ELIZABETH TWP. — Elizabeth Forward pulled into a third-place tie in Section 3-AAAA with Mount Pleasant with its 74-54 win over the Lady Vikings Monday night.
Brianna Spirnak scored a career-high 33 points for EF (9-9, 6-4) and added 10 rebounds and two blocks.
“She is starting to play like the player we thought she was last year,” EF coach Krystal Gibbs said of her 6-foot sophomore. “Every day at practice she is working hard and getting better.”
Gibbs also talked about the difference in this win compared to Mount Pleasant’s win on its court on Jan. 2.
“We were able to handle their pressure better,” she said. “Plus, this game was on our court and we are used to playing on it.”
Mount Pleasant coach Scott Giacobbi talked about what he saw the difference as, and his words were like those of Gibbs.
“We had issues with their press,” he said. “Their court is a little smaller, and it caused us issues.
“The angles were a little different, and (EF) took advantage.”
The Lady Warriors jumped out to an 8-0 lead with Spirnak scoring six of the points before Mount Pleasant (10-7, 6-4) got on the board with 5:43 to play in the quarter on a basket by Colleen Trainer.
Trainer’s basket started a 9-2 run by the Lady Vikings to make the score 10-9, but EF countered with a 7-0 run to make the score 17-9.
Mount Pleasant answered with a 10-5 run to close the quarter down 22-19.
The opening quarter saw both teams use their personalized full-court presses and it caused the game to resemble a track meet at times.
In the opening eight minutes, Elizabeth Forward turned the ball over seven times and Mount Pleasant six times.
“We tried to turn them over in the back court,” Gibbs said. “It got us some easy baskets.”
The key for the Lady Vikings was getting the ball over midcourt as once it did, they scored at will on layups in the first quarter.
Kerri Bungard hit a three-pointer for Mount Pleasant to tie the game at 24-24 with 5:14 to play in the first half, but the Lady Warriors went on a 16-6 run to end the half and take a 40-30 lead into intermission.
“That run at the end of the half hurt,” Giacobbi said. “We couldn’t counter.”
Elizabeth Forward started the second half with a 15-2 run to make the score 55-32 and it took a 61-41 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Warriors’ biggest lead was at 72-45 before Gibbs subbed out her starters and the Lady Vikings reserves closed the game on a 9-2 run.
Alexis Korenoski (12) and Juria Flournoy (11) also hit double figures for EF and Sierra Dawson added nine points, five rebounds and four steals.
Christina Czegan led Mount Pleasant with nine points.
EF finished with 25 turnovers while the Lady Vikings had 23.
Both teams return to action Monday on the road in section games as EF is at Southmoreland (12-6, 4-6) and Mount Pleasant is at second place South Park (9-6, 7-2).