Elizabeth Forward girls fall to Franklin in PIAA second round
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Playing in the second round of the PIAA tournament for the first time since 1986, the Elizabeth Forward girls basketball team entered Wednesday night's Class AAA contest with high hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals.
Those hopes were dashed quickly in a 65-45 loss to Franklin on Wednesday night at Slippery Rock University's Morrow Field House. Elizabeth Forward (24-4), the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up, got off to a slow start and never led.
“We didn't score,” Elizabeth Forward head coach Sam Kosanovich said. “I think if we had scored some points in the first quarter it might be a different game. We might get some momentum and some confidence, but we didn't have the ability to score.
“I think the ability of their guards to kind of take it to the basket or hit the open man on penetration was the difference — and our inability to score some baskets.”
One of those guards was junior Angelina Starr, who had a game-high 19 points for Franklin (26-1). Her senior teammates, Mara Benvenuti and Tanasia Law, chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Starr, a catalyst in Franklin's District 10 championship run and 19-game win streak that dates back to Jan. 7, embodied the matchup problems that plagued the Warriors throughout the game. She added six rebounds, six assists and three steals to her stat line.
“We wanted to try and get the ball inside, obviously, because that's why I kept our two bigs in,” Kosanovich said. “So it does create a little of a matchup problem because it's not fair to a forward to have to watch a guard all of a sudden. There's a lot of things maybe you could've done. Maybe you could have sat in a zone; maybe you shouldn't. But our success this year has been our man-to-man defense, and we just thought we'd stick with it.”
Junior Alison Pastore led Elizabeth Forward with 13 points.
The Warriors trailed, 25-15, at halftime and were never able to get back into the game after going on a WPIAL playoff run that led all the way to the Palumbo Center.
“We've been playing very well down the stretch, and tonight we weren't,” Kosanovich said. “A lot of the credit has got to do with the other team. They're not 25-1 for any reason. They did a great job defensively on us. We had a matchup problem I thought a lot of times, but it was a great season and ended on kind of a downside.”
Despite the loss, the 2012-13 campaign saw Elizabeth Forward go a perfect 12-0 in section 4-AAA and take steps in the right direction.
“I'm very proud of these girls. I really am,” Kosanovich said. “Yeah, no one wants to lose, and we're down. But what they have accomplished has set standards not only this year, but last year we had a little bit of a run. It has the future success that has the program excited again. We were just outplayed by a better team today.”
The Warriors lose just three seniors next year and return the core of their team, including three starters — Abigail Sporio, Natalie Fekula and Kylie Owoc — along with Pastore. But Kosanovich wants to continue to improve on the fundamentals and then see how far that can take his team.
“I think our goals will always be the same: to play the best basketball we can. And by playing the best basketball, hopefully that gets us a section title and moves on in the playoffs,” he said. “Everyone's going to say we want to win a championship, and that's obviously everyone's goal, but, in reality, we want to play good, fundamental basketball.”
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
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.
- West Mifflin edges late-charging Steel Valley in Section 4 contest
- Valley Independent roundup: Elizabeth Forward edges Ringgold in Section 4-AAA clash
- Deep roster sparks Butler boys basketball team
- Burrell girls basketball braces for Greensburg Central
- Plum’s defense seals win over McKeesport
- Plum boys win section opener, girls fall to Fox Chapel
- High school roundup: No. 4 Bethel Park boys edge Upper St. Clair
- Franklin Regional boys weather tough losses
- Defensive play fueling Mars boys basketball team
- Trib Cup: Winchester Thurston boys basketball motivated by playoff run
- High school roundup: No. 2 CW North Catholic cruises past No. 4 Riverview