Latrobe girls clinch playoff berth with victory over Connellsville
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When Latrobe defeated Connellsville in a Section 1-AAAA girls basketball showdown last Saturday, the Wildcats dealt a tough blow to the Falcons' playoff hopes. On Thursday, in the rematch at Connellsville, Latrobe delivered the knockout punch.
Taley Dunaway scored a game-high 23 points to lead Latrobe to a 59-39 victory over the Falcons and, in the process, eliminated Connellsville from playoff contention.
The win also clinched no less than a share of the fourth and final playoff spot in the section for Latrobe (9-7, 6-5).
“I thought we were focused and determined, and we knew what this game meant to us,” Latrobe coach Luann Mills said.
In the first meeting, Latrobe had to rally and eventually pulled away for a 65-48 win.
In the rematch, no such rally was necessary as Latrobe got off to a fast start and never looked back.
Dunaway, Madison Kollar and Hannah Mears each hit three first-quarter baskets as the Wildcats built an 11-2 lead. Kollar finished with 10 points.
Connellsville (7-12, 4-8) stayed in the game thanks to a strong first quarter from Saiah Mickens, who scored eight of her 13 points in the opening quarter.
However, the Falcons never could make a serious run thanks to a combination of strong defensive play by the visitors and their own shooting struggles.
“We missed layups and foul shots,” Connellsville coach Kenny Johnson said after his team turned in a 9-of-17 effort from the line. “We gave maximum energy and heart, but we're missing layups and foul shots. They made layups, and we missed layups. They made foul shots, and we missed foul shots. It's tough to compete with that.”
The Falcons scored 10 or fewer points in each quarter, which allowed the Wildcats the opportunity to continue to extend their lead.
In the second quarter, Dunaway knocked down a pair of 3-pointers as Latrobe took a 31-19 lead into the half.
The Falcons' Ashton Grimm scored nine points in the second half and finished with 12 points, but Connellsville could never seriously threaten Latrobe's lead in the final two quarters. Dunaway scored six points, and Emma Kate Womack added nine points in the fourth quarter to help seal the win. Womack scored all 12 of her points in the second half.
The playoffs are on the horizon for the Wildcats, and they will look to finish the regular season with some momentum. For Connellsville, the object also is to finish strong with an eye toward building for the 2014-15 campaign.
“We've had ups and downs, and we've fought all season,” Johnson said. “We just have to get in the gym in the offseason. This is a process.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.