketball coach Spencer Stefko wasn't making any excuses after the WPIAL Class AAAA championship game — his squad simply got beat.
“I think Bethel Park did a great job,” Stefko said. “I give them all the credit in the world. They did a great job defending us and did a good job of keeping their spacing on offense. They moved the ball well. They handled some of the other thing we threw at them.
“They earned a gold medal tonight.”
Chartiers Valley fell to Bethel Park, 48-34, at Palumbo Center in the championship game. It was the third time the Colts fell to their Section 4-AAAA rival this season — the Colts suffered 37-36 and 46-33 setbacks during the regular season.
Bethel Park's Samantha Simpson scored a basket in the paint on the Blackhawks' first possession, and they would never look back. Bethel Park outscored Chartiers Valley, 6-1, over the final three minutes of the first quarter to grab a 12-6 lead.
“We certainly wish that would have went the other way,” Stefko said. “We have played from behind before, but they kept us from doing some of the things we do. They kept turnovers to a minimum and prevented us from going on runs. We didn't get wide-open looks. They were contested looks, and that's what they do. That is why they are wearing gold medals.”
The Colts were able to slow the Bethel Park scoring in the second quarter, and a Jenna Devinney 3-pointer pulled Chartiers Valley to within five but Bethel Park extended its lead to nine heading into halftime.
Alexa Golden connected on a driving layup early in the second half to pull the Colts to within five again, but it was the closest they came the rest of the game. A Paige Kochka-Pusker free throw at 2:56 gave the Blackhawks a nine-point lead to carry into the fourth quarter.
Devinney hit another 3-pointer at the 2:51 mark cut the score to 36-29, but Bethel Park made 12 free throws in the final two minutes to keep Chartiers Valley at bay.
“I told the players I was proud of their effort,” Stefko said. “They did everything they were asked to the best of their ability. They should keep their heads up high.”
The Lady Colts will need to have a short-term memory as they still have the PIAA playoffs ahead of them. Chartiers Valley has had success in past state tournaments, reaching the semifinals in both 2010 and 2012.
“We have made deep runs before without being district champ,” Stefko said. “Sometimes that can be a blessing. You go into it a littler hungry.
“My kids are not good losers. They will go home, kick the dog and get back after it. That is something that will serve us well in the state tournament.”
Chartiers Valley will face Allderdice Dragons (12-13) in the first game of the PIAA tournament.
Allderdice fell to Westinghouse, 54-42, in the City League championship game Feb. 23.
The Lady Colts will need to stop two Dragons if they hope to move on in the tournament. The first is senior guard Sydnee Abernathy, who averages 22.3 points and 6.9 assists and rebounds.
The other is senior guard Sierra Fordham, who averages 21.9 points. The only other player averaging more than five points is senior forward Brandy Pickett with seven.
Tipoff for the first-round game is 6 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, at Carrick.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-388-5813.
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.
- Indiana boys beat Beaver Falls for 1st WPIAL basketball title
- Monessen boys capture yet another WPIAL basketball title
- Oliver: It takes a lot to be a Greyhound
- Seton-La Salle girls defeat rival Bishop Canevin to capture 7th WPIAL title
- Monessen downs Jeannette to win WPIAL Class A championship
- Blairsville girls claim District 6-A title
- WPIAL finalists feature skilled scorers, playmakers on perimeter
- Sophomore stars carry Beaver Falls to 3rd finals appearance in 4 seasons
- Late-blooming Penn Hills girls restoring WPIAL championship glory
- Trib Cup: South Park girls look ahead to PIAA tournament
- High school roundup: No. 2 Char Valley earns another trip to WPIAL finals