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Shady Side girls end solid season with playoff loss

Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Shady Side Academy's Gabby Harchelroad battles Jeannette's Brittany Crawford (42) for a rebound on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at Jeannette High School. Jeannette won 49-34.

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Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Coach Audrey Scott's Shady Side Academy girls basketball team lost in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs but Scott, though disappointed, saw many positives in the 10-13 campaign.

“It was tough to lose to Washington,” Scott said. “We thought we could go farther into the playoffs. We adjusted and played them even for the last three quarters but we had too far to come back.”

As far as the regular season, Scott felt the team did what it was supposed to do.

“We won every game we were supposed to win,” Scott said. “There were a few games that we lost that we could have won, like West Shamokin, Jeannette and Riverview. But we're happy that we made the playoffs and we're hoping to do it again next year.”

The Indians will lose three seniors — starting point guard Jane Sheerer and key reserves Rebecca Donahue and Pia Campbell.

“All three contributed largely to our success,” Scott said. “Losing Jane will hurt us. Whenever she came out of a game, we struggled replacing her. There were games where I couldn't even give her a break and she'd wind up playing the whole game. Most of our other guards are two guards and that'll be one of our big tasks for next year, replacing Jane at the point.”

Scott is upbeat about the players returning.

“We'll have four starters back, led by Gabby Harchelroad and Natalie Palmer, and we'll have most of our bench back,” she said.

She'll also be looking for some help from this year's JV team.

“We struggled getting enough players for JVs over the last few years,” Scott said. “This year, we were able to put together a team, although we only had seven players. We had to cancel a few games because of illness and injury. Three of the girls had never played organized basketball before. The team only won one game but they really did show some improvement over the course of the season.

“We've also got some good eighth-grade girls coming up who will contribute to the JV and possibly varsity teams,” she said.

Scott might need the extra help as the recent WPIAL realignment made the section much tougher.

“We've got Burrell in our section next year and they'll have everybody coming back. Greensburg Central Catholic is still in the section and they have everybody back, too. Those two teams will probably be battling it out for first and second in the section. We're looking forward to the challenge,” Scott said.

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or

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