Big game

Marissa Siebka scored 24 points in leading Slippery Rock past Beaver Falls in the opening game of the Slippery Rock Christmas Tournament.

SLIPPERY ROCK – It almost wasn’t fair.

The Slippery Rock girls’ basketball team surrounded Marissa Siebka with four teammates Friday night when she nearly outscored Beaver Falls by herself in the Lady Rockets’ 54-33 victory Friday night in the opening night of the Slippery Rock Christmas Tournament.

The SRHS junior posted a game-high 24 points and also contributed 8 steals, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in the win for Slippery Rock. “I’m tougher on her than anybody else I have,” coach John Tabisz said. “My expectations for her are so high. I have never seen her once turn the ball over and not run back on defense. Her motor just goes. She does a lot of the little things, too.

“She’s always been athletic, but we’re working really hard with her to get a little smoother. “We’re trying to get her more polished is what I’m looking for. I think she took a big step towards that. She didn’t crack the backboard with any of her shots tonight or anything like that. “She played a nice all-around game for us tonight.”

Yet, it was a pair of missed freebies off a Beaver Falls technical for an illegal substitution that left the Slippery Rock junior upset. “Those technical shots, it made me really mad that I missed them,” Siebka said. “I’m not going to sleep tonight, because of that.” Neither will Beaver Falls coach

Brad Vaughn after watching Slippery Rock coerce his team into 21 turnovers. “Coach always yells at us about not trying to steal on the ball, but to steal the pass,” Siebka said. “We always have to sit back and hover around. “We try to sit on the pass. We like to get up in your face and not let you see the other players. If they do, we want to make it a difficult pass, so our help defense can hopefully go in and pick off the pass.”

The turnovers didn’t turn into easy points at the other end as the Lady Rockets managed to make just 17-of-46 shots from the field. “We’re not a very good shooting team,” Siebka said. “We’re known more for our defense, but we’ve been working on our shooting game. We just have to keep working on it. Hopefully by the end of the season, we’re known as a defensive team and a shooting team.”

Not playing in over a week and having gone nearly two days without a practice led to a less than crisp outing for Slippery Rock, but Tabisz is happy for another win. “We got a little sloppy offensively tonight,” Tabisz said. “We haven’t played in almost a week, so that has something to do with it. That and we didn’t practice yesterday.”

NOTES: Jenna Whitmer contributed 9 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals, while Bailey Boyd tacked on 9 additional markers. ... Macy McCall posted 6 points, 5 steals and 5 rebounds, while Steph Croll added five tallies. … Slippery Rock had just 13 turnovers and held a 35-31 edge on the boards. … Kashius Harris led Beaver Falls with a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double, while TreAuna Slappy scored 11 points. … The six rebounds were Siebka’s lowest of the season and the first time she was under 10 for an entire game, Tabisz reported.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Seneca Valley 52, Slippery Rock 39 — In the tourney title tilt, the Quad-A visitors jumped out to an 18-5 first-quarter lead and never looked back. Croll paced the Lady Rockets (4-3) with 15 points, while Whitmer added 12. Siebka canned 9 points and had 6 boards and 3 steals. McCall and Whitmer each had a pair of steals.

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