PIAA GIRLS' BASKETBALL: L-L teams hungry for more wins - LancasterOnline: Sports

PIAA GIRLS' BASKETBALL: L-L teams hungry for more wins

Solanco, Crusaders, beavers in 2nd round

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Posted: Monday, March 12, 2012 11:14 pm | Updated: 7:42 pm, Thu Sep 12, 2013.

The high school spring sports season is set to begin in the next week.

Not that that's of any interest to three Lancaster-Lebanon League girls' basketball teams - Lancaster Catholic, Solanco and Lebanon Catholic - which will be trying to extend their winter seasons in the next two days.

In Tuesday night's second round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs, Solanco (23-5), District Three's fourth seed, will take on District One No. 7 seed Cheltenham (25-3) at Reading High School's Geigle Complex at 5 p.m.

The second round in Classes AAA and A begins Wednesday, when reigning District Three champion Lancaster Catholic (27-3) will square off against District 11 third seed Southern Lehigh (24-4) at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School in Shillington at 6 p.m.

Reigning District Three champion Lebanon Catholic (20-6) will face District Two champ Old Forge (18-6) Wednesday in a Class A second-round game at Hazleton Area High School at 7:30 p.m.

Coming off a 46-39 opening-round victory over Philadelphia Central last Friday - Solanco's first PIAA playoff win in program history - the Golden Mares will face a PIAA playoff stalwart in Cheltenham, which has two state titles to its credit (2000 and '07), and reached the semifinals in 2009 and the quarterfinals in 2010.

Solanco, which never survived the first round of the District Three playoffs until this year, will counter with an attack led by the inside-outside duo of point guard Makenzie Keys (12.3 ppg) and center Gillian Glackin (14.7).

A perennial PIAA contender in its own right - having won state titles in 1974, '89 and '96 - Lancaster Catholic's biggest assignment Wednesday could be handling Southern Lehigh's 6-foot-1 senior forward/center Bridgette Dougherty (15.6 ppg), who is a West Point recruit. Dougherty is averaging 19.2 points per game in the Spartans' last nine outings.

Southern Lehigh's offense is also fueled by 5-10 guard/forward Madelene McDonald (11.3 ppg) and guards Julia Nemeth (5.1) and Melann Amory (4.9). Amory has 28 3-pointers this season and is shooting 42 percent from behind the arc.

In addition to its traditional assortment of full-court, trapping presses - which have held their opponents to an average of 43.3 ppg this season - the Crusaders will counter with a well-rounded offense fueled by speedy point guard Porscha Speller (17.5 ppg), guards Danielle Atkinson (12.7) and Alyssa Aichele (4.7), forward Amy Balasavage (6.1) and center Emily Martin (10.1).

Finally, with two Class A state titles under its belt (1992 and '95), Lebanon Catholic is no stranger to these playoffs, either.

Wednesday, the Beavers will face an Old Forge team that's limited its opponents to 30 points or less 17 times this season, including seven times in its last eight games.

That might be a tougher task against a well-rounded, senior-laden Lebanon Catholic offense, which is powered by guards Stevie Fortna (17.2 ppg) and Kate Pastal (12.4), and forward Abby Shay (10.5).


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