Lady Jays end season in frustrating loss
Playing in what amounted to a road game last Friday to open the PIAA Class-AA playoffs, the Jeannette Jayhawks girls basketball team could not afford one thing.
A slow start.
But that's exactly what happened at Edinboro University.
General McLane (Edinboro) capitalized on Jeannette's poor shooting and seeming inability to shake off some spotty officiating early to take out the Jayhawks, 51-34.
The Jayhawks hit just four of their first 16 shots and picked up six team fouls in just under seven minutes of play to fall behind 20-8 after one quarter.
The shooting woes frustrated Jeannette who could not seem to shoot their way out of the funk, but the perception of the officiating seemed to creep deeper into the Jayhawks' collective mindset.
Jeannette head coach LuAnn Mills expressed concern in the days leading up to the game that the District 10 officiating crew may have a different take on some of the more physical play that tends to characterize District 7 (WPIAL) play.
Mills commented after the game that her team was not able to shake off the early foul trouble and it had an effect on how they played the rest of the way.
General McLane head coach Sarah Jay did not have a problem with the officiating, but did notice the more physical play noting after the game that Jeannette may have been taking liberties when defending her players and the officiating simply matched the physical nature of the play.
Jeannette fought back and found some scoring in the second quarter, but was stymied by a very good General McLane defensive effort in the second half.
The loss marked the official end of the Ciara Gregory Era at Jeannette.
Gregory, who finished the playoff loss with a game-high 19, capped off her record-setting career with 2,130 points, more than any other player in Jeannette girls basketball history. Gregory will play her college ball at Charlotte.
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.