Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Section Is a Tougher Home for Ef Girls

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Section Is a Tougher Home for Ef Girls

Article excerpt

Elizabeth Forward returns three starters from last season's 17-8 campaign, when the girls' basketball Warriors won the Section 3-AAA championship. Despite a solid nucleus of returnees, EF might have a difficult time taking another section title because it was moved to 4-AAA. This section appears to be stronger than the Warriors' section of the previous two years.

Section 4-AAA teams such as West Mifflin and Thomas Jefferson are usually stronger than the teams that EF (3-3, 0-1) faced in section play last season. West Mifflin (3-3, 1-0) and TJ (3-2, 1-0) also have most of their lineups back from last season. West Mifflin eliminated EF from the first round of the playoffs last season.

"We've played West Mifflin, TJ, Steel Valley and KO [Keystone Oaks] pretty much in the past," EF coach John Hearn said. "The only one that we haven't played is Char Valley, but I know they are very good. They play intense defense."

Chartiers Valley, a PIAA qualifier last season, has also been moved to 4-AAA after a 20-win campaign in Class AAAA. Waynesburg has also been moved to 4-AAA.

The Warriors got off to a rocky start in section play Monday, losing, 50-42, at Keystone Oaks (2-4, 1-0) which had only one victory prior to this contest.

"In this section, you have to play your best every game in order to make the playoffs," Hearn said. "We have kids who compete hard for 32 minutes. They come to make you play. Even when our kids fall behind, they don't quit. They keep coming after people. This tells me that they won't ever give up."

This never-say-die attitude paid off during a 59-58 non-section win against Yough Dec. 8. The Warriors trailed by five points with about three minutes left in this game.

"We try to be consistent defensively, changing things up [with different zones]," Hearn said. "We try to take away the other team's different strengths. …

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