By Jim Hunter
There was a lockdown at Saegertown High School on Saturday night.
After watching Meadville’s sophomore sensation Kiashiah Newsome score 13 of the Lady Bulldogs’ 15 first-half points, Saegertown coach Steve Scott put the handcuffs on her in the second half by limiting her to only three points as the Panthers captured their 54th Annual Elks Holiday Tournament championship with a hard-fought 40-30 win.
Unable to contain Newsome’s offensive game, Saegertown only led 17-15 at halftime. Sinking two 3-pointers, Newsome scored all nine of the Lady Bulldogs’ second-quarter points.
Scott had seen enough. The halftime session was centered around shutting down Newsome in the second half.
“We were running by her in the first half, allowing her to get open shots,” he said. “In the second half, we stayed in front of her and she had a difficult time getting free. She is one heck of a player.”
Despite winning the tournament championship, Scott was in no mood to celebrate.
His star point guard Rebecca Siple went down with a severe foot injury late in the fourth quarter and was reportedly getting a MRI afterwards.
“At this time, I am really concerned about Becca’s injury,” he said. “Not a good time, just getting ready to get into league action.”
Siple took two trophies with her to the hospital — an all-tournament selection and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
After scoring 18 points in Saegertown’s 65-34 victory over Titusville in the opening round, the Lady Panthers’ sparkplug netted a game-high 11 against Meadville.
Siple opened the game with a bang — draining a 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead. A lead SHS didn’t relinquish.
Staying within striking distance, Meadville had opportunities in the second quarter to overtake Saegertown, but the ball didn’t go in the hoop.
After Newsome connected on a 3-pointer to get the Lady Bulldogs within 17-15, the MASH unit had three shots at tying or overtaking the lead from Saegertown, but came up empty.
Junior Carley Glatch misfired on a 3-point attempt and both Newsome and Marcardi McCoy missed free throws.
Picking up the pace offensively and holding Newsome in-check, Saegertown took control of the game in the opening six minutes of the third quarter by outscoring Meadville, 12-2 to take a 29-17 lead.
Mikayla Newman and Victoria Eckart each scored four points and Sadie Mondi bombed in a 3-pointer.
Meadville closed to within 33-26 as McCoy scored on two consecutive offensive rebounds, but Saegertown stretched its lead to double digits again as Newman sank two free throws and reserve Lauren Posego canned an eight-footer to give the Lady Panthers a 37-26 lead with 2:38 left in the game.
Game Notes: Saegertown’s Newman and Eckart just missed double figures with nine points apiece ... McCoy also hit double digits for Meadville with 12. She also cleaned the glass with a game-high 19 rebounds ... Joining Siple on the all-tournament team were teammate Newman, Newsome, Breanna Klenz of North East and Shannon Moore of Titusville.