Quaker Valley girls finding their form as postseason approaches

Sunday, February 14, 2021 | 9:01 AM

The Quaker Valley girls basketball team is searching for a WPIAL title this season, and with just four losses on their record, the Quakers seem to be in a good position as the WPIAL’s open tournament quickly approaches later this month.

Before the No. 2 Quakers fell to No. 1 Beaver, 48-42, on Feb. 8 for the second time this season, they had put together a nice five-game winning streak that moved their overall record to 8-3, 6-1 in Section 2-4A.

During their five-game winning streak, the Quakers were averaging 56.6 points per game while only allowing 39 points. They earned section victories over Hopewell, Montour and their second victory over Blackhawk. They also defeated nonsection opponents Hampton and Sewickley Academy.

Four of their five victories came by 14 points or more. Their win over Sewickley Academy was the lone single-digit win of the streak.

“We’re really happy with where we are at right now,” Quaker Valley coach Tom Demko said. “There are some things we still need to clean up down the stretch here. We have six games left. We knew the one against Beaver was going to be a tough one. But we’re almost where we need to be. We’re feeling good though.”

Like they have all season long, the senior class led the Quakers in recent weeks. Seniors Corinne Washington and Bailey Garbee have played significant roles in the team’s success.

During a signature win over No. 5 Blackhawk, Washington scored 25 while Garbee added 21 during a 21-point victory. Garbee also scored 32 in Quaker Valley’s first win over Blackhawk earlier this season.

On Feb. 6, the Quakers took on WPIAL Class 2A No. 5 Sewickley Academy, which is loaded with a talented group of seniors, and Washington turned around and scored 23 of her team’s 34 points in a four-point victory.

Garbee also scored 22 of Quaker Valley’s 42 points in the second loss to Beaver.

“Shots were falling for them, and Bailey’s been shooting the three really well,” Demko said. “She’s been getting out in transition so much. She’s our leader defensively. Then, Corrine has been finding her in transition, and Corrine has been using a really nice pull-up, and shots have been falling for her. She carried us against Sewickley Academy.”

During Quaker Valley’s second loss to Beaver, they jumped out to a quick 18-8 lead in the first quarter. The Bobcats crawled back into the game by holding the Quakers to single digits in both the second and the third quarter.

Beaver’s Emma Pavelek ended up with 22 points while Payton List scored 17. Overall, Demko saw a lot that the Quakers needed to work on if they want to beat the last undefeated team in Class 4A down the line.

“We’re gonna look at both of those games if we need to down the stretch, but we know that they come to play and they are solid,” Demko said. “They play good defense, and we know that 2-3 of theirs, that defense that they like to play, and we are just going to try and keep working on getting out in transition and attacking their zone.”

Quaker Valley’s goal since the beginning of the season hasn’t changed, and with a few weeks left before the playoffs, Demko said that they are going to do whatever they can to finish on a strong note. Demko believes that all depends on his seniors.

“It’s going to be up to our seniors, especially to hold the players together and make them realize how important, and the magnitude, of where we’re at,” Demko said. “We’re one of the top-ranked teams, and this is our chance. We can only do so much as coaches to motivate. But right now, we are really depending on our seniors to continue to bring these players together.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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