Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Team of the Week for week ending March 7, 2021

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Sunday, March 7, 2021 | 8:48 PM


After the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL girls basketball playoffs ends Monday, there will be two double-digit seeds left who are looking to be the Cinderella of the 2021 postseason.

The lowest seed alive is Beaver Falls.

The Tigers are the No. 14 seed and entered the postseason having lost seven of their final nine regular season games and had a record of 5-13.

“The mindset that we had coming into the playoffs is the same as it’s been all year: defense,” Beaver Falls coach Dom Henderson said. “I feel like we had turned the corner on how we play our defense with our communication.”

That defense was the key to Beaver Falls bouncing the No. 3 and No. 6 seeds in the first two rounds.

In the first round, the Tigers stunned Brentwood.

The Spartans won their first 12 games of the season, but Beaver Falls limited them to three third-quarter points in a 47-44 upset.

“The keys to the Brentwood game were playing together,” Henderson said. “I watched film on Brentwood and felt good about my team playing them because of how strong our section is”

The Tigers play in Section 1-3A, the same section that has four teams headed to the final four.

In the quarterfinals, Beaver Falls made the long trip to Greene County and knocked off Waynesburg, 39-36, in overtime.

The Tigers did not score in the first quarter, but a big second quarter gave them the lead going to halftime.

With the score tied after regulation, Beaver Falls outscored Waynesburg, 7-4, in overtime.

“Besides us starting very slow, our gameplan was simple,” Henderson said. “That was to make them beat us using all 94 feet of the court.”

In both games, the lone senior led the young Tigers in scoring. Macyla Collins scored 17 points against Brentwood and 14 against Waynesburg.

“Macyla has been what you expect out of a senior,” Henderson said. “We talked before the season about what was coming up, and she accepted the challenge. The biggest thing from the young players is that they accepted her leadership.”

The Beaver Falls defense is allowing less than 10 points a quarter this postseason.

“I do feel like we are playing some of our best defense right now collectively,” Henderson said. “We still have some things to fix, but I feel like we are getting better every day.”

Henderson, a standout athlete at Beaver Falls in the mid-2000s, is in his first year coaching the girls basketball team at his alma mater.

“We really didn’t have a true offseason due to the pandemic,” Henderson said. “So when we were about to get some types of workouts going, it had to be outside and we never had everyone at workouts.”

While many have been stunned by the Tigers’ postseason run, Henderson is not one of them.

“I expected them to compete. I felt all year that at times we played well and at times we played like we were a young team.”

Can the Tigers continue to shock the masses and reach the 3A title game? To do so, they would first have to beat defending champion Mohawk, a team Beaver Falls lost to twice this season by a combined 47 points.

“We have seen Mohawk twice, and they are a senior-heavy team with a lot of experience,” Henderson said. “We just have to play our basketball.”

2021 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Team of the Week:

Week 7 – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers

Week 6 – Oakland Catholic Eagles

Week 5 – Norwin Knights

Week 4 – Upper St. Clair Panthers

Week 3 – Armstrong River Hawks

Week 2 – Mohawk Warriors

Week 1 – Burgettstown Blue Devils

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