Shaler girls look to regain momentum once playoffs start

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Sunday, February 21, 2021 | 9:01 AM


Filling time between the final regular season game and the start of the WPIAL Class 6A girls basketball playoffs required some guesswork for Shaler coach Cornelious Nesbit.

The Titans can’t improve their seed because the team was shut down for covid-19 related issues in the school district. Shaler’s last game was a 55-49 Section 1-6A loss Feb. 9 at Penn-Trafford.

Nesbit had to do some guesswork to know what to prepare for next, as the Titans opted into the playoffs. So he and his three assistant coaches picked eight teams he thought they could play, and each took two teams to prepare for.

“We’ve started to look at the teams we might get in the first round,” Nesbit said. “Hopefully, we picked the right eight teams.”

The stoppage came at a tough time for Shaler (4-9, 4-6). The Titans had started to turn a corner.

After losing four straight, Shaler clobbered North Hills and Seneca Valley before losing close contests to Bethel Park and Penn-Trafford.

“It hurts more when you are starting to play really good basketball,” Nesbit said. “You want to carry the momentum into the playoffs. We’ve been on the girls to stay in shape, work on handling the basketball and doing film study.”

In Shaler’s most recent contest against the Warriors, the Titans demonstrated their emerging balance. Shaler built an eight-point lead before allowing it to slip away in the fourth quarter when Penn-Trafford rallied to outscore the Titans 23-9.

Audrey Fisher led the Titans with 17 points, while sophomore guard Haley Kostorick added 12 points, and Hilary Quinn scored 11. Haley Sahr led Shaler with 10 rebounds.

“They are starting to understand spacing and timing to use a ball screen,” Nesbit said. “They understand the options in the system. They can read things and move from Option A to Option B to Option C.”

Nesbit hopes the Titans can recapture the spark they had before the team was put on pause.

“One of the biggest reasons is our kids are starting to figure out how to run the offense and make good decisions,” Nesbit said. “They are starting to understand the offensive and defensive philosophies.”

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