Charleroi rolls past Monessen

| Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

When a veteran team goes against an inexperienced team, an ugly game is usually a good possibility.

And while Charleroi's 59-26 win over Monessen in the second contest of the Charleroi Tip-Off Tournament was an ugly game, it was ugly on both sides — particularly in the first half.

While the inexperienced Lady Greyhounds failed to make a basket in the first quarter and were hurt by numerous turnovers in falling behind, 16-4, the Lady Cougars were having their own issues shooting the ball.

Monessen was 0-8 from the field and 4-for-12 from the free throw line in the opening quarter.

Charleroi, however, hit just 7 of 20 shots to shoot 35 percent.

And while the Lady Cougars widened their lead to 27-11 at halftime, they shot even worse in the second quarter, making just 4 of 17 shots.

“We only shot 30 percent in the first half and it was ugly, not very good, but I think that was just a case of butterflies in the stomach from the first game of the season,” said Charleroi coach Joe Grodz. “I mean, we had the shots and did what we were supposed to do. They just didn't go in.

“And when you are taking that many shots, it shows that you have had plenty of opportunities.”

Charleroi upped its lead to 30-11, making the first two baskets of the third quarter before Monessen went on a 7-0 run with six of the points coming off three baskets by Mariha Johnson.

After Monessen cut the deficit to 30-18 with 4:52 left in the third quarter, Grodz called time out to settle his team.

The Lady Cougars went on to score the next 11 points to get the lead back up to 41-18.

In the fourth quarter, the Lady Cougars went on a 14-2 spree to open a 55-22 lead, and Grodz pulled his starters for the night.

Monessen coach Gina Naccarato said her team did about what she expected because of its inexperience.

“We are so inexperienced and even the players we have who played some last year really didn't get much real game experience,” Naccarato said. “For us, it's back to the basics. But I think we will get better because I saw some good things in spurts.

“If we could have made some shots, we could have been more competitive in the first half.”

The Lady Greyhounds made just 2 of 21 shots in the opening two quarters.

Charleroi was led by Mia Woytovich with 17 points, including 10 in the first half.

Teammate Anjie Tilghman scored 15, with nine coming in the second half.

Also for Charleroi, Lynsey Wright scored 12 points.

“That's exactly what I expect out of my first six players, that at least three of them — any of them — scores in double figures every night,” said Grodz. “That's what we are going to need.”

Monessen was led by Johnson with 11 points, eight in the second half.

Teraee Bradford and Sidney Fincik added six points each.

The two teams resume play today in the round-robin tournament, with Monessen playing Carmichaels at 4 p.m. and Charleroi taking on Clairton at 6 p.m.

Carmichaels defeated Clairton, 49-19, in the first game Friday.

Tonight's action will be a tripleheader as Charleroi and Ringgold will meet in a boys' game at 8 p.m.

The Rams and Cougars were scheduled to play Friday, but the game was postponed because of the weather.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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