2023 WPIAL Class 3A girls basketball championship breakdown: Avonworth vs. Laurel

Thursday, March 2, 2023 | 5:16 PM

WPIAL Class 3A girls basketball final

No. 4 Avonworth vs. No. 2 Laurel

3 p.m. Friday, Petersen Events Center

On the air: Video livestream: TribHSSN.TribLive.com

WPIAL titles: Avonworth 6 (1976, ‘79, ‘92, ‘93, ‘94, 2005); Laurel 0

Avonworth (18-5)

Coach: Nick Dizon

Projected starting lineup

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

2, Eden Schleis, 5-4, jr., G

21, Greta O’Brien, 5-8, so., G

22, Rebecca Goetz, 6-0, jr, F

23, Mary Gannon, 5-8, sr., G

33, Mia Velisaris, 5-7, sr., F

Notable: After reaching the WPIAL semifinals last season, Avonworth has taken the next step into the title game this winter. The Lopes are seeking their first title since 2005. Avonworth won the Section 2 title at 9-1 before beating No. 13 McGuffey in the first round and No. 5 OLSH in the quarterfinals. The Lopes topped No. 1 Shady Side Academy, 41-35, in the semifinals behind 17 points from Greta O’Brien and 10 from Rebecca Goetz. The Lopes allow just 35.0 ppg, best in Class 3A.

Laurel (23-2)

Coach: Jim Marcantino

Projected starting lineup

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

10, Regan Atkins, 5-10, sr., G

14, Danielle Pontius, 5-5, sr., G

15, Tori Atkins, 5-11, so., F

22, Joselynn Fortuna, 5-7, sr., F

45, Johnna Hill, 5-8, sr., F

Notable: Laurel is coming off a momentous semifinal victory over rival Neshannock, avenging an earlier section loss with a 66-46 triumph. Johnna Hill had 23 points, Regan Atkins added 15, and Joselynn Fortuna scored 14. The Spartans are seeking their first WPIAL title. In their most recent trip, they lost to Bishop Canevin in the 2020 Class 2A final. Laurel tied Neshannock for the Section 1 title at 9-1. The Spartans, who average 53.4 points and allow 37.6, defeated Burrell in the first round and Keystone Oaks in the quarterfinals.

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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