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Lagerheads, DQ set for early showdown

Darnell Graham | For The Valley Independent - State Farm's Heather Chester of Bentworth, center, is sandwiched between Dairy Queen defenders Celine Monica, left, and Rylie Campbell of Belle Vernon Area during Monday's Budd Grebb basketball league action.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Darnell Graham | For The Valley Independent</em></div>State Farm's Heather Chester of Bentworth, center, is sandwiched between Dairy Queen defenders Celine Monica, left, and Rylie Campbell of Belle Vernon Area during Monday's Budd Grebb basketball league action.
Darnell Graham | For The Valley Independent - State Farm's Ashley Russell, center, drives past Dairy Queen defenders Olivia Greco, left, and Rylie Campbell on Monday in Budd Grebb basketball league action.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Darnell Graham | For The Valley Independent</em></div>State Farm's Ashley Russell, center, drives past Dairy Queen defenders Olivia Greco, left, and Rylie Campbell on Monday in Budd Grebb basketball league action.
Darnell Graham | For The Valley Independent - Lagerheads forward Ashtyn Zimcoski, right, attempts a bounce pass against Bitonti's Barristers Sierra Kotchman during Monday action in the Budd Grebb basketball league.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Darnell Graham | For The Valley Independent</em></div>Lagerheads forward Ashtyn Zimcoski, right, attempts a bounce pass against Bitonti's Barristers Sierra Kotchman during Monday action in the Budd Grebb basketball league.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 12:36 a.m.
 

Two undefeated girls' teams are set for a collision course following convincing victories Monday in J. Budd Grebb Memorial Summer Basketball League action.

Lagerheads (3-0) and Belle Vernon Dairy Queen (4-0) will face off 7 p.m. Wednesday in an early-season showdown for first place.

In Monday's early game, Lagerheads used a staunch defense and 22 points from Brownsville Area's Maris Seto in a 49-31 victory over Bitonti's Barristers (2-2).

Lagerheads used a strong post presence from Brownsville's Madison Zimcoski, who grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds while guards Seto and Keyonna McCrae allowed Bitonti's ballhandlers few open looks to the hoop.

They sprinted out to a 26-6 halftime lead, holding Bitonti's scoreless for nearly 10 minutes.

Zimcoski and company also frustrated Bitonti center Meagan Murphy into early foul trouble and a slew of missed shots. Murphy, a Belle Vernon Area senior, finished with six points.

“We've come a long way defensively in three games,” Lagerheads coach Melanie Greco said. “Our big girls did a great job denying the post and rebounding and our guards did a nice job doubling down. And Maris, you can't say enough about her.”

Bitonti's made a comeback midway through the second half, using full-court pressure to go on a 9-3 run as Murphy's put-back pulled her team to within 14 points, 33-19. But back-to-back hoops by McCrea and Seto squelched the threat.

The only poor performance by Lagerheads came at the foul line, as the team converted just 9 of 18 attempts free throws.

Seto added seven steals and five rebounds for Lagerheads while California Area's Ashley Holt chipped in eight points.

For Bitonti's, BVA senior Kaitlin Thomas (eight) and Trinity's Sierra Kotchman (nine), combined for 17 points.

BV Dairy Queen 59, TT State Farm 30

Undefeated Dairy Queen used quick ball movement and a game-high 25 points from BVA's Kaitlyn Slagus to run past shorthanded Tommy Thomas State Farm (0-4).

Leading 34-15 at the half, Dairy Queen kept its fast-paced transition attack going in the second half, wearing out a State Farm team that had just six players available.

Charleroi Area freshman Sierra Short hit an open lay-up off a perfect dish from California Area's Olivia Greco with 6:51 remaining, activating the league's 30-point mercy rule and a running clock.

Short finished with a double-double (11 points, 13 rebounds) while BVA's Bria Rathway chipped in 13 points and five assists.

Defensively, Dairy Queen held State Farm to countless off-balance shots. BVA sophomore Ashley Russell was the only double-digit scorer with 10 points while fellow Lady Leopard Taylor Kovatch added eight.

“Rathway and Slagus just let the game come to them,” State Farm coach Dan Kovatch said, adding four of his players are away on vacation. “We've just got to keep our heads up. We should have our full team back next week.”

Dairy Queen coach Bill Greco was happy with his team's performance and said he is anticipating Wednesday's matchup versus Lagerheads, who is coached by his wife.

“I think that was the best we've played. We got the ball to the right spot on the floor and attacked,” Greco said. “It's going to be a good game Wednesday. A real good game. But we have to rebound. We can't let them get two or three offensive rebounds or we'll be in trouble.”

Bitonti's Barristers 58,Lee Supply 53

BVA's Megan Murphy scored a game-high 23 points and hit two late free throws to seal Bitonti's victory in the nightcap.

Trailing 25-17 at halftime, Lee Supply (0-3) crawled back to within three points as Kayla Yorko hit four 3-pointers in the final three minutes.

But Murphy drained a pair of foul shots with 10 seconds remaining to end Lee's comeback bid.

Yorko led Lee Supply with 20 points, including six 3-pointers, while Cal Area senior Brooke Clements added 15.

For Bitonti's, Murphy also pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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