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No. 2 Burrell routs Ford City girls to stay perfect

Nick Mitrakos | For the Valley News Dispatch
Lower Burrell's Kelsey Oddis (23) pushes downcourt against Ford City on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014.

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By George Guido
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 11:27 p.m.
 

The Burrell Bucs moved a step closer toward a first undefeated season in school girls basketball history Thursday night.

The Bucs broke open a relatively close game in the third quarter and rolled to a 62-34 victory over Ford City in Section 1-AA action.

Sydney Bordonaro's 24 points led No. 2 Burrell (16-0, 8-0), and Natalie Myers chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds.

All of Myers' points came in the second half.

Ford City, which had already secured the program's 19th consecutive WPIAL playoff berth, saw its record slip to 11-5, 6-2.

A basket by Christina Davis 1:36 into the second half brought the Sabers to within 30-20, but Burrell shifted into high gear after that. A 13-0 run by the Bucs helped put the game out of reach.

Burrell forced eight Ford City turnovers in the third quarter while limiting the Sabers to seven points.

“We expected a tough battle,” Sabers coach Al Davis said. “They're a very good team. We're happy we could compete against them. I enjoyed watching them play and watching my girls compete.”

“We came out kind of slow and apprehensive,” Burrell coach Meghan Ziemianski said. “We started out slow, then we really turned it on. When we get into a groove, that's when we start to click.”

Ford City led 7-4 with the help of a 3-pointer from Andrea DiGregorio. But 3-pointers by Bordonaro and Jaila Manga put the Bucs ahead.

“Hopefully, this will give us some playoff-type experience,” Davis said. “We had some good moments, but we have to handle the ball better.”

A pass from Kelsey Oddis to Bordonaro on a fast break gave Burrell its first double-digit lead, 21-10, with 5:28 to go in the first half.

Even though Burrell has built up a lofty ranking — including No. 3 in the statewide poll — Ziemianski said there are still goals for the team to reach, such as a spotless regular season.

“We work on defense, points allowed. We really don't change anything,” Ziemianski said. “We go with what has gotten us here the last two years. We come out the same way regardless who we're playing.”

Allyson Cujas led the Sabers with 16 points.

Burrell will put its spotless record on the line at 4 p.m. Saturday in a nonsection game at Greensburg Salem.

Davis finally commented on Monday's much-talked-about 56-0 shutout over Leechburg. Ford City came under fire for playing starters deep into the second half, although 17 players saw action and 11 scored. The Sabers only scored 10 points in the fourth quarter.

“I didn't want to say anything and prolong the situation,” Davis said. “I feel bad for (Leechburg coach) Joel (Ceraso). I know they didn't have their top ball handler (Missy Jones).”

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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