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PA. TOURNAMENT Grove City and Sharon defeated



Published: Thu, February 28, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Eagles lost to Villa Maria 56-47, while the Tigers were beaten by Mercyhurst Prep, 83-63.

By BILL ALBRIGHT

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

MEADVILLE -- Any way you look at it, Wednesday night was simply not a good one for the Grove City High and Sharon girls basketball teams.

After posting solid wins in the opening round of the District 10-AAA, Grove City fell 56-47 to Villa Maria in the opener of a twinbill, before Sharon was ambushed 83-63 by Mercyhurst Prep.

Sharon got off to a quick start on a basket by Gina Fragle and a 3-point goal by Erin Leyde, but during the final six minutes of the first period, the Lakers went on an 18-8 run and never looked back.

"That [tentative] is a kind word because I don't think we were focused and ready to play," said Sharon coach Mary Jo Staunch. "I thought we were sort of a step behind all night, but we didn't quit and I think that shows the kind of character these kids have. To tell you the truth, I don't really know what happened."

Freshmen stars: What happened to the Tigers was Prep's unleashing of its version of the "Fab Four" as four freshmen -- Chelsea Gordon, Erin Kerner, Erin Adam and Mashea Williams -- combined to score 57 points.

"Those two girls [Gordon and Williams] are real nice freshmen," said Staunch. "They are good athletes and they did an outstanding job inside."

One area where the Lakers (21-6) dominated the Tigers (22-4) rebounds, where they held a 51-35 edge. Williams pulled down 13 boards and Gordon added 11.

"We weren't rebounding and attacking, and we didn't get back [on defense] either," said Staunch. "Against a quality team like they are, you can't give them second and third shots every time down the floor.

"We knew what kind of team we were playing, but we simply didn't play the kind of basketball we are capable of playing."

Nicole Valentino who tried to keep the Tigers within striking distance, finishing with 20 points.

"She did a real nice job out there and she was trying real hard to get things going for us," said Staunch of Valentino. "We just couldn't get a combination going, and the reason we have been successful has been that three or four people step up every night to get the job done and tonight, that didn't happen."

Grove City: The Eagles led 4-0 early, but scored just six points the remainder of the first half. Trailing by as many as 11 points, Grove City (22-5) battled back to within a pair of the Victors (23-4) before running out of gas.

"Even though we threw the ball away and at times didn't get it into the hands of the right people, we gave ourselves a chance to win the game," said Grove City coach Roger Flynn.

Chelsea Smith led Grove City with 16 points, while Angela Burk added 12. For Villa Maria's Colleen Behringer had 16 points, including seven straight in the fourth quarter.

Sharon and Grove City will play for the fourth time this season, on Saturday in the consolation game. It will determine their seeding for the state playoffs.




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