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Burrell girls basketball preview for PIAA quarterfinals

| Monday, March 11, 2013, 3:18 p.m.

PIAA girls basketball preview

Class AA quarterfinals

Burrell (22-3) vs. Sharpsville (18-8)

6 p.m. Tuesday, Slippery Rock University's Morrow Fieldhouse

Coaches: Meghan Ziemianski, Burrell (2nd year); Jeff Hanley, Sharpsville (12th year)

Players to watch: Burrell — Sydney Bordonaro (So., 5-7, PG, 15 ppg); Sharpsville — McKenzie Popatak (Sr., 5-9, F, 22 ppg)

Playoff paths: Burrell — Defeated Carlynton, 47-23, in WPIAL first round; Defeated McGuffey, 47-23, in WPIAL quarterfinals; Lost to Bishop Canevin, 55-19, in WPIAL semifinals. Sharpsville — Defeated Seneca, 34-29, in District 10 quarterfinals; Lost to Northeast, 42-38, in District 10 semfinals; Defeated Mercer, 48-29, in PIAA play-in game

Winner plays: WPIAL champ Bishop Canevin (23-4)/District 10 runner-up General McClane (23-3) winner, Friday (time, site TBD) in semifinals

Fast-break points: Fresh off its first state playoff victory in 19 years, youthful Burrell continues to inch toward a potential rematch with the team that dashed its WPIAL championship hopes, Bishop Canevin. Burrell looked more like itself in a 65-46 win over Bellwood-Antis in the PIAA first round. Against Bellwood-Antis, Bordonaro scored 27 points and 5-foot-10 freshman forward Natalie Myers added 16 and nine rebounds. Ziemianski never reached the state playoffs as a player at Burrell, and the same is true for her two assistants Mark, her father, and Zack, her brother. Mark was coach of the girls and boys team. Meghan is 41-8 in two seasons at the helm for Burrell. ... Sharpsville qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in 11 years and the second time under Hanley's direction. The Blue Darlings are powered by Popatak, the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,690 career points. She averages 22 points and 11 rebounds. Her 30-point effort in a consolation-game win over Brookville secured her team a spot in the state bracket. Junior guard Megan Davis is a 3-point threat and averages 11 points. Senior point guard Natalie Henwood is the facilitator for both scorers. Sharpsville started 2-5 but is 16-3 since.

—Bill Beckner Jr.

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