Double dip of victory
Butler girls pull together to edge Indians

By John Enrietto
Eagle Sports Editor

Butler was facing a long night — and long odds.
When Karissa King's buzzer-beating 3-point attempt was off the mark, the Golden Tornado girls basketball team headed into overtime against
Penn Hills without Amy Achesinski Thursday night.
Achesinski averages 20.1 points per game as
Butler's leading scorer, but she fouled out with 1:01 left in regulation, having scored only eight points.
The Tornado rallied to victory regardless, defeating the Indians 41-39 to claim the Butler Christmas Tournament championship for the second straight year.
"So many girls stepped it up in overtime,"
Butler coach Dorothea Epps said. "This was huge for us because the girls proved to themselves that they can win without Amy.
"(Achesinski) is a great player and we love having her. But you never know what circumstances may force us to play without her down the road."
Butler (10-1) took a 14-5 lead in the first eight minutes, only to watch Penn Hills score the final 14 points of the half to take a 24-19 lead into intermission.
That deficit reached eight points before an Erica Miller trey cut the margin to one and an offensive rebound and stickback by King gave
Butler a 30-29 lead with 5:24 left in regulation.
Achesinski sank two free throws for a 36-34 lead with
1:21 to go before Penn Hills' Taja Wilson answered with two free throws of her own at the 1:01 mark to knot the game.
The Tornado played for the last shot, but couldn't get the ball inside, forcing King to unleash her shot just before the buzzer.
"We were in position to win this game a few times in regulation and overtime,"
Penn Hills coach Rod Scott said. "But Butler's program has been winning with defense for years. We knew we were in for a tight game and they made the plays to win."
A layup and free throw by
Wilson gave the Indians (7-3) a 39-37 lead with 2:11 left in overtime. ARachel Barry free throw was followed by a Maria Baroffio layup with 1:17 left as Butler took a 40-39 lead.
The teams exchanged possessions before
Penn Hills tried holding for the last shot. Butler freshman point guard Olivia Bresnahan foiled that strategy by stealing the ball at the top of the 3-point circle with seven seconds to play.
Fouled after the steal, Bresnahan sank one of two free throws and
Penn Hills was unable to get off another shot before time expired.
"It was funny because Olivia missed an open layup at the start of overtime,"Epps said. "During a timeout, she told me she thought I was going to kill her for that.
"I told her to just make up for it on the defensive end — and she did."
Bresnahan led
Butler with seven rebounds Thursday. But her steal was her biggest play of the night.
"I noticed they always like to pass the ball to the top of the perimeter,"Bresnahan said. "I jumped up in there a little tighter — I got lucky."
Bresnahan joined teammates Barry and Achesinski on the all-tournament team. Barry paced
Butler with 13 points while Baroffio added 10. Barry also won the 3-point shooting contest.
Wilson scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Penn Hills and was named tournament MVP. Julia Pavlovic had nine rebounds and also made the all-tournament squad.
Butler has won seven consecutive games. The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Indians.
South Park 65, Brashear 17 — Nicole Doria led three players in double figures by scoring 18 points for the Eagles (6-5). Kathryn Hritz added 16 points and Laurel Lindsay had 13 points and seven rebounds to round out the all-tournament team.
Kim Clark had 12 rebounds for Brashear (1-9), which suffered 35 turnovers — 25 in the first half.
Championship Game
Janel Craig 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Haselrig 0-2 1-2 1, Taylor Branch 0-1 0-0 0, Nikole Duell 3-9 2-2 10, Julia Pavlovic 3-6 1-2 7, Taja Wilson 7-18 6-7 21, Sarafina Simmons 0-0 0-0 0, Brittany DelaCruz 0-0 0-0 0, Davida Penn 0-1 0-0 0.
Totals: 13-38 10-13 39
Rachel Barry 3-7 7-10 13, Karissa King 1-7 2-2 4, Olivia Bresnahan 1-6 1-2 3, Liz Schultz 0-3 0-0 0,
Amy Achesinski 2-6 4-6 8, Maria Baroffio 4-11 1-2 10, Erica Miller 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 12-41 15-22 41
Penn Hills 5 19 5 7 3—39
Butler 14 5 7 10 5—41
3-point goals:
Duell 2, Wilson; Baroffio, Miller