Dymun helps Butler through foul trouble in victory
BUTLER TWP — Olivia Bresnhan was on the bench with four fouls. Casie Cygan's shots weren't falling and Jenna Manuel was playing carefully with foul trouble of her own.
Who was Butler girls basketball coach Dorothea Epps to turn to?
The Golden Tornado junior guard, whose surname is pronounced "demon," certainly was devilish to Shaler Monday night in a 57-51 win.
Dymun scored 20 points and kept the Eagles afloat in the first half with Bresnahan playing only brief spurts on offense for much of the second quarter.
"She played big for us," Epps said. "This team, especially offensively, we have a lot of weapons. This was the first time they had to play that long of a stretch without Liv. I said this was going to be a test and they passed it."
With Bresnahan's play limited, Epps just wanted to stay close with the up-and-coming Titans. But Butler (5-0, 2-0) did more than that, never losing the lead in the first half and taking a 28-26 advantage into halftime.
Butler led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter, but watched that lead dissolve into a 42-42 tie.
Shaler (2-2, 0-2), though, never took the lead, thanks to Dymun and clutch play from Bresnahan down the stretch.
Dymun had 10 points in each half. All of them were big.
She shot 9-of-14 from the floor for a team that was well below 50 percent shooting in the game.
"We got the W," Epps said. "It's gonna be this girl, that girl every night because that's the type of team we are. I'm pleased with the win. I'm not pleased with the way we played."
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The game was not a pretty one. There were times when there were more rugby scrums than pick and rolls. Each team turned the ball over 20 times and each basket scored came at the end of nearly mortal combat.
Welcome to Section 3 of the WPIAL.
"This is how the section is going to be all year," Epps said. "It's very aggressive, very physical. It's going to be a grind."
Shaler coach Eric Mozzetti took his lumps last year while playing a young lineup. That group is a year older and took both North Allegheny and Butler to the brink in the last four days.
"It's the belief in themselves they have to keep going," Mozzetti said. "Hopefully, we'll be there in the end."
For the most part, Shaler kept Bresnahan in check. The college scouts in attendance didn't get to see the junior much in the first half because of foul trouble.
The rest of the time, the Titans turned her into a passer with a hounding defense bent on containing the Golden Tornado star.
But in the fourth quarter, Bresnahan buried Shaler with her ball handling and free throw shooting.
Bresnahan killed valuable time by dribbling around Shaler defenders in her one-woman game of keep away.
When the Titans finally did get a hand on her, Bresnahan sank 5-of-6 free throws in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.
For Bresnahan, who struggled from the line last year, a 7-of-10 free throw shooting night was huge.
"She's not thinking about it now," Epps said. "She's just going up there and shooting them."
Notes: Manuel finished with 12 points and Bresnahan 11. ... Cygan was 2-of-13 from the floor, but hit a big 3-pointer in the final quarter. ... Valerie McQuade led Shaler with 13 points. Olivia DiNucci added 12 for the Titans. ... Butler has won 13 of its last 14 section games.
Maria Bozzo 3-13 2-2 8, Olivia DiNucci 5-15 1-1 12, Valerie McQuade 4-8 4-5 13, Shannon Powell 1-1 0-0 2, Hilary Sauer 4-7 0-1 8, Haley Sauer 1-6 2-4 4, Holly Knaus 1-3 2-4 4. Totals: 19-53 11-17 51
Olivia Bresnahan 2-9 7-10 11, Casie Cygan 2-13 0-0 5, Jenna Manuel 5-6 2-2 12, Amanda Dymun 9-14 1-2 20, Katresa Savisky 3-5 0-0 6, Casey Fleeger 0-2 0-0 0, Rachel Doutt 0-1 3-4 3, Ali Sedwick 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 21-54 13-18 57
Shaler 12 14 11 14—51
Butler 14 14 12 17—57
3-point goals: DiNucci, McQuade; Dymun, Cygan
JV: Butler 50-22