Serra Catholic girls cruise to win over Clairton
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Looking at the remaining schedule and realizing nobody in Section 4-A averages more than 40 points per game — and also accepting the fact that there's going to be a couple of more 85-27 whippings like Serra Catholic handed Clairton on Thursday — Bill Cleary had no choice but to alter his quarter-century philosophy on his approach to basketball.
Over the final month of the season, Serra's going to become selfish.
And really, they have no choice.
Instead of worrying about its lesser opponents, Serra is going to focus on what they are doing and how they are doing it.
That's what the No. 2-ranked Class A team did against winless Clairton, and it resulted in the Eagles' most lopsided win of the year.
“The things we want to accomplish each night when we take the floor, we are going to make sure we do that,” Cleary said. “Stuff like: Are we seeing the floor? Are we finding the open spot? Are we getting the ball reversed? All those things.”
Serra (9-1, 2-0) did all of those things, along with shooting lights out. Serra scored the first 10 points of the game and never looked back. The Eagles led 27-4 after the first quarter and extended their lead to 43 by halftime.
Serra shot 70 percent in the first half and forced 28 turnovers (38 for the game.)
“We executed very well offensively,” Cleary said. “The ball moved well, and we shot it well.”
Leslie Hoye led Serra with 20 points, and Nicole Pero added 13, Felicia Moon 12, Megan Sieg 11 and Danielle Dindak 11.
Clairton (0-9, 0-1) got 10 points from DeShawna Stewart.
“It's tough,” Clairton coach Charles Shealey said. “People don't understand what I am working with here. I have to keep motivating them and keep sticking with it.”
Even though Clairton trailed by as many 60 in fourth quarter, the Bears never gave up.
Clairton played the fourth quarter even at 15-15, albeit against Serra's backups.
To Shealey, that's a win.
“What I try to get across to them is that a winner never quits,” Shealey said. “And if I don't keep motivating them and if they see me give up, they are going to give up automatically.
“I preach to them that no matter what the score is, you can't give up.”
Under the circumstances, Cleary was impressed with Clairton's determination.
“He gets them to play,” Cleary said. “They are young, and they played hard all night long. He is teaching them to hang in there, and it is not about the result more than the process.”
Serra now turns its attention to the final month of the season where there isn't expected to be much competition other than a nonsection game against Class AAA Belle Vernon.
It's the same predicament Serra went through last year, which ultimately ended with a Class A championship game berth.
“We've been through it before,” Cleary said. “There's nothing you can really do but make sure you do what you need to do to get better.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.