Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Burrell Battled to the Finish in Semifinal Loss

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Burrell Battled to the Finish in Semifinal Loss

Article excerpt

The Burrell girls basketball team and its coaches were emotional at the conclusion of Tuesday night's PIAA Class AA semifinal against Seton-LaSalle.

Not so much because Burrell lost, 48-37, but moreso because the loss was the last time this group of Bucs would play together.

"It's not that we lost to that team, because you can't be upset with what we did," Burrell coach Meghan Ziemianski said. "The girls are just upset because of the finality of it all."

The loss ended the best season in the history of the program.

Burrell (28-2) went through the regular season undefeated, the only WPIAL girls basketball team to accomplish the feat.

Along the way, Burrell had to survive some close calls, such a 10- point win against Class AAAA Seneca Valley in which the Bucs trailed, 17-2. The Bucs also rallied for a 63-61 victory against Mount Pleasant at the Westmoreland County Hoopfest. The Vikings tied for the Class AAA Section 3 title this season with Indiana, another Burrell victim this season.

Burrell continued its winning ways in the first three rounds of the WPIAL tournament, defeating Shenango, 68-25, McGuffey, 79-68, and Greenburg Central Catholic, 51-47, to advance to the WPIAL title game for the first time in school history.

But Burrell's unbeaten run came to end in the district championship, as Seton-LaSalle forced 24 turnovers in a 55-34 victory for the Rebels.

"They're so athletic," Ziemianski said. "We can tell [our players] to ball fake, we can tell them the whole game plan. But it's a different scenario when you're out there."

But Burrell rebounded in the state tournament, defeating Clarion- Limestone, Bellwood Antis and General McLane to reach the Class AA Final Four, where again it faced the Rebels.

Seton-LaSalle came out smoking Tuesday, hitting 8 of 13 shots in the first quarter to take a 19-5 lead. Burrell actually outscored Seton-LaSalle by three points the rest of the way, as Sydney Bordonaro scored 15 of her team-high 17 points in the final three quarters. …

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