Fox Chapel girls hoops playoff run ends; solid foundation set for next season
Coach Meghan Meabon and her Fox Chapel Area girls basketball team were unabashed Mt. Lebanon fans last week but it was all for naught.
The Blue Devils squared off against Chartiers Valley in the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals and a Blue Devil win would have kept the Foxes' season alive. That scenario didn't materialize as the Colts won the game and put a frustrating end to the Foxes' season.
“I was at the game,” FC's Erin Mathias said. “We were pulling for them. It was disappointing, especially since we only lost to Mt. Lebanon by three points. We had a good year, though, and we should be better next year. Our freshman starters will be sophomores and we all gained a lot of experience this season.”
Meabon was disappointed with the way the season ended.
“It was very tough to sit back and watch, knowing your fate was in another team's hands,” she said. “The positive we'll take from this is knowing that we were right there with those teams that made it to the semifinals.”
She thinks her team has what it takes to advance deeper into the playoffs next year.
“For the most part, we were an unknown commodity this year,” Meabon said.
“We kind of snuck up on a lot of teams. I think we'll be on a lot of people's minds next year. If you look at who we have coming back, we can be scary.”
The Foxes will lose three seniors — Alexa Yaksich, Rachel Ranii and Casey Viccari.
“It was great to see them get to play in the playoffs,” Meabon said.
“They'll be missed.”
Yaksich and Ranii were chosen to play in the Cager Classic at Highlands High School this month.
“I'm so proud of them. They worked so hard and gave everything at every practice and game,” Meabon said.
Meabon is hoping for some productivity from this year's JV team to replace the seniors.
“We had a lot of girls on the JV team get a lot of game experience and we're hoping they give us a deeper bench,” she said.
She expects the Plum vs. Fox Chapel games to carry a lot of weight in the section next year.
“Both of us will be bringing back a lot of good players. You can never count Gateway out either,” Meabon said.
Reflecting on the past season, Meabon saw a lot of positives.
“From where we were at the first practice and where we were at the end of the season was like night and day,” she said. “Our confidence level increased with each game as a young team got to know each other. We believed in one another and we grew during the season.”
The team will soon begin off-season preparation for next year.
“We usually play in North Allegheny spring and fall leagues and we've also gone to camps at Duquesne and Robert Morris. We're looking forward to next year and we'll be working hard,” Meabon said.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.