BP beats Lebo, 52-38
BP beats Lebo in first of two key section battles
Desperate for a victory that would put the team back in contention for the Section 4-AAAA title, Bethel Park defeated Mt. Lebanon, 52-38, Monday, Jan. 27 in girls’ basketball.
“Our backs were up against the wall,” explained BP floor boss Jonna Burke. “We had to win if we wanted to have any chance at being in first and possibly winning this section.”
With the win, the Lady Hawks moved into first place with an 8-1 record. Overall, BP is 14-1. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils slipped to 7-1 in the league. They are 12-4 overall.
“We still have to go over there and play them Saturday,” Burke noted of the Lebo rematch set for 2:30 p.m. Feb. 1.
After winning 10 straight games, Baldwin tripped up BP, 45-34, back on Jan. 13, forcing the Lady Hawks into their must-win situation against Lebo.
Mia Mattes, however, put the Lady Hawks back in the driver’s seat. The junior guard scored 13 points.
After her seven first-half points, including a pivotal 3-pointer, vaulted BP into the lead, 20-16, Mattes ignited the Lady Hawks in the second half. By converting steals into fast-break layups, she helped BP stretch its margin to 40-28 with 5:37 to play.
“Mia really stepped up. She’s one of those kids who come through in the big moment and makes the big shot. She can drive and really get in there and push it,” said Burke.
“That’s what we needed. We needed somebody to open things up, get the transition game going and push it because Lebo is so good on defense that it is really hard to score points against their half-court pressure.”
Sami Simpson and Shannon Conley notched their share of points, particularly during a fourth-quarter uprising. In the span, BP outscored the Blue Devils, 20-10.
Simpson equaled Mattes’ output of 13 points while Conley finished with 12 tallies. Both pumped in six points in the fourth frame. Simpson’s back-to-back hoops provided BP’s first 14-point margin, 46-32, with 3:30 to play.
“Sami is one of our veterans and she really stepped up and hit the shots. She really was aggressive inside and getting the offensive boards we needed.
“Shannon is just a sophomore but she’s a smart player,” Burke added. “She, too, came up with some big shots.”
BP came up big at the charity stripe. The Lady Hawks converted all 13 of their attempts from the foul line, including a pair of free throws from Harper Zimmer that sealed the victory with 31.9 seconds to play. Zimmer finished with six markers.
The contest appeared to stack up as a defensive struggle as Lebo did not score until 1:45 remained in the first frame. Madeleine Collins buried a 3-pointer, edging the Blue Devils into the lead, 3-2. Collins finished with 10 tallies while Margie McCaffrey and Christine Ehland each tossed in eight points.
“We’ve been in a variety of games. We’ve run the gamut, from a lot of close games, to being up and down and coming back,” explained Burke. “I think at this point in the season we have a lot of experience now. We’re a seasoned team.”
After a visit to Chartiers Valley on Feb. 3, BP completes section action hosting the Highlanders at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6.
Lebo meanwhile hosts Chartiers Valley Jan. 30 before the rematch with the Lady Hawks. The Blue Devils visit Baldwin Feb. 3 and conclude section action at home against Upper St. Clair at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6.
Canon-McMillan dropped a 43-34 decision to Baldwin while Chartiers Valley toppled Peters Township, 45-40, in other Section 4-AAAA play.
Danielle Parker and Olivia Lorusso scored eight points each for the Lady Macs.
Lauren Herron (14) and Jenna Devinney (10) triggered the Colts’ win while Madison Kerr and Alyssa Konopka led the way for PT with 16 and 14 markers.
While South Fayette dispatched Quaker Valley, 44-27, in Section 5-AAA play, Bishop Canevin downed Chartiers-Houston, 64-42, in Section 4-AA action.
Min Wells led the Lady Lions with 10 tallies.
Johnie Olkosky fired in 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Lady Crusaders. Gina Vallercorsa and Erin Joyce followed with 15 and 12 tallies.
For the Buccaneers, Jalynn Myers was tops with 17 points.