Serra Catholic girls down California in WPIAL semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Serra Catholic's Megan Sieg looked at the scoreboard early in the second quarter, and something just didn't look right.
The state-of-the-art scoreboard at Baldwin for Wednesday's Class A semifinal game against California was operating just fine, but the numbers just didn't seem to add up — Serra was trailing California by nearly double figures.
For only the third time all season, No. 2 Serra trailed in a game.
“It's different … we aren't used to it,” Sieg said.
Serra overcame a painfully slow start that had them trailing by as many as nine points and outscored California, 25-7, over the final seven minutes to advance to the Class A championship game for the second consecutive year and the 11th time in school history with a 60-40 win.
Serra (23-2) will take on top-seeded Vincentian (21-3), a 65-41 winner over Quigley, on Saturday at Palumbo Center. It will be a rematch of last year's title game that Vincentian won 53-46.
“We were struggling but we knew we had to continue to play,” Sieg said. “When we were down like that, we just started picking each other up and telling each other that we have a goal this year and that is to get back.”
Sieg did her best to send the Eagles back to the championship game.
Sieg scored 13 of her game-high 16 points in the second half. Sister Katie Sieg added 12, and Nicole Pero and Lauren Czerwien added 10 apiece.
California (19-4) got 14 points and 12 rebounds from freshman Kylie Huffman.
“Tonight we had to play … we really had to play this game,” Serra coach Bill Cleary said. “It felt like we were never safe. It was a long time before that uneasy feeling went away. They were ready to play, and I knew they would be. They were getting easy shots because of hustle, and it was like: ‘We have to play, girls.' ”
California did a good job of making Cleary feel uneasy early in the game. The Trojans raced out to 15-6 lead early in the second quarter behind some easy baskets and some poor shooting by Serra.
“Everything we wanted to do, we did in the first quarter but we just couldn't sustain it,” California coach Chris Minerd said. “Our youth showed up the whole game, and it was a big key.”
Serra was able to get back into the game in the second quarter, holding the Trojans to two points as the teams went into halftime tied at 17-17.
Serra opened a 27-19 lead in the third to have Cal answer to get within 35-33 early in the fourth.
“We knew we had to win,” Sieg said. “There was no question about it, so we had to play to our potential, and that's what we did in the fourth quarter.”
Serra caught fire in the final frame scoring 13 points in a span of 2:13 to turn a 35-33 game into a 48-33 advantage. The key was a trio of 3-pointers by Megan Sieg and a pair by Danielle Dindak in a 54-second span.
Megan Sieg's steal and pass from her backside to Czerwien for a 3-point play with just more than two minutes left sealed the game for Serra.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
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.