Greensburg Central Catholic girls run floor, best rival Greensburg Salem
As a former La Roche coach, Greensburg Central Catholic girls coach Sam Salih is used to training players to run on a wide college floor.
He has done the same type of training with his current players, and it paid dividends Saturday afternoon against Class 4A Greensburg Salem on the spacious court at Seton Hill.
Junior Melina Maietta scored 19 of her 24 points, and seniors Anna Eisaman (16) and Bella Skatell (12) also scored in double figures as the Class A No. 2 Centurions held off hard-charging Greensburg Salem, 64-54, at the Shootout at Seton Hill.
“They did not get tired,” Salih said. “They are used to that training. You find out what you’re made of when you play teams up in class.”
GCC (15-2) came out firing at McKenna Center with Maietta connecting on three first-quarter 3-pointers and 11 points as the Centurions took an 18-7 lead.
“We have been looking forward to this game all season,” Maietta said. “It’s a rivalry game. We knew we had to come out extra hard and get the win. We knew we could run on a bigger court. It didn’t effect us.”
Greensburg Salem (9-8), which had won three of four, cut it to seven (20-13) on a drive by Megan Kallock, but GCC went on a 15-4 run to stretch its advantage to 35-17 late in the second quarter.
The Centurions led, 37-21, at the half.
The lead never dipped below 13 in the third, with GCC pulling ahead by 21 (53-32) on a 3 from Eisaman, who had 11 after the break.
The Golden Lions filed the deficit down gradually in the fourth, when Kallock scored 13 of her 24 points.
The second-leading scorer in the WPIAL and a Saint Vincent recruit, Kallock had three 3-pointers in the final quarter.
“She is a volume shooter and plays with great energy,” Salih said of Kallock, who averages 25 a game. “We wanted to match their intensity and contest their shots.”
Senior Nikki Mellinger added 12 points for the Golden Lions.
“We have gritty, tough kids,” Greensburg Salem coach Rick Klimchock said. “We’re in wars every day with our section. Our girls have that fire. We had a lot of good looks early that didn’t go in. The bigger court wasn’t a big issue, but it helped (GCC).”
GCC made nine 3s, four from Maietta and three by Eisaman, a Point Park track recruit.
“Once the 3-ball started going, we were able to go on one of our traditional runs,” Salih said.
After Skatell scored on a drive to make it 62-46, the Golden Lions chipped away, with Mellinger hitting a layup and Kallock a 3 to pinch the gap to 62-51.
Junior Gia Scala made two free throws but Kallock converted a traditonal three-point play with 1:03 left to make it 64-54.
“They have so many shooters, it’s tough to close out on all of them,” Klimchock said. “They just played really well.”
GCC has won 8 of 9. Its only losses are to 5A Plum and 3A Washington.
Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BillBeckner.