Defense, defense, defense.
That is the focus for head coach Sarah Jay and the General McLane girls basketball team as the Lady Lancers go up against WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin in the second round of the PIAA Class AA basketball playoffs today at 6 p.m. at Sharon High School.
The Crusaders (23-4) have a scoring threat at all five positions, which means, “Everyone is going to have to play defense,” said coach Jay. “We’ll press and try to get them to turn the ball over. They set really good screens, so we’re going to have to switch and we’re really going to have to talk. It’s going to require an excellent defensive effort.”
Bishop Canevin won this year’s WPIAL championship with a 56-47 win over Seton LaSalle, a team that had beaten the Crusaders twice during the regular season.
Canevin junior Johnie Olkasky led the Crusaders in the championship game with 26 points, knocking down seven 3-pointers. Her backcourt effort was bolstered by the efforts of a pair of 5-10 senior in Carly Forse (14 points) and Celine DiPietro (10 points).
“They have size,” said Jay. “And that’s what probably worries me the most. We don’t have much size. And their size can go out and shoot the 3. They’re not like a pound-it-in type of team. They can shoot.”
Canevin’s size once again played a role in its 51-37 victory over Westmont Hilltop in the first round of the state playoffs. Forse — a Point Park College recruit — led the way with a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double. And Duquesne recruit Erin Waskowiak — the tallest member of the team at 5-11 and considered the Crusaders’ best player — rang up 17 points.
“We’ve lived on our stop-their-leading-scorer type of defense,” said Jay. “We’ll try to contain (Waskowiak). But who I have guarding her, she doesn’t have size, so we might have to get out of that. We’ll have to switch a lot on screens. And the girls have to know, if we switch and you end up on their best player you have to ‘D’ up on her.
“But we’ll also have to worry about Forse. Then we’ll have to worry about DiPietro,” said Jay. “Their starting five are all solid. And they have three 3-point shooters who are equally capable of making four or more in a game. No one can relax on defense.”
The Lancers (23-3) will also have to find some time to score some hoops of their own. And they’ve certainly got some girls up to the task, like sophomore guard Michelle Jahn (13.0 points per game), senior guard/forward Lindsey Jahn (10.9 ppg.), senior guard Katie Clark (9.4 ppg.) and junior guard Katie Rodrigues (8.3 ppg.).
Each of those players scored their average in this past Friday’s 51-34 win over Jeannette in the state playoff’s first round. Michelle Jahn scored 12 points. Lindsey Jahn had 10. Clark scored nine and Rodrigues eight.
Another offensive performance like that would help, but only if the Lancers can step it up on the other side of the ball.
“At this point in season you know you’re going to be playing good teams,” said Jay. “It’s going to take an effort like this every night. And I think our girls are up to the challenge.”
Defense, defense, defense.
Lynn leads Bulldogs over visiting Beavers
“It’s a good thing we have that little break for Easter,” said Meadville track and field coach Carl Roznowski. “That should give her a chance to rest up those muscles.”
Roznowski is talking about Bulldogs junior Jordan Lynn, who was a busy lady on Wednesday as the MASH boys and girls squads took on Corry in a Region 3 meet at the Barco-Duratz Athletic Complex.
Panthers stay unbeaten with win over Blue Devils
Saegertown’s run to the District 10 boys volleyball championship a year ago was anything but easy.
Needless to say, the Panthers have a little experience when it comes to dealing with tribulations. The Panthers put that experience to good use on Wednesday night in a Region 1 showdown.
Selig calls replay start ‘remarkable’
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks.
While baseball began video review late in the 2008 season, it was limited to potential home runs and boundary calls. The new system that began March 30 vastly expands the types of plays that managers and umpires can ask to be reviewed at a replay center in New York.
Cardinals roll to a sweep of Eagles
The match only lasted three games, but Logan Herzberger still found the time to post a double-double, notching 14 kills and 18 digs while the Cochranton volleyball team swept Conneaut 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 during Region 1 action on Tuesday.
Unbeaten Panthers need five games to top Bulldogs
Through the first four games, there was no telling which team was undefeated and which team had only one win entering Monday night’s Region 1 volleyball clash between Meadville and Saegertown.
By the fifth and deciding game, the cream rose to the top.
Ogwumike goes No. 1
It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun.
Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.
Watson pulls away at Augusta to win second green jacket
One of golf’s most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That’s just fine with Bubba Watson.
All he cared about was slipping into that green jacket.
Instead of hitting a 40-yard hook out of a forest of Georgia pines — the signature shot in his playoff victory two years ago — the final act Sunday at Augusta National took place on the 18th green. Watson had a three-shot lead and consulted with his caddie on a 15-foot birdie putt.
Harvick survives shootout for win at Darlington
Kevin Harvick used one of the few weekend missteps to pull out his first Darlington victory.
Harvick was among several veteran drivers fighting for the Nationwide Series win Friday night when rookie Chase Elliott used fresher tires and a strong machine to move from the back of the pack to first place over the final two laps.
Spezza lifts Senators to SO win over Penguins
Jason Spezza scored in the shootout to help the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night and finish the season on a five-game winning streak.
The teams were tied 2-2 after two periods and didn’t score in the third or overtime.
Brewers sweep Pirates, win ninth straight
Kyle Lohse was eager to top his Milwaukee teammates.
He sure came close.
Lohse came within an out of a complete game, and the Brewers won their ninth straight with a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
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