Just like the Eisenhower's boys team, Commodore Perry stands in the way of Eisenhower's girls team moving on to the District 10 Class A semifinals.
With only two teams from the D-10 Class A girls field advancing to the PIAA playoffs, the Lady Knights must win their first two playoff games to secure a spot in the PIAA playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
The Knights, once a fixture in the District 10 and PIAA playoffs, are making their first playoff appearance under head coach Mike Logue and first after a two-year absence.
Ike’s Alyssa Peterson (44)
Eisenhower has shown marked improvement this season as a roster with plenty of sophomores and juniors have began to grow up. In 2011-12, the Lady Knights finished with an underwhelming record of 5-16. This season, they doubled their win total and finished the regular season with 10 wins.
"I think there was more of a willingness among all the girls to get involved in the offense this season," said Logue. "Last year, some of the players were afraid to shoot the ball at time. Over the past two years we've tried to push the ball and play at a faster tempo that we had in years past and I think that having another year under their belts really added to the girls' confidence."
Eisenhower is led in scoring by sophomore point guard Kristen Williams. Despite missing several games with injury and illness, Williams - and her dangerous three-point ability - led the Knights with 163 points (9.6 ppg).
Sophomore Holly Chapman and senior Alyssa Peterson give the Knights a nice one-two punch under the basket, controlling the boards and entering the playoffs as the Knights second and third scoring options. Chapman finished the year with 149 points (6.8 ppg) and Peterson added 142 points (6.5 ppg). A fourth Eisenhower scoring option with over 100 points is junior Brooke Stanton.
Opposing the Knights will be a team coming off a similar regular season in the Commodore Perry Panthers. In fact, the Panthers enter Saturday's game with the exact same record of 10-12.
Commodore Perry and Eisenhower didn't meet this season, but the Panthers did play the Knights' biggest rival in Youngsville. Commodore Perry knocked off Youngsville, 38-29, January 30 in Hadley.
"I was able to watch Commodore Perry play AC Valley (for which his daughter plays) during a Christmas tournament this year," said Logue. "They play a 2-3 zone and press from time to time, but they don't run a whole lot. They are capable of scoring and have a couple of girls who can put the ball in the hoop. They finished in a four-way tie for second-place in Region 1 with Farrell, Reynolds and Rocky Grove so we know they competed well in a very balanced region."
Leading the Panthers in scoring this season is 5'5 senior guard Kate Powell. Powell played in 20 of the team's 22 games and compiled 214 points during her time on the court - an average of 10.7 ppg. Other scoring options for the Panthers are 5'4 senior guard Alexis Grinnell and 5'7 junior forward Emily Kitchen. Grinnell enters the game with 210 points and a 9.5 ppg scoring average while Kitchen scored 154 points - an average of seven points a game.
The winner of Saturday's quarterfinal will play D-10 favorite and top seed Kennedy Catholic in the D-10 semifinals next week. Cochranton and Reynolds and Farrell and Rocky Grove play in the other two quarterfinals on Saturday with the winners facing off in the second semifinal next week. The top three finishers in the tournament qualify for the PIAA Tournament.
February 23, 2013
At Oil City High School
Cochranton (14-8) vs. Reynolds (7-15), 1 p.m.
Commodore Perry (10-12) vs. Eisenhower (10-12), 4 p.m.
At Kennedy Catholic High School
Farrell (11-11) vs. Rocky Grove (10-12), noon
Kennedy Catholic vs. Commodore Perry-Eisenhower winner
Cochranton-Reynolds winner vs. Farrell-Rocky Grove winner
Semifinal winner vs. Semifinal winner
Semifinal loser vs. Semifinal loser