Sewickley Academy girls basketball building for strong finish

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Friday, January 25, 2019 | 6:45 PM


Sewickley Academy’s girls basketball team was right where it wanted to be to start the second half of WPIAL Section 1-A play.

The Panthers (8-3 overall, 5-2 section) were within striking distance of Rochester at the top of the standings and nearly knocked off the Rams in the second meeting but took a 49-48 loss.

“I think we’ve been playing some of our best basketball so far,” Sewickley Academy senior Theresa Wilson said. “We still have a lot of work to do, though. We’re really looking forward to the second round of section play.”

Other than two losses to Rochester, Sewickley Academy found success in section play. The Panthers look forward to tweaking their approach for the remaining games.

The Panthers hope their defensive effort continues. At 38.2 points allowed per game, they have one of WPIAL Class A’s top defenses.

“Our coach has really been trying to emphasize for us to clamp down on defense,” Wilson said. “We work hard in practice on that a lot.”

Sewickley Academy’s fast and intense defense helps produce points for a team that averages 49.0 points.

“Our quickness definitely helps a lot on defense and in our transition game. We can get the ball up the floor, get a quick layup and two points. We are a small team, but we’re very fast,” Wilson said.

The Panthers’ depth allows the team to be aggressive, too. Seniors Kendall Lightcap and Myra Samuel join sophomore Kamryn Lightcap and Wilson in the starting lineup, along with sophomores J.J. Jardini, Mia DelVecchio and Bre Warner, who rotate in the fifth, sixth and seventh spots of the team’s lineup.

Freshman Desirae Nance has seen regular time on the floor, as well.

“It’s nice that we have so many players we can rotate in. We can get out there and play hard and get the subs rolling and get fresh feet out there,” Wilson said.

Sewickley Academy reached the WPIAL quarterfinals two years ago and semifinals last season. The Panthers hope to take another step this postseason.

“I think one of the goals is to go deep in the playoffs and even further than we’ve gone in past years. We’re trying to get to the state playoffs as well; we went the last two years,” Wilson said. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement.”

Joe Sager is a freelance writer.

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