Last night in Hometown, Minersville's Sarah Walasavage took the term "senior leadership" to a whole new level.
Walasavage, the only senior on the Battlin' Miners roster, scored a career-high 30 points to lead Minersville to a 59-51 Schuylkill League victory over Marian.
The Fillies (8-2, 5-1) entered the contest giving up just 32.78 points per game, but Walasavage ripped Marian for 30 points and nine rebounds, while shooting a remarkable 83-percent from the floor (15-for-18).
The Minersville senior came into the game averaging 12.5 point per game (second on the team), and just once this season scored over 14 points (a 23-point performance against Tri-Valley).
Walasavage scored the first six points for Minersville (8-3, 5-1) and the Fillies never saw a lead the entire game.
"We did a terrible job on defense tonight," stated Marian head coach Paul Brutto. "They scored a lot of their points on layups and our defense was bad on-the-ball and even worse off-the-ball."
The 59 points given up was a season-high for Marian (Dunmore scored 54 points against the Fillies earlier this season), while the Battlin' Miners shot 56-percent from the floor (24-for-43) – both of which are uncharacteristic for a Marian team that prides itself on defense.
"We are not good enough on offense to give up 50 or 60 points to someone and still win the game," added Brutto. "We need to keep teams in the upper 30s or low 40s to give ourselves a chance to be successful. It was a just a bad game tonight all around."
Complicating matters for the Fillies was the fact that they shot 19-for-59 from the floor (32-percent) and turned the ball over 25 times.
Walasavage scored 16 of her points in the first half to stake Minersville to a 28-19 lead at the break. The senior scored the first six points of the first and second quarters and the first four points of the third and fourth quarters.
Minersville junior Reighly Melochick, who came into the night averaging a team-high 18.2 points per game, backed Walasavage with 18 points of her own.
"You can't let their two best players score all those points." said Brutto. "Those kids (Melochick and Walasavage) are good athletes and good players, but you can't let them score 48 points and give up 11 points to the role players. It's just lousy defense and bad recognition of who's going to hurt you."
For Marian, Gabby Green scored a season-high 21 points on 10 field goals, while Samantha Faust added eight points. The Fillies outrebounded Minersville 36-30 and forced the Battlin' Miners into 24 turnovers.
Melochick 4-9-13-18, Sterner 1-0-0-2, Whitecavage 1-1-2-3, Ryan 1-0-2-2, Walasavage 15-0-0-30, Leshko 2-0-0-4, Schwalm 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 24-10-17-59.
Green 10-0-2-21, Faust 2-4-5-8, Bray 1-0-0-2, Sofranko 1-2-2-4, Shaud 1-1-2-3, Nemeth 2-1-2-6, Krusinsky 2-3-4-7, Mahon 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-11-17-51.
Minersville 9 19 12 19 - 59
Marian 4 15 9 23 - 51
Three-Pointers: Minersville - Melochick 1; Marian - Green 1, Nemeth 1.