Jeannette girls frustrated in season-ending loss
EDINBORO — All season the Jeannette girls basketball team's success has hinged on senior Ciara Gregory's ability to pour in points and get just enough support to move the Jayhawks along.
Against General McLane, though, that was asking a bit too much.
Gregory finished with a game-high 19 points and hit a 3-pointer on her final shot, but it wasn't enough as General McLane (23-3) pulled away with a 51-34 victory over the Jayhawks in a PIAA Class AA first-round game at McComb Field House. Gregory, who became the school's all-time leading scorer earlier this year, finished her career with 2,130 points.
“We missed a lot of easy shots that we should have never missed,” Jeannette coach Luann Mills said. “We need everybody else to step it up, and you have to give them credit, they're a very good defensive team, and they did an outstanding job of keeping her from getting the ball.”
Lindsey Jahn scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for General McLane, and her sister, Michelle, led with 12.
For most of the first quarter, Jeannette players got caught up in what they perceived as marginal calls by the officiating crew. The Jayhawks frustration could be seen as they picked up their sixth team foul with 1:18 remaining in the first quarter and were more concerned about the foul situation than the 18-8 deficit.
“Everybody that was down in our area said that it was bad officiating the last time any of us (WPIAL) were up there, and that's what they had in their mind,” Mills said. “At the first timeout, I told them that they had to stop this because they were letting the refs get into their heads. At Deer Lakes, we had the same kind of problem, but they finally came around when I calmed them down, but I just couldn't get it out of their head this time.”
General McLane, however, thought the game was a little too chippy and that Jeannette was taking unwarranted liberties.
“That's not us. That's not General McLane, that's not my basketball team, and that's not even Erie County,” General McLane coach Sarah Jay said. “Maybe that's what they do down in the WPIAL, but that's not what we do down here. I asked my girls if they (Jeannette) were giving cheap shots, and they said, ‘yeah,' but that's all they'd say.”
That frustration was evident on Gregory, who was stymied by the Lancers' defense and had to peel back on her aggressive defensive play when she picked up her second foul with 6:07 remaining in the first half. At the time, Jeannette was in its deepest hole of the half, behind 23-9 and with the Charlotte recruit stuck with only two points. Gregory, though, finally got rolling, and the team loosened up around her. She scored the next seven points to get the Jayhawks back to within single digits, while Monique Redman and Monica Carl scored baskets inside the final minute to help Jeannette close to 26-20 at the half.
“All year we faced a team that has a great player or two great players, but we had players that stepped up and played man-to-man, and we faceguard them, and they don't care what's going on behind them,” Jay said.