| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Southmoreland stresses positives after loss to Mt. Pleasant

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Southmoreland's Olivia Porter (2) tries to drive past Mt. Pleasant's Jordan Toohey during a Section 3-AAA game on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at Southmoreland High School.
Top high school sports
Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, 11:39 p.m.

It isn't often that two basketball teams leave the same court on the same night feeling good about themselves. However, that appeared to be the case after Monday's Section 3-AAA girls basketball game between Mt. Pleasant and host Southmoreland.

The Vikings, undefeated in section play this season, came out strong and quickly took control of the game on their way to a 58-34 victory. But despite the score, Southmoreland coach Brian Pritts also looked at this game as a positive.

“(Mt. Pleasant) shot the ball well, and that's why they are in first place in the section,” Pritts said. “But our girls gave a really good effort and we were really good on the boards. We just have to keep our focus and we are definitely improving.”

While the Scotties (4-8, 2-4) are building with an eye to the future, the Vikings (8-4, 6-0) are in a win-now mode. Mt. Pleasant made sure it avoided any chance of an upset by pumping in long range shots early and often.

The Vikings drained seven 3-pointers in the game, all in the first half. Mt. Pleasant's Alexa Szelong was responsible for three of the treys, including two in the first quarter as Mt. Pleasant grabbed a 13-6 lead. Szelong finished with a game-high 24 points. Elaina Fearer, Katie Biller and Morgan Barlock also connected on 3-pointers for the Vikings.

“They challenged us by playing a zone defense, but we've been shooting well,” Mt. Pleasant coach Scott Giacobbi said.”That was key to establishing the offense early. But (Southmoreland) rebounded well. When we missed a shot, it was one and done.”

Southmoreland did a good job on the boards, especially in the first half, but the Scotties struggled to find their shooting touch. Southmoreland managed just two baskets in the first half, but knocked down 14 of 20 first-half free-throw attempts to help the home team stay in the game, 32-19 at the half.

“(Missing shots) is a negative, but we were getting to the foul line,” Pritts said.

Bethany Siebert hit all four of her first-half free-throws and buried a 3-pointer on her way to a team-high 13-point effort.

With the game still somewhat in doubt, the Vikings turned to their inside game in the second half. Jordan Toohey did a nice job of finding some open looks down low and was able to hit three baskets in the third quarter. She finished with 10 points. Then Szelong found some inside scoring in the fourth quarter to help Mt. Pleasant seal up the road victory.

“We wanted to have a balanced attack and we were able to work inside to lock things up,” Giacobbi said.

The win was Mt. Pleasant's fifth in a row.

“We've had a nice five-game stretch where we are playing good defense and we've shot the ball well,” Giacobbi said.

The Vikings will play at Elizabeth Forward on Wednesday.

For the Scotties, the loss was the team's third in a row, but Pritts remains positive.

“We stayed in the game against a good team,” Pritts said. “We had our character tested and I couldn't be more proud of their effort.”

Southmoreland hosts Indiana on Thursday.

Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Basketball

  1. HS highlight reel: Moon names new football coach
  2. East Allegheny girls getting used to winning with underclassmen
  3. High school roundup: Greensburg Salem tops Mt. Lebanon
  4. Mt. Pleasant girls basketball team defeats Southmoreland, 67-30
  5. Playoff tickets punched for some local hoop teams
  6. Ligonier Valley’s 3-sports standout nearing 1,000 career points
  7. High school roundup: Pine-Richland squad wins PIAA spirit title
  8. Trib Cup: Indiana girls use shutdown defense to succeed in Section 3
  9. Davis scores career-high 31 to power Ford City girls
  10. Neither coach happy after Monessen beats Avella by 90 points
  11. Valley Independent roundup: Charleroi gets huge road victory over Waynesburg