The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published December 19, 2012

Bouncing Back
Seneca Valley finishes strong to wrap up victory over Pine-Richland

Derek Pyda
Butler Eagle

JACKSON TWP — Seneca Valley girls basketball coach Rob Lombardo knew the best way for his team to put last Thursday’s 74-30 loss at North Allegheny in the rear view mirror was to get a section win under its belt.

His players delivered it Monday night.
The Raiders managed a 6-0 run in the final 55 seconds to defeat Pine-Richland 52-46 at SV’s William F. Paul Gymnasium.
“You have a young team get knocked out on the road like we did at NA last week, it could have sucked the wind out of us,” said Lombardo. “But I told the girls that we have to protect our home (court). This win is a confidence-booster.”
Pine-Richland’s Marisa Hombosky hit a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left to tie the game at 46, but the Raiders immediately took the lead back when Abbie Trzeciak caught an inbound pass near mid-court and, with all five Rams defenders behind her, coasted to a layup and a 48-46 lead with 50 seconds remaining.
“We baited them (Rams) into that,” said Lombardo. “Earlier in the game, we had shown the same formation on an inbound pass, but this time, we sent Abbie behind the defense and the girls executed it perfectly.”
Pine-Richland (4-2, 1-1) turned its next possession over underneath its own basket. SV’s Hanna Parey and Meghan Hess both hit a pair of free throws with 22 and five seconds left, respectively, to ice the victory.
“We put them in specifically to get to the line,” said Lombardo. “We know who our top four free throw shooters are and they can make them at an 85 percent clip.”
As a team, the Raiders were 9-of-10 from the line in the fourth quarter.
“In close games, we talk about hitting our free throws and getting a couple of stops at the end on defense,” said Lombardo. “That’s exactly what we did tonight.”
After outscoring Seneca 15-7 in the third quarter, the Rams managed just five points in the final 4:50 of play.
“We missed a lot of shots tonight that we normally make,” said Rams coach Cliff Foster, a Knoch High graduate. “When our players are confident, we shoot and play well. But (SV) went to that 3-2 zone and we struggled against it. It slowed us down.”
SV (2-2, 1-1) opened up the game with an 8-0 run, but the Rams chipped away and held a slim 36-35 edge after three quarters.
“The mistakes we made tonight came because we are young,” said Lombardo. “But to see the girls battle through, it was great.”
SV’s Paige Montrose led all scorers with 15 points, Trzeciak had 14 and Melissa Carter chipped in with 11.
The Rams were led by nine points from Hombosky and Caitlin McMaster.

PINE-RICHLAND 46
Marisa Hombosky 2 4-4 9, Julia Frazier 2 1-3 6, Chelsea Rourke 2 3-6 7, Kaitlyn Jenkins 1 1-2 3, Hannah Fassler 0 4-4 4, Kati Altman 2 3-4 7, Maria Battaglia 0 1-4 1, Caitlin McMaster 3 0-0 9, Morgan Marek 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 17-27 46.
SENECA VALLEY 52
Abbie Trzeciak 4 6-6 14, Jane Vandrak 0 1-2 1, Hanna Parey 0 2-2 2, Meghan Hess 0 2-2 2, Alixis Roccia 2 0-0 4, Paige Montrose 6 3-5 15, Melissa Carter 5 1-1 11, Alexa Sisko 1 1-4 3, Kaitlyn Eagle 0 0-0 0, Katie Brown 0 0-0 0, Lexus Lambert 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 16-22 52.
Pine-Richland 8 13 15 10—46
Seneca Valley12 16 7 17—52
3-point goals: Pine-Richland 5 (McMaster 3, Frazier, Hombosky)
Thursday: Seneca Valley at Shaler