Sports reporters Lizi Arbogast and Lindsey Smith break down the game of the week - McConnellsburg at Southern Fulton girls, and Mid Penn Colonial Division hoops. Video by Lindsey Smith
Despite the fact that the McConnellsburg and Southern Fulton girls basketball teams can no longer meet in the pressure-packed postseason, the second installment of the Fulton County rivalry match will likely have the same intense atmosphere as the District 5 championship a year ago.
It is clear based on their past meetings that Southern Fulton and McConnellsburg are anything but predictable, and if this season's first meeting is any indication, this Thursday's Game of the Week will be anything but boring.
Last time out the Indians claimed a five-point win over McConnellsburg on the road, but the Spartans are beginning to figure things out on the court.
"They've added a couple of players this season, but we are very familiar with one another," McConnellsburg coach Brent Seville said. "We are a totally different team than what were were last year at this time. Last year we had a lot of confidence going down there and picking up a win at their place, but with us not winning the first matchup it makes it little tougher. We know we can beat them it's just going to be who shows up to play that evening."
"I think it's the same every time we see them," Southern Fulton coach Meagan Mellott said. "We have to prepare for Bronwyne (Mellott), trying to keep her numbers down and keep her off of the foul line because she is a great foul shooter. And we have to contain McKenzie Gelvin because she is so quick. We did a really good job of that last time, but it was definitely a team effort."
Containing Bronwyne Mellott is a heavy task in itself as she remains the area's leading scorer, putting up more than 26 points per game. But in recent weeks, the Spartans have made it difficult for defenses to contain the number of scoring threats on their roster. Since the last time these teams met, McConnellsburg has regularly put two to three scorers in double figures.
McConnellsburg's Kellyn Perry and Bridgette Ritchey will likely be the defensive catalysts as both have put up big numbers throughout the season on D.
Southern Fulton will look to Olivia Mottern to put up a chunk of the scoring, but the team will also look to Emily Bradshaw, who had 14 points against the Spartans last time, and Drew Gordon, the team's rebounding specialist, to have a big night.
Spartans-Indians at a glance
Game data: McConnellsburg Lady Spartans at Southern Fulton Indians girls basketball ... Thursday, 7:30 p.m. in Warfordsburg ... Sideling Hill League/Inter-County Conference game.
Media: Follow @LindseySquints on twitter for live updates.
Teams: Southern Fulton rebounded after a two-game losing streak with a big win over Tussey Mountain on Tuesday, and enters the game with a record of 11-6 (9-4 SHL, 8-4 ICC) ... McConnellsburg won eight of its last nine games prior to a five-point loss to Northern Bedford on Tuesday. The Lady Spartans are 10-5 (6-4 SHL, 4-4 ICC).
Series: Southern Fulton won the first meeting 58-53 on the road.
P.O. pick: Southern Fulton by 3. Despite McConnellsburg's improvement since the team's first meeting, the Indians will be riding high off a big week.