Bitonti's, Fredericktown reach finals
The final pairings are set for the first girls' division championship game in the J. Budd Grebb Memorial Summer Basketball League.
Regular season champion Bitonti's Barristers will meet Fredericktown Butcher Shop 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on the outdoor asphalt court of the Mechanic Street Playground in California.
Bitonti's (5-2) picked up its title game ticket with a hard-earned 42-41 win over feisty Lagerheads (2-5) on Monday while the Butcher Shop (4-3) used a dominating second half to roll past Tommy Thomas State Farm, 49-24, in the second game.
In the first game, a lengthy cold spell in the second half by Lagerheads proved to be the difference as the losers went nearly eight minutes without scoring after taking a 37-35 lead.
Bitonti's actually didn't take a major advantage as it scored just six points in that same time frame for a 41-37 lead.
By the time Keyonna McCrae scored on a steal with 2:22 left to break the stretch, Bitonti's held a 41-39 lead that it would not relinquish.
But Lagerheads had its chances at the end as McCrae missed a running layup with three seconds left and Bitonti's Cara Grogan grabbed the rebound to preserve the win.
For the winners, Phaedra DeWitt scored 12 points, grabbed four rebounds and had four assists. She scored 10 points in the first half.
Kylie Huffman added 11 points and 12 rebounds and Kaitlin Thomas had 10 points, eight in the second half.
McCrae led Lagerheads with 15 points, 10 in the first half that ended tied at 20-20.
There were seven ties in the opening half, the last coming when Kerilyn Wilkins hit a jumper just inside the three-point line with three seconds left before intermission.
Grogan had six points and eight rebounds for the winners, but she was lauded by Bitonti's coach Ray Huffman for the defensive effort she did non Lagerheads' Maris Seto.
Seto came into the game averaging 17.5 ppg, but was held to six points and eight rebounds.
In the nightcap, State Farm (3-4) controlled the tempo in the first half and took a 24-20 lead into intermission as Mia Woytovich scored 11 points and had five rebounds.
However, it wasn't meant to be as the Butcher Shop outscored State Farm 29-10 in the second half.
Kaitlyn Slagus scored nine of her game-high 19 points in the second half while Rylie Campbell scored seven of her 11 and Bria Rathway added six in the onslaught.
Slagus also had a game-high 20 rebounds.
Woytovich, meanwhile, was held to two points in the second half and finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.
State Farm will meet Lagerheads in a consolation game 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.