What to expect from the D5-A girls final
While Southern Fulton's boys basketball team may hold the advantage in the first of two all-Fulton County District 5 Class A championships, the roles are reversed on Saturday afternoon.
Although the Indians are the higher seed in the girls final, No. 4-seeded McConnellsburg should be considered in the favorite, in my opinion. The teams meet at 2 p.m. Saturday at the University of Pitt-Johnstown for the girls basketball crown.
The Spartans (19-5) defeated SF twice in the regular season, are coming off an upset of No. 1 seed Meyersdale and have been playing in memory of their assistant coach, Dave Hoover, who passed away before last week's quarterfinal.
But No. 2-seeded Southern Fulton (17-7) has all the makings to give them a fight.
"It's hard to beat a team three times," SF junior Olivia Mottern said. "We're really ready to beat them, and we're happy to play them. We (had) two days of practice to improve on the things we need to do to beat them."
The teams have the luxury of both featuring one of the top players in the area. McConnellsburg's Bronwyne Mellott has been leading the area's scoring all season with an average of 26.5 points per game. For the Indians, Mottern is at 19.9 ppg and put up a multitude of double-doubles this season.
Their supporting casts aren't too shabby, either.
Bridgette Ritchey has come on strong for the Spartans with more than 15 rebounds in each of the last two games, and Justice Seville and Alexis Mellott have both put up recent double-digit performances. Sophomore Kellyn Perry provides a spark off the bench - that is, when she's not in the starting lineup.
For Southern Fulton, Shaye Smartt, Celina Merchant (9.1 ppg) and Lakyn Morton have all been on the big stage before - the trio was an integral part of the Indians' last district championship in 2013-14. SF has won the crown twice in the last four years.
Note: The game will be livestreamed on GameTimePA.com, courtesy of the Fulton County Medical Center, and you can follow me (@liziarbogast) on Twitter for live updates.