ShareThis Page

Burrell girls to begin PIAA championship quest

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 10:03 p.m.
Burrell's Erika Finn dribbles during the WPIAL Class AA girls basketball championship Friday, February 28, 2014, at Palumbo Center. The Rebels won 55-34.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Burrell's Erika Finn dribbles during the WPIAL Class AA girls basketball championship Friday, February 28, 2014, at Palumbo Center. The Rebels won 55-34.

All season long, Burrell junior point guard Sydney Bordonaro has talked about her team's goals. No secrets here.

The team could have put those goals on a billboard along Puckety Church Road.

Get one done, cross it off and move on to the next.

Section title.

Undefeated regular season.

WPIAL championship.

State championship.

While the checklist hit a snag last Friday night in the WPIAL Class AA championship game against Seton-La Salle at Palumbo Center, the Buccaneers (25-1) seem undeterred as they prepare for the PIAA playoffs and begin moving toward their final goal.

They open the state tournament at 6 p.m. Friday against District 9 runner-up Clarion-Limestone (16-9) at North Hills.

“We didn't play our game Friday, we played Seton's,” Bordonaro said. “Our coaches prepared us for what was going to happen, and we didn't execute the way we needed to.”

Burrell has admitted to struggling with slow starts this season, and the WPIAL final was no different as the team fell behind 11-0 and didn't score until late in the first quarter in a 55-34 loss to highly touted Seton-La Salle.

Suffocating defensive pressure forced Burrell to commit 25 turnovers. This is a team that can take three or four games to get that many.

But the fact remains that Burrell still is one of the most talented teams in the state, and now has a second chance to prove it.

“We're all so close; we're like a family,” Bordonaro said. “None of us want this season to be over. So we will play as hard as we can and try to win a state championship.”

Clarion-Limestone is coached by Doug Rodgers, the former head coach of the Deer Lakes girls. Clarion-Limestone lost to Karns City, 47-22, in the District 9 title game.

The Lions had not been to the district final since 1994, so the PIAA tournament will be a relatively new experience.

“We hadn't been here playing for a championship on this stage before, there was definitely some nerves on the part of the girls,” Rodgers said after the team's last game. “The nice thing is we have a week to work on things and we've got Burrell, which I understand is a very similar team to Karns City — get after you full court. This is the bonus round. This is fun; we haven't been here in a while.”

Burrell showed resiliency last season after bowing out of the WPIAL playoffs. It went farther than any team in school history, bouncing back from a semifinal loss to Bishop Canevin before reaching the third round of the state tournament and falling to the same team.

Burrell finished 24-4 last year, but has surpassed the school record for wins this season and is looking for more.

Clarion-Limestone doesn't consider depth a strength, but does get balanced scoring on a regular basis.

Three players average in double figures: Lily Port (12.8 ppg), Abby Mellott (12.7) and Alissa Burns (11.3).

Bordonaro averages 16.4 points and has made 58 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Natalie Myers averages 12.9 points.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.