Neshannock's Nogay fills stat sheet in many categories

Neshannock's Neleh Nogay dribbles up the floor during a home game against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

Neshannock High girls basketball player Neleh Nogay can do many different things on the court.

Need scoring? Nogay can put the ball in the basket. Get a rebound? She will do that, too. Find an open teammate with a precision pass? Nogay is more than capable. And her defense is strong, too.

Last week, Nogay put all of those characteristics on display in a pair of Lady Lancers victories.

Nogay netted 15 points with six assists and three steals in a 49-41 WPIAL Section 1-2A road win over Sewickley Academy. She backed that performance with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 steals and four assists in a 46-37 section home win over Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

She also was a combined 12 of 14 from the foul line in the wins.

For her efforts, Nogay was named the Lawrence County Athlete of the Week, as voted on by the New Castle News sports staff.

The wins helped solidify the Lady Lancers’ spot near the top of the league standings. Neshannock is 7-1 in the league and 8-1 overall, tied with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (7-1, 7-1) after Monday’s action. Sewickley Academy is 3-2, 6-3.

“Those are two huge wins,” veteran Lady Lancers coach Luann Grybowski said of last week’s wins. “We talked about how important that week would be.

“Neleh rebounded well, distributed the ball well. I just can’t say enough about how she is controlling the game.”

A 5-foot-6 junior guard and daughter of Don and Dr. Johanna Nogay, Neleh Nogay moved from the shooting guard last year to the point guard this year.

Nogay is averaging 14.5 points per game (115 total points), with 5.7 assists per game, 5.7 steals and 8.2 rebounds per game.

“This year, she’s 100 percent healthy. Last year, she wasn’t,” Grybowski said of Nogay. “I really can’t even compare it. (Point guard) is a totally different responsibility to do, game-wise.

“She’s grown in her understanding and leadership. That’s what we need from her.”

Grybowski said Nogay suffered a stress fracture during the second day of conditioning last year. She was in a boot for six weeks.

“She didn’t really play much early on. We had to ease her in,” Grybowski said. “She was never fully at 100 percent, stopping and starting on that foot.”

This year, Nogay is all over the court.

“As I look back on it, she was just everywhere,” Grybowski said of Nogay’s triple-double performance against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. “She has been playing with a lot of energy. Defensively, offensively, both ends of the floor.

“She’s rebounding exceptionally well this year. She has a nose for the ball. She plays for 32 minutes; she never comes out. She only gets a break during timeouts. She has become a true floor general. Her game has evolved and we are much better because of it.”

A triple double at the high school level is a special and rare feat. 

“For her to do that, we had to be specifically playing man to man, which we did. It doesn’t happen in a zone,” said Grybowski, who is in her 41st season as a head coach. “I haven’t had very many kids in my career getting a triple double.

“She doesn’t take plays off. That takes a special kid to accomplish something like that.”

rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com

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Sports Editor

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is the sports editor at the New Castle News. Email him at rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com.

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