Tornado outlast P-R girls, 53-45
By Sam Tallarico
Eagle Staff Writer
PINE TWP — Try as it might, the Butler girls basketball team couldn't shake off Pine-Richland Thursday.
Trailing 32-30 late in the third quarter, the Golden Tornado finally broke through, using a 16-2 run over an 8:15 span and went on to post a 53-45 victory in a pivotal section game at Pine-Richland High School.
Jenna Manuel came off the bench to help spearhead the Butler attack, scoring all 10 of her second-half points in that span, including a pair of 3-pointers.
"We talk about roles and she plays her role to the hilt," said Butler coach Dorothea Epps about Manuel, who finished with 17 points.
"She can shoot, but she also rebounds well. She did what we asked her to do. It's nice to get those points off the bench,"Epps added.
A 3-pointer by the Rams' Kaylee Jackson gave Pine-Richland its final lead of the game with 1:46 remaining in the third quarter before baskets by Manuel and Olivia Bresnahan gave Butler a 34-32 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Manuel's trey with 6:35 remaining gave Butler (8-1, 4-0) a five-point advantage before Emma Richert scored with 5:18 left to make it 37-34.
Butler, however, reeled off the next nine points to open a 46-34 lead with 1:43 left. Pine-Richland (5-3, 2-2) pulled no closer than six points the rest of the way.
"In the second half, we just got outrebounded," said Rams coach Joe Frank. "That's something we've struggled with all year. We're a guard-oriented team."
Butler jumped out to a 7-0 lead before the Rams chipped away throughout the first half to stay close. They outscored the Tornado 7-0 over the final 4:55 of the first half to take a 22-21 lead into halftime.
The Tornado missed nine of their 10 free-throw attempts in the first half, including a 1-of-9 performance by Bresnahan.
"I told the girls at halftime we were playing really good defense, but we're not scoring," said Epps. "We missed free throws and wide-open layups. You can play defense well, but it doesn't help if you don't score."
Bresnahan rebounded to finish with 17 points to tie Manuel for game-high honors. Butler finished 11-of-26 from the line.
"We didn't have an answer for Olivia," said Frank. "She's such a strong player with the ball. She's a taller girl who can handle the ball.
"Butler is not undefeated (in the section) for nothing. Their defense is as good as anyone's,"Frank added.
The win was crucial for the Tornado, who have picked up a pair of section road wins against Shaler and the Rams.
"It's tough to win down here," said Epps. "This is the first time since I can remember we've come here and won. This game was a confidence-builder."
Emily Karr led the Rams with 11 points and Carolyn Steger added 10.
Lyndsy Day 0 5-6 5, Olivia Bresnahan 7 3-13 17, Karissa King 0 1-2 1, Erica Miller 1 2-4 5, Kayla Gilliland 4 0-1 8, Casie Cygan 0 0-0 0, Rachel Doutt 0 0-0 0, Katherine Sylvia 0 0-0 0, Jenna Manuel 7 0-0 17. Totals: 19 11-26 45.
Emily Karr 5 1-1 11, Katie Wise 1 2-2 4, Emma Richert 2 2-9 6, Carolyn Steger 3 2-2 10, Tori Pikur 1 0-0 2, Amy Brandner 0 0-0 0, Britt Kilian 1 4-4 6, Kaylee Jackson 2 1-3 6, Kathleen Humes 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 12-21 45.
Butler 12 9 13 19—53
Pine-Richland 10 12 10 13—45
3-point goals: Manuel 3, Miller
JV: Butler, 45-23 (B:Rachel Doutt 10, Jenna Manuel 8, Casey Fleeger 8)