Sharing the wealth
Butler girls spread second-half scoring in 47-26 win
Butler's Alyssa Eyth (11) basttles for possession with Pine-Richland's Kendall Gessner during the Golden Tornado's 47-26 girls basketball win Wednesday night.
DAVE PRELOSKY/BUTLER EAGLE
BUTLER TWP — Butler senior forward Jenna Kunst scored eight points in each of the first two quarters.
She was just as happy with only one shot attempt in the next two.
That's because the Golden Tornado girls basketball team held serve at home in a 47-26 section win over Pine-Richland Wednesday night.
“They face-guarded me (in the second half), which I was fine with,” Kunst said, holding up her hands and smiling. “There's other players on the team. The other girls picked it up. I told Alyssa (Eyth), 'I'll just set screens for you all night and you just take it.'
“It makes no difference to me,” Kunst added. “As long as we win.”
And Butler (6-4, 2-1) did just that.
Kunst was red-hot in the first half and shot 6-for-9 in the game from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
At the half, Kunst had 16 of Butler's 28 points and Pine-Richland only had 16 itself.
The Rams, though, made things interesting in the third quarter, cutting the Golden Tornado lead that had swelled to 16 points down to 10.
But Pine-Richland (2-7, 0-3) never got closer.
With Kunst taken away by an aggressive Rams' defense, Butler found its scoring elsewhere from a plethora of sources.
Eyth put up seven of her 12 points in the second half and five other players also scored for Butler in the final 16 minutes.
“They did a good job denying (Kunst) in the post,” said Butler coach Mark Maier. “But we had seven other girls score. Whenever you have that, you're balanced. Some of the problems in our losses is we've had two girls score and nobody else.
“Jenna, I'm sure, said this: she'd rather get wins than shots,” Maier added.
Butler's defense also played a solid game, limiting Pine-Richland to a 28-percent shooting night from the field.
The Rams scored just nine points in the second half and didn't make a field goal in the final 11 minutes.
Pine-Richland was also hurt by its foul shooting, making just 4 of 13 from the line.
Meanwhile, Butler was 17 of 22 from the charity stripe.
“Home games you have to hold court in the section,” Maier said. “It's hard to win on the road. We lost to Shaler (on the road) and we thought we could have won that one — we could have shot better. Super pleased with the performance tonight. Great effort.”
Pine-Richland's leading scorer this season, Kayla Graf, finished with seven.
Taylor Brenner led the Rams with eight points.
Eyth also had 10 rebounds for the Golden Tornado.
Mia Rader, who hit two big 3-pointers in the first half, finished with eight.
Butler will have a quick turnaround and will travel to North Allegheny for another key section game Thursday night.
“NA is (Thursday) and that's hard to do without any practice,” Maier said. “They've been the standard-bearer for the past couple of years.
“They're all big,” Maier added. “Your big game is your next game. We're pleased to be a shot or two away from 3-0.”
Kayla Graf 3-9 0-0 7, Ekat Baloris 0-0 0-0 0, Meghan Luellen 1-6 0-2 2, Callie Polce 1-3 1-2 3, Megan O'Connor 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Yarbrough 0-0 0-0 0, Kendall Gessner 0-0 0-3 0, Taylor Brenner 3-11 1-4 8, Victoria Crankovic 2-7 2-2 6. Totals: 10-36 4-13 26.
Nicole Pepmeyer 0-2 2-2 2, Mia Rader 2-5 2-2 8, Alyssa Eyth 3-10 5-7 12, Ali Altman 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Kaufman 0-1 0-0 0, Emma Monteleone 0-2 0-0 0, Jenna Kunst 6-9 3-3 16, Morgan Gage 0-0 0-0 0, Hailey Metzger 0-0 2-2 2, Julia Gibson 1-1 1-4 3, Emilee Altman 1-4 2-2 4, Heidi Gross 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 13-34 17-22 47.
Pine-Richland 9 7 6 3 — 26
Butler16 12 5 14 — 47
3-point goals: Pine-Richland 2 (Graf, Brenner); Butler 4 (Rader 2, Eyth, Kunst)