End of the road
Mars girls end basketball season with 56-31 playoff loss Wednesday
Butler Eagle
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February 25, 2013
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Mars’ Ali Goetz (23) tries a shot with Elizabeth Forward’s Dana Buck (33) defending during the Planets’ 56-31 WPIAL Class AAA girls basketball tournament loss Wednesday night at Plum High School.

PLUM — It had been a month since the Mars girls basketball team played a game decided by fewer than 17 points.

It had been 13 days since the Planets had played a game of any kind.

The rust showed.

Mars never got untracked, fell behind by 10 just five minutes into the game under a sea of turnovers and never recovered in a 56-31 loss to Elizabeth Forward in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs at Plum High School Wednesday night.

“Game speed and game condition was a concern,” said Mars coach Tony Howard. “We haven’t played a meaningful game in more than a month. You worry about that.”

Howard tried to simulate what his team would see against the Warriors, scheduling a pair of scrimmages over the course of the last 13 days.

But he admitted it wasn’t the same.

“That’s a good team,” Howard said of Elizabeth Forward. “They are the No. 5 seed for a reason. Twenty wins don’t grow on trees. It’s hard to simulate that. It’s hard to simulate their size and speed.”

Mars trailed 15-5 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter and 29-13 at the half.

At one point in the second half, Mars had more turnovers (22) than points (21) and trailed by 26.

Elizabeth Forward (20-2) was coming off a 25-point loss to South Park nine days ago in the regular-season finale.

The Warriors’ defense, though, bounced back from that lopsided loss in a big way, said coach Sam Kosanovich.

“We like to play defense and defense is what has carried us this season,” Kosanovich said. “That set a little bit of a tone for us and got us moving.”

Mars (15-8) did a good job breaking Elizabeth Forward’s press, but once the Planets got into a half-court set, they mishandled the ball.

Warrior guards Abbey Sporio and Alison Pastore were aggressive and strong.

“Their guards were quick and strong,” Howard said. “That’s what I’ve learned in my short tenure as coach — if you have strong, fast guards you can give some teams some trouble.”

Sophomore guard Jess Bunner had a strong game for Mars.

“Jess has played great for us all year,” Howard said. “She hasn’t had the scoring numbers — she sacrificed that a little bit. I put her on the best offensive girl every single night. I think going forward, she’s going to be a contributor on the offensive end, double digits every night.”

Ali Goetz, another sophomore guard, scored 15 points to lead the Planets. More than half of those points, though, came in the fourth quarter.

“I can’t say enough about Ali and what she has done for the program,” Howard said. “We have a nice strong foundation coming back.”


Sara Getsy 3-9 0-0 6, Teresa Dallatore 2-5 0-0 4, Jess Bunner 2-4 2-4 6, Alyssa Mathews 0-1 0-0 0, Ali Goetz 6-12 2-7 15, Daniella Paras 0-0 0-0 0, Elyssa Paras 0-0 0-0 0, Paige Castora 0-1 0-0 0, Gabby Kosobucki 0-3 0-0 0, Bonnie Workman 0-1 0-0 0, Elise Sheehy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-36 4-11 31.


Alison Pastore 4-10 0-1 8, Abbey Sporio 4-6 0-3 8, Jessica Palady 1-3 0-0 2, Breaonna Brinson 0-0 0-0 0, Sarah Lavelle 0-0 0-0 0, Natalie Fekula 4-9 0-0 8, Kylie Owoc 3-8 0-0 6, Macy Pekala 1-1 0-0 3, Dana Buck 2-5 0-0 4, Andrea Paterra 0-2 0-0 0, Justice Mitchell 0-1 1-2 1, Olivia Barkley 7-12 2-2 16. Totals: 26-57 3-8 56.

Mars 6 7 8 10—31

Eliz. Forward17 12 14 13—56

3-point goals: Mars 1 (Goetz). Elizabeth Forward 1 (Pekala)