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McConnellsburg's impressive season ends in 1st round

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On Friday night, the McConnellsburg girls basketball team’s season ended just a week after hoisting the District 5 championship trophy on the same court.

The Lady Spartans fell to Greensburg Central Catholic in a tough 43-24 loss in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A tournament at the University of Pitt-Johnstown.

The Centurions (19-6) move on to face Camp Hill on Tuesday in the second round. Camp Hill (22-4) punched its ticket to the next round with a free throw in the last second of the game to beat Blairsville.

Greensburg surprised McConnellsburg with an aggressive man-to-man defense, which forced a number of turnovers to keep the Spartans on their heels. And despite holding a five-point lead early in the game, McConnellsburg’s momentum began to fade early after turnovers and a number of missed shots.

"That aggressive play is not something we are used to," McConnellsburg coach Brent Seville said. "We kind of knew that coming in, but the speed ... we just couldn't hang with them. But the girls played very well."

The Spartans shot a mere 15 percent from the field, but were aided by an excellent effort from the free throw line, sinking 11 of 15. McConnellsburg also had 25 turnovers, allowing Greensburg to rack up a hefty lead in transition.

"It's a mindset all year; we have a lot of different pressures and we like to always get a different look (with our pressure)," Greensburg coach Joe Eisaman said. "The transition game gave us a chance to pull away and we got better at their 1-3-1, which I thought they played very well. Their length gave us some problems early, but we were able to trap and blitz a little bit and got those turnovers."

"It's hard to expect what these private schools are going to throw at you," McConnellsburg's McKenzie Gelvin said. "But at halftime we felt pretty good. We kept it close in the first half, but gave up some points in the last few minutes on turnovers."

McConnellsburg (17-8) was led by Bronwyne Mellott, who scored 16 points despite being heavily double-teamed by the Centurions’ tough defense. Just two other Spartans made it on the board – Gelvin scored five and Katelyn Truax had three.

Greensburg had a pair of players in double figures, led by Haley Moore with 17 and Maddy Coddington with 10.

"It was really awesome being with this group of people and having a winning season, we made a lot of good memories," Gelvin said.