Brown, Gateway girls devour Allderdice
Gateway didn't show any ill effects from not playing in more than a week.
The Lady Gators opened the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs Tuesday with an easy 63-26 victory over Allderdice in a play-in game at home.
Gateway (16-11) took advantage of sloppy play by Allderdice (6-18) and raced out to a 30-5 lead in the first quarter
The Lady Gators extended their lead to 46-7 by halftime and invoked the Mercy Rule, a running clock after they opened up a 40-point lead in the second half.
Allderdice, which started three freshmen and two sophomores, was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the state playoffs. They turned the ball over 16 of their first 17 possessions.
"That's a killer," Allderdice coach Dave Walchesky said. "Turning the ball over a lot has been a problem all year long. We need to grow up and get stronger."
Allderdice also didn't have an answer for Gateway freshman Destiny Brown, who scored 25 points, 15 in the first half.
Brown was playing a new position, forward, after Gateway coach Cornelious Nesbit learned that senior forward Kate Kromka would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
"We're going to miss Kate," Nesbit said. "She was a good rebounder and ball-handler. We moved Destiny, who played guard, to forward, and it allowed her to showcase her abilities with her back to the basket."
Brown also had a lot of help. Gina Petrilli scored 15 points, 12 in the first half, and Diane DiLorenzo scored 14 points, eight in the first quarter.
"With Kate out, I told the team that it's an opportunity for someone else to step up. Jordan Mele got her chance, and even though she is 5-foot-4, she grabbed six rebounds."
One thing that displeased Nesbit was his team's lack of a killer instinct in the second half.
"We've got to learn to play hard for the entire game," he said. "We got the big lead and put it in cruise control."
After Gateway built a 55-13 lead, Allderdice went on a 13-0 run. Janay Bottoms led the comeback with 11 points, while Jess Putinsky scored six of her eight points during the run.
"I was much more encouraged with our play in the second half," Walchesky said. "We played a lot better, and I told them there are a lot of teams that wished they were still playing."