Sewickley Academy girls hope to bounce back
The Sewickley Academy girls basketball team is eager for a quick turnaround after a rough week on the road.
With some players ailing, the Panthers lost to Cornell in a Section 1-A contest and Riverside and Avonworth in nonsection play.
Riverside and Avonworth are in Class AAA.
The losses followed back-to-back section wins over Union and Propel Andrew Street. The Panthers were 7-7 overall and 2-3 in the section going into Monday's game at Quigley Catholic. They return home Thursday against Rochester.
The Spartans and Rams handed the Panthers section losses earlier.
“Our last couple of games have challenged us both physically and mentally and have pushed us to work hard and find a rhythm,” said junior forward Olivia Ryder, 16, of Moon. “Heading into the second half of the season, we know a lot more about the teams in our section so we will be better prepared.”
“It's midseason, and I feel our team just needs to reset and recover from injuries, etc.,” said sophomore guard Tatum McKelvey, 15, of Sewickley.
Sophomore forward Alyssa Winters scored a team-high 26 points playing in two of the games last week.
Ryder had 23 points in three games.
Panthers coach Mariam Sy said sophomore point guard Kendall Lightcap has done a good job directing the offense.
Sy said the Panthers hope to reach the WPIAL playoffs, but need to improve their rebounding and make better decisions in passing the ball.
The last time they competed in the postseason was in 2014-15. They already have won more games than last season, when they were 5-17 overall.
The Panthers look forward to playing four of their last six regular-season games at home.
“We have spent the last couple of weeks doing a lot of traveling, so we are really looking forward to a homestand and getting to play a few of our rivals on our home court,” Ryder said.
“Playing at home is my favorite because we have the community come out and support us, but we also have our new Events Center, which makes us feel like we are playing in a college facility,” McKelvey said.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.