Lady Dawgs pound Miners
Published: February 7, 2013
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HEGINS - Tri-Valley can play basketball at any pace.
When the Dawgs are running and in transition, they're at their best.
If an opponent plays at the Dawgs' pace, it can end up being overwhelming.
The second quarter of the Dawgs' 76-48 win over Minersville in a Schuylkill League Division II girls' basketball contest on January 31 might have been the perfect case study.
Tri-Valley pushed the pace, going on a 26-4 run from the 1:41 mark of the first quarter until halftime on the way to a fifth straight division title and Schuylkill League playoff berth.
"We try to play at a certain pace," Tri-Valley coach Bob Felty Jr. said. "We try to make the team play at our pace. We really got that in the second quarter."
The Dawgs (19-2, 12-0 D-II) didn't force Minersville into a ton of turnovers. Instead, Tri-Valley crashed the boards hard and pushed the ball up the floor.
"They got into their break a lot. It really hurt us," Minersville coach Jared Homa said. "We weren't getting back. That's just Tri-Valley being a great team. They were able to get there.
"We went to the offensive boards. It got us out of position a little bit. But I can't argue with the hustle that our kids gave. We just got out of position because we
were aggressive on the offensive end, really."
While the Battlin' Miners (15-4, 10-2) contained the Dawgs' Juli Weber and Tara Nahodil for the most part in the first half, two of Tri-Valley's unsung players stepped up.
Taylor Troutman pounded the glass for 12 rebounds in the first half, including five on the offensive end. She also scored 15 points before the break.
"Taylor's been doing that for four years now," Felty said. "Taylor is so easy to coach because you don't have to run anything for her, and she just creates her own shots. She does all the dirty work. She's a phenomenal offensive rebounder. I can't say enough good things about Taylor."
Chelsea Stutzman knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and tallied eight of her 11 points to help the Dawgs to a 45-15 lead at halftime.
"Chelsea, I think, took it a little personally that they don't really guard her and they look to double off her," Felty said. "Chelsea's a good shooter, and she proved that today."
Troutman finshed with 16 boards and 20 points to lead the Dawgs. Stutzman collected 11 points, three assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds.
"It's definitely (important) because Juli and Tara obviously are our main people and they're going to take them away in big games," Troutman said. "We need to step up in those times, and we can."
Weber and Nahodil posted their usual numbers as the Dawgs' lineup provided a balanced effort.
The senior point guard finished with 18 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists. Nahodil nearly registered a triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks.
Tri-Valley continued to pull away early in the third quarter before the Battlin' Miners came to life a bit in the third. Sarah Walasavage led the way offensively with 20 points, followed by Reighly Melochick with 18.
Minersville cut its deficit to 22 on a Melochick 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter but could get no closer.
It was the Miners' third game in three days.
"It was a long week for us," Homa said. "Three games in 48 hours.
"Tri-Valley's a great team and I'm not blaming the three games at all. We still had a great week. We still did what we had to do from Monday. Obviously, we didn't finish it off tonight. I can't argue with our effort at all. The kids gave everything again. They've been doing that the whole season."