GREENFORD - Lowellville's girls basketball team knows exactly what it needs to reach its goal.
"Seven more games," Rocket coach Tony Matisi said.
That goal is the Div. IV state title. It's a lofty one, but the team, which opened the Div. IV sectional tournament with a 56-29 victory over Sebring on Monday, has the pieces in place to take a serious stab at it.
The Rockets' main challenge at this point is keeping its core group of Ashley Moore, Taylor Hvisdak, Kaye Solak, Emily Carlson and Rachel Durkin on the floor. In year's past the team's tournament runs have been devastated by injuries.
"I want to have all of my guns for this run," Matisi said. "If we get beat, that's fine. I want to be able to say that we gave it everything and were healthy doing it."
The Rockets, 19-2, will meet Heartland Christian - a team Sebring beat twice in the regular season - at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in the sectional final.
Matisi said Lowellville has been taking precautions in how they train and practice. He hopes that's enough to keep every one on the floor.
"We've tried everything," Matisi said. "We've gone to the stretchbands this year and the girls love them. We've tried lifting too. So far it has seemed to work, but the thing is everybody is involved in other sports. We can't really have any sort of program in offseason because everyone is off doing something else. We just take what we can get."
The Rockets had no trouble with the Trojans. After a quarter it was 21-5. At half it was 41-10. Lowellville emptied the bench in the second half.
Sebring finishes with a 3-18 record, including three losses to Lowellville by a combined 113 points. The Trojans lost their last 11 games.
First year coach Joe Eaton said Sebring went through a lot of injuries late in the season. Eaton said the team started the season with nine girls and was down to seven coming into the Lowellville game. Only six of those played against the Rockets.
"We knew it was going to be difficult," Eaton said. "We tried to get off to a fast start, but we missed some early layups and didn't take some other shots we should have. All of the sudden it was 17-2."
Eaton is on board in thinking that Lowellville can win a state title.
"They have a very good chance of winning a state title as far as what I've seen from them," Eaton said. "They're a very good team that went to regional finals last year. They have everybody back."
Kayla Maretich led the Trojans with 12 points.
- The Rockets only two losses were to Pittsburgh area teams during a tournament in Monaca, Pa.
SEBRING: 5- 5 9 10-29
LOWELLVILLE: 21 20 15 0-56
SEBRING SCORING: Karlie Meek 1-4-6, Kelsi Settle 2-0-4, Cierra Roosa 2-0-4, Siara Dalton 1-1-3, Kayla Maretich 3-3-12, Brianna Aberegg 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 9, 8-11: 29.
LOWELLVILLE SCORING: Kaye Solak 4-2-10, Ashley Moore 4-0-9, Taylor Hvisdak 4-0-10, Emily Carlson 5-2-14, Rachel Durbin 3-0-6, Kelly Hynes 2-0-4, Madison Opritza 1-0-2, Katie Seidita 0-1-1, Andi Hrusovsky 0-0-0, Brooke Zackasee 0-0-0, Molly Zimmerman 0-0-0, Samantha Chiclowe 0-0-0, Emily Partika 0-0-0, Allison Wereb 0-0-0, Abbey Partika 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 23, 5-6: 56.
Three-point goals: Sebring 3 (Maretich 3), Lowellville 5 (Hvisdak 2, Carlson 2, Moore).