Burrell girls charge back to drop Jeannette
Burrell erased a seven-point deficit in the second half and raced past Jeannette for a 67-38 girls basketball victory Friday at the Hempfield Christmas Tournament.
Kaylen Sharrow scored 24 points and sparked Class 4A Burrell’s second-half uprising with 19 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, as the Bucs limited Class 2A Jeannette to 14 second-half points.
“What a relief to see our girls pull together like that,” Burrell coach Joel Ceraso said. “I’m pleased with where we’re at.”
Burrell (3-4) rallied from deficits of 24-23 at halftime and 31-24 early in the third quarter by outscoring Jeannette, 44-14, in the second half.
Sharrow, a 5-foot-11 senior, made four of Burrell’s six second-half 3-pointers as the Bucs used an 26-0 run to take a 50-31 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“She’s a senior. She’s plays with a lot of heart, and we expect that type of leadership from her,” Ceraso said. “We’re young. We start three freshmen.”
Two of them also scored in double figures. Ally Fisher added 18 points and Hope Clark scored 11 for Burrell. The other one, Anna Novak, contributed nine rebounds.
Senior Grace Omecinski led Burrell with 12 rebounds and also scored eight points.
Senior Dymond Crawford’s 18 points, 15 in the first half, paced Jeannette (2-6).
“We’re just not very deep,” Jeannette coach Jonathan Bass said. “When we have foul trouble, it just compounds matters.”
Crawford, who came in averaging 23 points, was called for her third foul with 3 minutes, 16 seconds left in the third quarter. Bass pulled her briefly from the Jeannette lineup with the Jayhawks clinging to a 31-30 lead after Burrell closed in with consecutive 3-pointers by Fisher and Sharrow.
Following a steal and layup by Clark and a 3-pointer by Fisher that put Burrell ahead 35-31 Crawford re-entered the game for Jeannette.
But Burrell, which totaled eight 3-pointers, kept scoring while repeatedly denying Crawford and the Jayhawks, who made three shots from behind the arc.
“I thought we settled for 3-pointers early on,” Ceraso said. “We’d like to be more of an inside-outside team. The way we were playing was not within the confines of our offense. I’m just trying to make it simple because I don’t want to put too much pressure on the girls.”
Both coaches are in their first season at their respective schools. Ceraso left Leechburg and became a late hire at Burrell, and Bass was elevated at Jeannette to head coach from assistant.
“I’m tring to change the culture of this program,” Bass said. “We’ve been in every game this year. We’ll be winning, and you’d think we’re losing by the way the girls react in the huddle. We need everyone to stay positive because you’ve got to play hard for the entire game. It’s a long season.
“At times, we’re playing well. This has been a tough nonconference schedule, but I think we’ll be OK in the section.”
The Jayhawks are 1-3 against teams outside of Section 2-2A, beating Carrick and, in addition to Burrell, losing to Obama Academy and Seton La Salle.
Jeannette closed the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 24-23 halftime lead. But the Jayhawks, with Crawford scoring just three second-half points and none in the third quarter, folded.
Ari Clark added 10 points for Jeannette.
Dave Mackall is a freelance writer.