Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Time Finally Runs out for Moon and Defense

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Time Finally Runs out for Moon and Defense

Article excerpt

For the third consecutive season, the Moon Area girls were the last WPIAL team standing in the PIAA Class AAA playoffs.

This is small consolation for the Tigers (23-7), who almost upset heavily favored Mercyhurst Prep in the PIAA quarterfinals last Saturday at Westminster College. Moon lost, 27-26, to a team that won the PIAA Class AAAA title last season and has three major college recruits: Chelsea Gordon, Mashea Williams and Erin Kerner. This trio was collectively held to 16 points.

However, limiting opposing offense has been Moon's trademark all season. Moon was 17-2 when it held an opponent to 40 points or less. Moon used that formula to get past Hickory, 42-34, and Punxsutawney, 42-35, in the first two rounds of the PIAA.

"We play great team defense in the half-court, but our game plan [against Mercyhurst Prep] was to also limit their possessions on offense," coach Tom Szczepankowski said. "We felt the best way to do that was to take as much time off the clock and be patient each time we had it.

"We thought we did a pretty good job of executing that. We tried to slow it down because they are so good getting out on the open court. We made them work on defense and I'm very proud that we were able to hold them to 27 points. What gets overlooked a lot because of how talented their players are offensively, but Mercyhurst Prep is also a great defensive team. They are by far the best defensive team we played all year."

Moon was the surprise winner of the WPIAL championship this season, its second district title in four years. The team's continued success through the PIAA playoffs has become commonplace over the past five years.

Moon is the only WPIAL Class AAA girls' team to win at least one state playoff game every season since 2001.

"We had a great season," Szczepankowski said. "It hurts now to lose a close game of that magnitude because it's so hard to get this far in the state tournament.

"You need a lot of breaks and a lot of things go your way and you have to be playing your best ball of the year. But it's been so much fun. It's been a great group of kids that just worked so hard. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.