McGowan propels Brentwood girls
Rachel Thomas enjoyed a highly successful coaching debut at Brentwood.
Thomas, first-year floor boss of the Brentwood girls' basketball team, guided the Lady Spartans to the tournament title last weekend in the Brentwood High Athletic Boosters' annual tipoff event.
The Brentwood girls, behind 6-foot senior center Laura McGowan, stormed past Avonworth, 50-37, in the championship game.
It was the Lady Spartans' first tip-off tournament championship in 15 years.
“(We) started the season in an exciting fashion,” Thomas said. “I am very proud of everyone's efforts (last) weekend, and I expect the same as we continue through our season.”
McGowan registered a game-high 24 points for the Lady Spartans, on the heels of her game-high 25-point performance in the Lady Spartans' 68-26 first-round victory against Carrick.
Along with her 49 points, McGowan's two-day totals included 16 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.
McGowan was named most valuable player of the girls' tournament and was joined on the all-tournament team by Brentwood's Alecia Folino, a 5-7 sophomore guard.
Folino finished with 23 points, 11 assists, nine steals and three rebounds in the tournament. McGowan and Folino also were selected to the all-tournament team in 2012-13.
With the win against Avonworth, the Lady Spartans avenged a nail-biting two-point loss in last year's championship game, and also ended the Lady Antelopes' nine-year title reign in the tournament.
“Our seniors, Laura McGowan and Sydney Bauer, really put forth a stellar effort,” Thomas said. “They showed true leadership on and off the court.
“Laura was the tournament MVP, but it was Sydney's drive and determination that inspired our team to become a tough opponent on both sides of the court.”
Bauer, a 5-7 guard/forward, ended up with with 13 points in the tournament, and was complemented by 5-8 freshman guard/forward Hannah Livingston's 12 points and 5-8 junior forward Nicole Zdrojewski's 10 points.
Brentwood also raced past South Allegheny in a nonsection game earlier this week, 46-16, behind 5-5 freshman guard Molly Huffman's 14-point performance.
McGowan and Folino netted eight points apiece.
The Lady Spartans open Section 4-AA play tonight, Thursday, at home against Fort Cherry, and will host Carlynton in a nonsection matchup Saturday afternoon.
Fort Cherry lost to Ringgold, 54-37, in the Fort Cherry/Montour tip-off tourney.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.