Peters Twp Dashes Playoff Hopes Of Canon-Mac With Upset
Entering Thursday night’s MSA Sports & Quad-A Conference Girls Basketball Game of the Week, the scenario was simple for Canon-McMillan to make the playoffs. A Big Macs win, coupled with a Baldwin loss at Bethel Park, would earn Canon-McMillan a post-season berth. As it turned out, neither happened as Peters Township upset the Big Macs, 42-30, and the Highlanders knocked off the Black Hawks on the road, 63-61, giving Baldwin the fourth and final playoff spot in Section 4-AAAA and leaving Canon-McMillan out in the cold.
Even though Peters Township had already been eliminated from the playoff race, the Indians played with purpose and poise and took an 11-7 lead in the first quarter on the strength of sophomore Madison Kerr. The young forward scored all 11 of PT’s points to jump start the upset minded Indians in the first quarter. By late in the first period, Canon-McMillan began to settle in thanks in part to the rebounding and passing of 5-10 senior Olivia Lorusso. Setting up players like junior Danielle Parker with crisp passes near the cylinder, Lorusso helped the Big Macs to an 11-1 run and 18-12 halftime lead. Parker scored 11 points in the first half and finished with 14 on the night. Lorusso scored nine points for CM.
Holding Peters Township without a field goal for over 14 straight minutes of game action from the end of the first period until the 2:40 mark of the third, the Big Macs stretched their lead out to 22-13 early in the second half. With slashing moves toward the bucket, Kerr and freshman Alyssa Konopka drew fouls from the Big Macs and earned numerous free-throws opportunities to help PT inch back into the game as the Indians evened the score, 24-24, with 56 seconds left in the third quarter.
Konopka scored eight points, all from the charity stripe in the comeback effort, and Kerr netted a game-high 26 points and converted 12 of 16 free-throw attempts. For her efforts, Kerr was named the Quad-A Network’s Player of the Game. Collectively, the Indians connected on 22 of 30 attempts from the free-throw line while the Big Macs had just eight attempts at the stripe, converting on five.
In the fourth quarter, the Indians continued to ride their free-throw shooting wave and outscored CM 18-5 in the final stanza to close out the upset win, 42-30. Peters Township stymied Canon-McMillan in the second half and held the Big Macs without a field goal for over eight straight minutes, from the 2:30 mark of the third quarter until a Cheyenne Trest jumper with two remaining in the game. (Click here to hear a post-game interview with Peters Township head coach Bert Kendell.)
For Peters Township, the win snaps a four-game losing streak and improves the Indians record to 7-14 overall and 2-10 in Section 4-AAAA. With its playoff hopes dashed Canon-McMillan falls to 8-13 overall and 4-8 in section play. Canon Mac has now lost five of its last six games.
The Indians round out the season with a visit to Fox Chapel on Monday at 6:00 pm. The Big Macs conclude their campaign with a visit to South Fayette on Monday at 7:00 pm.
Hempfield at Kiski Area Game Summary
|SCORE BY QUARTERS||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||FINAL|
Kiski Area - none in double figures