Freeport girls honor seniors, tune up for playoffs with win over Deer Lakes

Monday, February 10, 2020 | 8:29 PM

Former and most likely future section foes met Monday in a nonsection tuneup for the WPIAL girls basketball playoffs.

Behind a game-best 20 points and nine rebounds from senior Sidney Shemanski, Freeport earned its sixth straight victory over Deer Lakes, 57-38 at Freeport Middle School.

“It was pretty emotional,” Shemanski said. “I came in like, ‘Wow, this is our last home game ever.’ But it was nice finishing with a win with the team and all of the seniors. But we still have playoffs to go and hopefully several games still to play.”

Yellowjackets head coach Fred Soilis took out the seniors, including Harley Holloway, Samantha Clark, Madeline Clark and Louisa Fennell, with about two minutes left to applause from the crowd.

“It was nice to have all five seniors out there and be able to pull them off the floor,” Soilis said.

Freeport won its third straight since a one-point loss to Knoch in a spirited section battle Feb. 3.

The Yellowjackets (15-6) bounced back last week with wins over Class 6A Fox Chapel and playoff-bound Indiana in its Section 1-4A finale.

“We wanted to come in and make sure we continued to do the things we need to do in order to be successful in the playoffs,” Soilis said.

Freeport finished tied for second place with Knoch in Section 1 behind Class 4A No. 1 North Catholic, while Deer Lakes, which finished the regular season 13-9, earned the fourth spot in Section 3 to the Class 2A tournament.

Both the Yellowjackets and Lancers will discover their playoff fates Tuesday as the WPIAL reveals the brackets in a meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Green Tree.

“We wanted to treat this game as preparation going into the playoffs,” Deer Lakes coach Dave Petruska said. “As much as we wanted to get another win under our belts going into the playoffs, I was able to see us fight hard for three quarters. You take away the second quarter and it’s a much closer game. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit there, but in the first quarter and the second half, I liked what I saw from my team in terms of executing some little things we wanted to work on.”

An 18-4 Freeport second quarter helped turn a four-point lead at the end of the first into an 18-point advantage at the break.

Shemanski, who tallied her 1,000th career point in the win over Indiana, scored seven in the first quarter and nine in the second as Freeport started to pull away.

Seven Yellowjackets players scored points in the game. Holloway, who scored her 1,000th varsity point at Fox Chapel, added 11 points. Fennell hit a trio of 3-pointers and finished with nine points.

Samantha Clark and Madeline Clark added seven and six points, respectively.

For Deer Lakes, senior Makayla Blair and sophomore Reese Hasley each scored seven points in a fast-paced first quarter.

Each finished with 14 points to lead the Lancers.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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