Shaler girls basketball team laments ones that got away

Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 5:28 PM

Emily Cavacini wishes the Shaler Area girls basketball team could have found a way into the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs.

The Titans were undone by a few slow starts and wrapped up their season 9-13 overall and 6-8 in section. Their section mark left them one game short of tying Fox Chapel for fourth place and the final playoff spot.

Cavacini, a senior guard, believes the Titans would have been a tough out.

“I think in the end, it was a good four years,” said Cavacini, who will play at Saint Vincent College next year. “I wish things had been better this year. I think we were honestly capable of making it and going a far way.”

The two losses that hurt Shaler the most were road setbacks against Butler and Fox Chapel in January. In each game, the Titans were slow to get started.

“I was proud of the way they fought,” Shaler coach Cornelious Nesbit said. “I thought we could have won and pulled out both of those games. We had a bad start in both games and were unable to recover.”

Shaler also had to try to navigate a section that included Norwin and North Allegheny, two of the top teams in the classification. Cavacini didn’t think the section’s makeup impacted things.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it was that difficult of a section,” Cavacini said. “We didn’t play the way we needed to play to win. We can’t make little mistakes and come out on top. If we don’t make mistakes, we could have won more games.”

Cavacini was one of three seniors on this year’s team along with Meghan Lacey and Claire Grunden. Nesbit believes they left a lot behind for other players to learn from.

“What they left for the younger players to look up to is dedication,” Nesbit said. “Any time there was an open gym or summer league game, they were there. They were always going to be prepared and be hard workers.”

Nesbit believes Shaler will have a core of players returning next year that can help the program move forward.

Freshmen Haley Kostorick and Mackenzie Barr both saw a lot of playing time. The Titans will also return five juniors — Audrey Fisher, Haliegh Meserve, Stephanie Le, Haley Sahr and Emilee Miller.

“We are going to count on the junior class to bring leadership,” Nesbit said. “We have a talented eighth grade class and are going to have a mix of older and younger players. We are also inheriting kids who don’t like losing, who you know are going to be competitive.”


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