Tornado get boost from unlikely star
Monteleone scores 11 in win over Knoch
JEFFERSON TWP — As a point guard, scoring is not high on Emma Monteleone's list of priorities for Butler's girls basketball team.
For an important stretch of Tuesday's non-section game at Knoch, however, she became a focal point of Butler's offense and sparked the Golden Tornado.
The junior scored all 11 of her points in a first half that saw Butler build a lead it would not surrender in a 41-24 road victory.
“She's averaging between four and five points per game,” said Butler coach Mark Maier. “She played well tonight. A big thing with Emma is keeping her on the court because she's been in foul trouble the last few games. In (Monday's) game against Norwin (a 60-49 loss), she played just 16 of 32 minutes.
“With her in the game, we're a better team,” added Maier. “She gets to the hoop, can pass well and plays good defense.”
The Tornado (6-5) made just four field goals in the second quarter and Monteleone had three of them. Her trey with 3:02 left in the first half pushed Butler's lead to 20-12. By halftime, the edge was 25-15.
Monteleone is in her first year of starting, but she entered the season looking forward to the responsibility of running the offense.
“I've been a point guard since the third grade,” she said. “I really got a feel for the varsity game last year. There were a lot of players I looked up to.
“It felt great making those shots tonight. I love helping the team any way I can.”
Knoch's offense never got on track and was held to single digits in all four quarters. The Knights shot just 23 percent (9-of-39) from the field and turned the ball over 19 times.
A 34-23 deficit on the boards didn't help.
“When we go back and watch the film, I think we'll see that we ran the offense well,” said Knoch coach Chris Andreassi. “We had opportunities, but we missed a lot of shots we usually make and most of our trips down the floor ended with just one shot. We did not rebound well.”
Still, the Knights remained within striking distance. When Skylar Burkett sank a basket with 4:29 left in the third quarter, Knoch's deficit was a manageable one at 27-20.
But a steal and layup by Hailey Metzger was included in Butler's 7-2 spurt to end the period. The Tornado then held the Knights (6-5) to just two points in the final period.
“We scored just nine points in the second half,” Andreassi said. “Butler has a lot of good shooters and you know they are going to hit some shots. We have to do better than nine points over two quarters.”
“We played good, collective team defense and rotated out on their shooters,” Maier said. “It was nice to see against a team like Knoch. They're probably a playoff team.”
Knoch received a game-high 12 points from freshman guard Madilyn Boyer.
Both teams dive back into section play later this week. Knoch hosts Freeport Thursday and Butler travels to North Allegheny on Friday.
Jordan Kauffman 3 2-2 9, Emma Monteleone 4 1-2 11, Ali Altman 3 0-0 6, Sydney Hanratty 1 0-0 3, Hailey Metzger 2 0-0 4, Emilee Altman 3 0-0 8, Sarah Fiorina 0 0-0 0, Sarayne Forbes 0 0-0 0, Julia Gibson 0 0-0 0, Makenna Maier 0 0-0 0, Aubree Tack 0 0-0 0, Anna Michalek 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 3-4 41.
Madilyn Boyer 5 1-4 12, Skylar Burkett 2 0-0 5, Lauren Cihonski 2 2-2 6, Abbey Shearer 0 1-2 1, Jaylee Lassinger 0 0-0 0, Nevaeh Ewing 0 0-0 0, Terann McElravy 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 4-8 24.
Butler 13 12 9 7 — 41
Knoch8 7 7 2 — 24
3-point goals: Butler 6 (Monteleone 2, Kauffman, E. Altman 2, Hanratty); Knoch 2 (Boyer, Burkett).
JV: Butler 42-13 (B-Ali Altman 10; K-Mackenzie McGraw 5)