Bethel Park girls get defensive to take down Mt. Lebanon in Section 3-6A showdown
By: Likitha Janga
Monday, January 29, 2018 | 10:18 PM
The Bethel Park girls basketball team held Mt. Lebanon to single-digit scoring outputs in three of four quarters Monday night, en route to dispatching the Blue Devils, 49-38, to claim sole possession of second place in Section 3-6A.
While the No. 3-ranked Black Hawks didn't rack up steals or blocks as a unit on defense, they were able to rotate defenders in crisp fashion, ensuring the Blue Devils would not receive clean looks at the basket.
On top of that, the smaller Bethel Park team stood its ground in the battle for rebounds, tallying 20 to the taller Mt. Lebanon squad's 23.
“I just feel like we rebounded well, and that was really important because they definitely have some size. I knew that if we allowed them to get those second- or third-shot opportunities on offense against us, that would be trouble,” Bethel Park coach Jonna Burke said.
“We were also able to get to the hoop a little bit on offense so we didn't have to rely on outside shooting. We just did a good job of executing tonight.”
Maria Cerro, who scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, powered the Black Hawks (12-5, 6-2). The junior guard also dished out four assists to go along with six rebounds.
“That's her thing, she definitely controls the ball for us. When we get into situations where we have a little bit of a lead, we feel confident with her out there handling it and making decisions for us,” Burke said.
“And on the other side of it, she can create like she did at the beginning of the game, too. She can get in there and make things happen.”
Freshman forward Olivia Westphal chipped in 10 points, and sophomore Madelyn Dziezgowski finished with eight points and six rebounds for Bethel Park.
Mt. Lebanon (9-9, 5-3) put up just 20 total points in the first three quarters but rallied back with 18 points in the fourth frame.
Now, the Blue Devils must attempt to reorient themselves ahead of Thursday's 7:30 p.m. matchup against Peters Township (15-2, 7-1), the top team in their section.
“We have been on an upward trend. Tonight's game, we didn't play like we wanted to play. Now, what we have to do is fix that and then just keep going,” Mt. Lebanon assistant coach Carl Satira said.
“We have to forget about it and move on to the next game because now we're running the gauntlet to end the season.”
Satira filled in for head coach Dori Oldaker, who was out with the flu.
Sophomore Haley Sabol led the way for the Blue Devils, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Nora Kogan added 10 points in the losing effort.
Bethel Park will play Canon-McMillan at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at home.
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.
ljanga is a Tribune-Review freelancer. You can contact ljanga at [email protected].