Big quarter paces Charleroi

| Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Charleroi won its sixth consecutive game Thursday night, beating host Beth-Center, 61-45, in Section 5 AA action.

However, Lady Cougars coach Joe Grodz is more interested in running that streak to seven games.

That's because Charleroi (14-3, 5-2) hosts Washington (9-4, 6-1) in a key section battle Monday.

“If we have any hopes of winning the section plus for seeding for the playoffs, the Washington game is a big one for us,” said Grodz. “I can't emphasize to the girls enough how important it is to win every game for seeding.”

At Fredricktown, Charleroi broke open a one-point game at halftime with a huge third quarter.

The Lady Cougars held a shaky 27-26 lead before outscoring BC (3-9, 1-6) 26-7 in the third period to break the game open.

Charleroi's Rachel Ritzer scored all 12 of her points in the big third quarter, while Mia Woytovich had 10 of her game-high 24.

“We struggled with their defense a little in the first half, but the third quarter was huge for us,” said Grodz. “Rachel and Mia just exploded in that quarter.”

Woytovich had 13 rebounds, six assists and four steals for Charleroi.

BC was led by Anna Bartman with 17 points.

California 31, Avella 19

The Lady Trojans have not won a section title in girls' basketball since 1982. However, today they stand alone atop the Section 3 A standings after beating Avella, 31-19, in a battle for first place.

California (11-3, 5-0) held the Lady Eagles (9-5, 4-1) to less than 10 points in every quarter as it won the huge encounter.

Cal's Kylie Huffman was the only player to crack double figures with 11 points.

“I thought we played well,” said California coach Chris Minerd. “We had problems scoring in the fourth quarter, but we played good enough defense throughout the game.

“The first half of the season is over and we're sitting in first place. All we have to do is take care of business and stay healthy. Everything is in front of us.”

BV Area 45, Ringgold 42

The Lady Leps (10-3, 5-2) had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to knock off upset-minded Ringgold (6-8, 1-5) in Section 4 AAA.

BVA trailed 34-27 going into the fourth quarter before outscoring the Lady Rams 18-8 to pull out the win.

Kaitlyn Slagus scored 20 points for the winners, while Phaedra DeWitt and Meaghan Murphy added 10 each. Ringgold was led by Marlena Schmidt with 15 points. Kara Foster added 10.

The loss was the fourth straight for hard-luck Ringgold, which dropped the four games by a combined total of nine points. In fact, of their last seven losses the biggest deficit was six points.

BVA snapped a two-game losing skid with the victory.

Serra 70, Frazier 44

The Lady Commodores (9-4, 2-1) were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten in Section 4 A by Serra (12-1, 5-0).

The Lady Eagles had four players in double figures, led by Danielle Dindak with 15 points.

Lauren Timko had 11 points for Frazier, while teammates Ashley Guiser and Kaley Barota each had 10.

“I actually thought we played pretty well,”said Frazier coach Shara Zupanc. “We broke their press and we outrebounded them. We are getting there as a team.”

Elizabeth Forward 48, Waynesburg 25

In Section 4 AAA, Kylie Owoc had 12 points and Natalie Fekula added 10 to lead No. 1 Elizabeth Forward (11-1, 6-0) to the victory.

Waynesburg (2-10, 0-6) didn't have any players reach double figures.

Washington 63, Bentworth 23

The Lady Bearcats' tough season continued in Section 5 AA as Washington (9-4, 6-1) rolled to the season win.

Bentworth (2-10, 0-7) fell behind 18-8 after one quarter and trailed 34-11 at halftime.

Mikala Maltony and India March scored 12 points each for the winners.

Nobody reached double figures for Bentworth.

Greensburg Salem 75, Yough 34

The Lady Cougars (2-13, 0-7) bowed in Section 3 AAA despite getting a game-high 27 points from Natalie Peebles.

GS (7-7, 5-2) was led by Karly Mellinger with 26 points.

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

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