The Tigers overcame an early deficit and took charge for the victory.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
SHARON, Pa. -- Sharon High's 58-46 win over Kennedy Catholic in girls basketball action Saturday was huge for the Tigers' program.
With Sharon holding a 12-10 lead late in the opening period, Kennedy Catholic (10-4) went on a 6-0 run to close out the first quarter for a 16-12 lead.
However, the Tigers (14-1) went to work on both ends of the floor as they scored eight unanswered points and 13 of the first 15 in the second quarter to open a 25-18 lead, and they never trailed again.
"Playing Kennedy and beating them here is a big step for our program," said Sharon coach Mary Jo Staunch. "I don't think we could have asked for a tougher game going into the stretch of games that count and really mean something to us."
Bell loops 16: One thing that made the victory even sweeter was the Tigers did it with leading scorer Julie Bell only showing four points in the first half. Bell, who finished with a game-high 16 points, picked up her third and fourth personal fouls inside two minutes of the third period and sat down for much of the third.
"This was another good experience for us with her being on the bench," said Staunch of her 6-1 senior. "Other kids had to step up, take control of the ball game and do some good things for us. Hopefully, we aren't going to be in that situation too often, but today, those other kids did an outstanding job for us."
Kennedy Catholic assistant coach Dr. Dave Fill, filling in for head coach Pat Mastrian who was missing due to a death in the family, was disappointed with the loss, but certainly not with the effort of his girls.
"We were missing a couple of our players for various reasons," said Fill. "We still thought we could compete with them and we did. We had some good looks at the hoop, but we just missed the shots."
Defense key: Fill also thought that Sharon's defensive effort was a key to its success.
"They did a good job of switching their defenses," said Fill. "They started in a 2-3 match-up [zone] before going to a man, and we weren't able to get in there and get some of those second and third shots."
Staunch also felt that the board work by her players was key to the win.
"We were only giving them one shot, and even though Julie wasn't in there, I thought all of the other kids, including the guards, did a nice job of rebounding," Staunch said.