2023 WPIAL Class 2A girls basketball championship breakdown: Shenango vs. Freedom

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | 12:01 PM

No. 1 Shenango vs. No. 2 Freedom

7 p.m. Thursday, Petersen Events Center

On the air: Video livestream: TribHSSN.TribLive.com; Radio: WBVP (1230 AM), WBVP (99.3 FM), WMBA (1460 AM)

WPIAL titles: Shenango 0; Freedom 0

Shenango (21-4)

Coach: Ricci LaRocco

Projected starting lineup

No., Name, Ht., Cl., Pos.

12, Amara DeFrank, 5-7, so., F

21, Emilee Fedrizzi, 5-10, sr., G

22, Janie Natale, 5-10, sr., F

24, Ashley DeCarbo, 5-4, sr., G

33, Kylee Rubin, 5-10, sr., F

Notable: Shenango is making its first trip to the WPIAL championship game. The Wildcats split with Section 1 rival Freedom in the regular season, and they shared the section title with 11-1 records. Shenango, which averages 52.3 ppg while allowing 38.2, has won 12 straight games. The Wildcats’ lone losses came against Mohawk, Freedom, Beaver and Laurel. Emilee Fedrizzi hit eight 3-pointers and scored 32 points to lead the Wildcats to a 54-44 win over No. 5 Burgettstown in the semifinals. Natale added nine points on three 3s despite battling injuries. Shenango defeated Carmichaels in the first round, 63-32, and Brentwood in the quarterfinals, 43-39.

Freedom (20-4)

Coach: John Kaercher

Projected starting lineup

No., Name, Ht., Cl., Pos.

5, Olivia Henderson, 5-4, so., G

10, Morgan Keller, 5-6, jr., G

14, Julia Mohrbacher, 5-10, sr., F

23, Riley Tokar, 5-6, so., G

32, Cassidy Harris, 5-7, jr., F

Notable: Freedom is in the WPIAL championship game for the second straight season after falling to North Catholic, 48-43, in the Class 3A final in 2022. The Bulldogs, who also were PIAA runners-up last season, moved down to Class 2A in the offseason via PIAA realignment. Senior forward Julia Mohrbacher (17 ppg) had 33 points and 11 rebounds in leading Freedom past No. 11 Aliquippa, 47-44, in the semifinals. Mohrbacher also had 30 points in the opening round against Carlynton and 22 against Chartiers-Houston in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs are without leading scorer Shaye Bailey (21.7 ppg), who injured her collarbone late in the regular season. Against Aliquippa, Olivia Henderson hit two 3-pointers, and Riley Tokar had a key layup in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Bill Hartlep is the TribLive sports editor. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, he joined the Trib in 2004, covering high school sports. He held various editing roles before assuming his current position in 2019. He can be reached at bhartlep@triblive.com.

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