Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pregame: Chartiers-Houston (5-6, 12-8) at Fort Cherry (4-7, 7-10), 7:30 p.m.

For Fort Cherry, this one's a win-to-get-in. Chartiers-Houston has already clinched the No. 4 spot in Section 4-AA, which the Bucs would be forced to share with a loss since the WPIAL doesn't break ties.

Last meeting: Chartiers-Houston won, 52-35, on Jan. 14. Addy Knetzer had 16 points and 11 rebounds, as Chartiers-Houston built a 31-16 lead at the half. Ashley and Amanda Balzer both had 10 points, with Ashley also pulling down 11 rebounds. It was the Bucs' fourth straight win at the time.

Backstory: These two dominated Section 3-A last year, with Fort Cherry finishing 12-0, the Bucs 10-2. Both have been bumped up, however, while Fort Cherry lost its coach (Bob Miles) and three top players in Beka Bellhy, Carolena Gasbarro and Jessie Merckle.

Catch you up: Bucs have won two straight since back-t0-back losses to Bishop Canevin and Steel Valley, the Nos. 2 and 3 teams in this crazy section. Defending PIAA Class AA champion is No. 1.

In Char-Houston's 52-30 win over Brentwood on Tuesday, the Balzer sisters combined for 36 points and 21 rebounds -- Ashley 25 and 10, Amanda 11 and 11, plus five steals. Guess that's why I wrote a feature on them.

Fort Cherry has lost two straight and four of five, though those past two losses have been to Steel Valley and Bishop Canevin.

Weird stat: Since Rachel Bellhy suffered an ankle injury early in a 41-22 loss to Trinity less than two weeks ago -- when Jenna Lucas scored all 22 of the Rangers' points -- Lucas has scored 75 percent of Fort Cherry's points (81 of 108).

Bellhy played against Steel Valley on Jan. 31, not against Wilkinsburg Jan. 28 or Bishop Canevin Feb. 4. Follow me on Twitter (@mackey_jason) to see whether she's playing tonight.

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