JACKSON TWP — Maddie Karchut doesn't believe anything changed or anything was necessarily wrong.
Shooting a basketball can result in odd bounces that appear to have a mind of their own. So the 6-foot-1 Seneca Valley senior forward wasn't bothered when she started 2-of-9 shooting Monday night at William Paul Gymnasium.
Karchut made her final six shot attempts, scoring 15 of her game-high 20 points in the second half of a 59-46 Section 1-6A girls basketball win over Butler.
“I think it's important for what happens in the first half to not dictate what happens in the second half,” Karchut said. “I know, myself, I expect contact a lot and I have to adjust to that.”
Butler (5-7, 2-5) forced all of the Raiders to adjust throughout the first half. The Tornado opened hot from behind the arc — shooting 6-of-13 in the first half — and led by as many as eight points.
A 3-pointer from Jordan Kauffman, who scored a team-high 17 points, gave Butler its largest lead, 15-7, with 2:58 left in the first half.
Hailey Metzger, who finished with 10 points, made a driving layup to put Butler ahead 25-17 with 1:54 left in the half.
“We shot well and moved the ball well in the first half,” Tornado coach Mark Maier said. “When they moved to the 3-2 and 1-2-2 zones, it slowed us down. We didn't move the ball well.”
Right after Metzger's basket is when Seneca Valley (8-4, 4-3) started its comeback. Olivia West made a jumper and Haley Cramer knocked down a trey at the buzzer to key a 5-0 run that foreshadowed an offensive outburst.
The Raiders blitzed the Tornado in the third quarter, shooting 10-of-15 from the field to double their point total and surge ahead 44-37. Seneca Valley made the comeback by clamping down on Butler's 3-point shooting, limiting the Tornado to 1-of-5 from beyond the arc in the third quarter.
“I think we played some zones where we stuck our longer-armed girls out there in the front and they were able to get those shooters,” Karchut said.
Raiders first-year coach Dorothea Epps, coaching for the first time against a program she collected 159 wins with, was proud of the energy after halftime.
“We thought they were too comfortable in their offensive sets,” Epps said. “We felt we needed to turn up our defense to force them into some turnovers. We tried to turn up our defense in the second half. It enabled us to find their shooters easier.”
Seneca Valley went ahead for good, 36-33, when Jaden Davinsizer made a 3-pointer with three minutes left in the third quarter. Davinsizer, who finished with 15 points, also heated up after halftime, scoring 13 in the second half. Jessica Bickart also reached double figures for Seneca Valley, finishing with 10 points.
The Raiders, who only attempted four free throws in the first half, attacked more aggressively to close the game and earned 10 trips to the line in the fourth quarter.
“It was a good team effort where girls were looking to take it to the basket and get foul calls,” Epps said. “That was something we hadn't been doing as much as I'd like. ”
Jordan Kauffman 6 0-0 17, Emma Lonteleone 2 0-0 4, Alison Altman 0 3-8 3, Hailey Metzger 4 1-2 10, Makenna Maier 3 1-1 8, Sarayne Forbes 1 0-0 2, Macklin Hanley 1 0-0 2, Aubree Tack 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 5-10 46.
SENECA VALLEY 59
Haley Cramer 2 1-3 6, Jaden Davinsizer 6 0-1 15, Jessica Bickart 4 2-4 10, Maddie Karchut 8 4-6 20, Olivia West 4 0-0 8, Kaitlyn Wolfe 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 7-14 59.
Butler 15 10 12 9 — 46
Seneca Valley11 11 22 15 — 59
3-point goals: Kauffman 5, Metzger, Maier; Davinsizer 2, Cramer
Thursday: Fox Chapel at Butler, North Hills at Seneca Valley