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Sewickley Academy girls open section play

| Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

The Sewickley Academy girls basketball team (5-2) looked forward to things getting back to normal in its Section 1-A opener Tuesday against Quigley Catholic.

The Panthers were without many of their players at the California High School tournament the week of Dec. 25 because of injury and trips.

They lost to Carmichaels and Charleroi and beat Jefferson-Morgan.

In the two losses, they dressed only five players.

Panthers coach Mariam Sy said she offered to pull the Panthers out of the tournament, but they insisted on playing.

“(We) played well with five girls,” she said, adding the squad had not practiced for a week.

The Panthers kept it close against Carmichaels, but ran into problems against Charleroi. Two players got into foul trouble, and the Cougars took advantage to build a big lead.

“My girls were playing really well until (then),” Sy said.

The Panthers had more manpower against Jefferson-Morgan and beat the Rockets by 10 points.

Sophomore Alyssa Winters scored 31 points in three games and was named to the all-tournament team.

Junior Olivia Ryder totaled 30 points in the three. Sophomore Kendall Lightcap chipped in 19 points in the trio of contests.

Sophomore Tatum McKelvey tallied nine points against Jefferson-Morgan — the only game she played.

Sophomore Simi Shetty, sophomore Myra Samuel and freshman Sarah Phillips also competed.

Ryder, 16, of Moon, a captain, said the Panthers showed character and heart by playing.

“I was proud how we played and how we handled ourselves,” she said.

Winters, 16, of the North Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh, said the Panthers entered the event with their heads held high.

The Panthers travel to Rochester on Thursday for a section tilt.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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