CRANBERRY TWP — Freeport's offense hit its stride for two impressive spurts during Monday's girls basketball game at North Catholic.
The Trojanettes overcame the first and withstood the second on their way to a 61-42 Section 1-4A victory that kept North undefeated.
“Are we where we need to be,” asked North coach Molly Rottmann. “No. We still have a lot of work to do, but I like the maturation I'm seeing in the girls.”
Freeport jumped out to a 6-2 lead and, after the Trojanettes tied the game at 8-all, Melaina Dezort drained a trey to put the Yellowjackets up 11-8.
Rottmann called a timeout so her team could, as she put it, settle down.
“We weren't taking advantage of our big girl inside (6-1 senior forward Sarah Berardelli). I have no problem with pushing the pace on defense, but we needed to settle down on offense.
“Freeport's a scrappy team. We expect them to come ready to play.”
Following the timeout, the Trojanettes (7-0, 3-0) went on a 16-0 run, fueled by baskets from Tess Myers, Kylee Lewandowski and Berardelli.
Louisa Fennell halted the run with a 3-pointer for Freeport, but the Trojanettes still held a healthy 39-18 edge at halftime.
“I don't think they expected us to come in and punch 'em in the mouth and take a lead like we did,” said Freeport coach Fred Soilis. “North Catholic is a tough team to compete against. They have five good players and we have five good players, but we just aren't at their level right now.”
The 'Jackets' second rush came at the start of the final period. Trailing 52-31, they dropped an 11-2 run that included two more treys from Fennell and a bucket from Samantha Clark that cut North's lead to 54-42 with 3:40 left in the game.
“That's the effort we're looking for,” said Soilis. “If we can put that effort into our performance every night, we'll be fine.
“There's no need for us to hang our heads.”
North ended Freeport's hopes by holding the 'Jackets scoreless down the stretch.
The Trojanettes held Freeport senior swing player Sidney Shemanski scoreless with few shot attempts. She just recently returned to the court following an illness.
Fennell paced Freeport (5-4, 3-1) with 12 points, Dezort scored 11 and Maddie Clark 10.
All of Fennell's points came on four treys.
“She's done that in a couple of games this year, come in and hit some big shots,” said Soilis.
Myers led all scorers with 21 points and added 10 boards. Lewandowski contributed 16 points and eight boards and Belle O'Hara tallied eight points and 11 rebounds.
The spread-out rebounding is a welcomed site for Rottmann after the graduation of last year's top player on the glass, Dani Short.
“Cassie Foster is getting in there, too,” said Rottmann. “Our rebounding has been good. I like where we are.”
Harley Holloway 0 2-4 2, Samantha Clark 2 0-0 4, Maddie Clark 5 0-0 10, Melaina Dezort 5 0-0 11, Louisa Fennell 4 0-0 12, Grace Soilis 1 0-0 3, Sidney Shemanski 0 0-0 0, Leah Hartman 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 2-4 42.
NORTH CATHOLIC 61
Emma Pospisil 1 2-2 4, Cassie Foster 0 2-2 2, Kylee Lewandowski 6 0-1 16, Lucy Waskiewicz 1 0-0 3, Tess Myers 10 0-0 21, Belle O'Hara 3 2-2 8, Sarah Berardelli 3 1-2 7, Branygan Bianchin 0 0-0 0, Dacia Lewandowski 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 7-9 61.
Freeport 11 7 13 11 — 42
North Catholic19 20 13 9 — 61
3-point goals: Freeport 6 (Fennell 4, Dezort, Soilis). North Catholic 6 (K. Lewandowski 4, Myers, Waskiewicz).
Saturday: Chartiers Valley at North Catholic
Monday: Freeport at Apollo-Ridge