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Serra Catholic girls dictate rhythm in win over Frazier

| Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 10:54 p.m.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Frazier's Jamie Muccioli (right) fights for a loose ball with Serra's Leslie Hoye during a Section 4-A game on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at Frazier High School.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Frazier's Emily Marshall (23) tries to put up a shot while being defended by Serra's Megan Sieg (left) and Nicole Pero (right) during a Section 4-A game on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at Frazier High School.

The ability to start a game fast has been a strong suit for the Serra Catholic girls basketball team this season. It's also been a weakness for Frazier.

On Thursday, Serra's strength and Frazier's weakness came heavily into play as the Eagles started three of the four quarters on big runs to earn a comfortable 70-44 victory over the host Commodores in a battle of the first- and second-place teams in Section 4-A.

“We like to start off games fast and halves fast,” Serra coach Bill Cleary said. “That way we can dictate.”

Serra (12-1, 5-0) didn't waste any time getting going. The Eagles built a 6-0 lead in the first minute and held an 8-0 lead before Frazier (9-4, 2-1) found its footing.

Danielle Dindak, Katie Sieg, Nicole Pero and Megan Sieg each scored in the first quarter to help the Eagles grab a 23-15 lead. Dindak knocked down a 3-pointer in each quarter and finished with a game-high 15 points. Katie Sieg, Megan Sieg and Pero finished with 14 points each, and Katie Sieg added 11 rebounds.

The Commodores, despite falling behind by a big margin quickly, stayed in the game with some strong rebounding and better defense midway through the first quarter.

However, Serra found a shooting rhythm to start the second quarter and went on a 9-0 run to build a 32-15 lead.

Leading by 14 to start the second half, the Eagles again blitzed the Commodores, opening the third quarter with a 12-0 run that effectively sealed the win for the visitors.

“It takes us a while to get going, and we're trying to address that,” Frazier coach Shara Zupanc said. “But we are still struggling with that.”

The Commodores could ill afford to fall behind to a team like Serra, a squad with size that can shoot well. However, Zupanc was not chalking up the game as a total loss.

Her mindset was quite the opposite.

“I was impressed that we were able to take them out of their press, and it's almost as good as a win for us,” Zupanc said. “They are a good team with a lot of talent, and to play that well against a caliber of team like that, I'm happy.”

Jamie Muccioli had a strong game on the boards for Frazier, and Lauren Timko led the Commodores with 11 points.

Cassidy Guiser and Kaley Barota finished with 10 points each.

“Frazier plays hard,” Cleary said. “They fly to the boards, and they don't give up on plays.”

Serra hosts Jefferson Morgan on Friday, and Frazier entertains Monessen on Saturday.

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at jblack@tribweb.com.

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