The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published December 24, 2012

Defense rules in Mars’ victory

Derek Pyda
Butler Eagle

BUFFALO TWP — Tony Howard loves to see his team play solid defense.

Mars’ girls basketball coach got a good dose of it Thursday night.
The Planets held host Freeport to single digits in three of four quarters as Mars rolled to a 58-32 victory. It was the Section 1-AAA opener for the Planets.
While Mars’ offense was up and down throughout the evening, the defense proved steady the entire game.
“We know we’re going to miss shots and there will be turnovers,” said Howard. “We tell the girls not to worry about that. Go out and do what you do best, which is play defense. It’s been very good so far this season.”
When things got shaky for the offense, sophomore Sara Getsy was able to steady the ship. Her game-high 21 points included four 3-pointers, including two in the third quarter to help keep the Yellowjackets at bay.
“She hit some big baskets off the bench for us last year,” Howard said of Getsy. “Now she’s a starter and when she’s shooting the ball like she was tonight, it makes us really tough to defend.”
Freeport’s best player, senior forward Jessica Aulicino, picked up her third personal foul with 4:55 left in the second period and did not play for the duration of the first half. In that span, Mars’ edge grew from 18-10 to 29-12.
Aulicino did return in the second half, scoring 11 points in the third quarter and ending the game with a team-high 15, but her absence was felt by the Yellowjackets.
“It’s no secret, she’s our catalyst,” said Freeport coach Paul Sylba. “With her on the bench, it only helps the other team.”
Freeport (3-3, 2-1) was hindered by 34 turnovers, many caused by a hustling Mars defense.
“We knew we would be facing some good teams, moving up to (Class) AAA and Mars is definitely a contender in this section,” added Sylba. “They have a model program.”
Ali Goetz scored 12 points for Mars (3-3, 1-0) and Teresa Dallatore had 11.
“Over the last week, we’ve settled into a good rotation,” said Howard. “Our starting lineup may change depending on matchups, but we’re confident with a rotation of nine girls.”

Teresa Dallatore 4 1-2 11, Alyssa Mathews 1 0-2 3, Daniella Paras 0 2-2 2, Paige Castora 2 0-0 4, Gabby Kosobucki 1 0-0 2, Jessica Bunner 1 1-2 3, Ali Goetz 3 6-8 12, Sara Getsy 7 3-6 21, Bonnie Workman 0 0-0 0, Lexie Mowery 0 0-0 0, Elyssa Paras 0 0-0 0, Bri Buzard 0 0-0 0, Elise Sheehy 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 13-22 58.
Zoe Sollis 0 1-2 1, Nicole Miller 1 0-2 2, Macy Smolic 1 2-2 4, Carly Vantine 1 0-0 2, Jessica Aulicino 4 7-10 15, Michaela Bowser 4 0-0 8, Megan Minyon 0 0-0 0, Haley Conner 0 0-0 0, Alicia Grabiec 0 0-0 0, Erica Jack 0 0-0 0, Megan Manke 0 0-0 0, Amanda Gomez 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 10-16 32.
Mars 18 11 13 16—58
Freeport4 8 14 6—32
3-point goals: Mars 7 (Getsy 4, Dallatore 2, Mathews)
Thursday: Mars Christmas Tournament; Freeport at Riverview Tournament