Lindsay leads South Park girls over Hopewell
The Hopewell and South Park girls basketball teams were far from being strangers heading into their PIAA showdown.
The Vikings defeated the Eagles in, 49-34, at the Pittsburgh Classic on Jan. 19, but the South Park responded with a 75-55 win in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals Feb. 27.
The Eagles got the last laugh as they defeated the Vikings, 50-46, in their PIAA second-round game at Chartiers Valley on Wednesday.
“I expected them to give us their best shot,” South Park coach Reggie Wells said. “I knew it would be a tougher game than the last time we played them. I really expected it to come down to the wire. I expected a tight one.”
The Eagles' defense came out strong in the first quarter, forcing turnovers on three of the Vikings' first four possessions. The pressure allowed South Park to build an early 14-5 lead that included eight points from senior Shelby Lindsay.
“The one good thing is she is getting better as we go along,” said Wells. “She wasn't as healthy last year when we got this far. She is playing a total game right now.”
Hopewell was able to cut the lead to four in the second quarter thanks to an 11-0 run. The Vikings would continue to hang around, but an offensive explosion that included 3-pointers from Halie Torris and Amanda Quinn in the third quarter put the Eagles ahead, 47-35.
A 12-2 Hopewell run — nine points coming from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough — pulled the Vikings to within three late in the fourth. But a Lindsay free throw with 11 seconds to go sealed the win.
“These kids battled,” Hopewell coach Jeff Homziak said. “It showed the character of this team. If they would have missed a free throw, who knows what could have happened. If you would have told me we would be down three with 11 seconds to go, I would of taken it.”
In her last game in a Hopewell uniform, Walker-Kimbrough led the Vikings with 20 points. Shaniya Rivers added 11.
Lindsay finished the game with 17 points — 13 in the first quarter.
“We knew it was going to be a dog fight,” the senior said. “You know you can't worry about anything else and have to play as hard as you can.”
This is the second straight year South Park has reached the PIAA quarterfinals. The Eagles fell to Archbishop Wood, 59-56, in double-overtime in last season's tournament.
“Of course we expected to be here,” Wells said. “We just expected to do other things along the way like winning the WPIAL title. We have some talented young ladies on our team.”