3-pointers from McKeesport’s Malina Boord help cool off Penn-Trafford girls

Friday, January 13, 2023 | 10:54 PM

Malina Boord wears No. 3.

How appropriate.

The senior from McKeesport found her shooting touch from 3-point range early and propelled No. 1 McKeesport to a 59-35 victory over No. 3 Penn-Trafford on Friday in a clash of top-five Class 5A girls basketball teams in Harrison City.

Boord connected on a career-high six 3-pointers — on seven attempts — and finished with a game-high 20 points for the Tigers, who held the Lady Warriors to zero field goals in the fourth quarter in the Section 3-5A victory.

“I was using my legs a lot to get shots up,” Boord said. “They were playing tight defense, so I had to shoot from farther back. We were driving and kicking for open shots.”

Boord topped her previous high of five 3s, which occurred in a playoff game when she was a freshman.

The Tigers (12-1, 5-0), the only team to beat Class 6A No. 1 Norwin this season, rely on sound defense and perimeter shooting. Both were on display as the Tigers ran their winning streak to 10.

“P-T is a great team, and they play hard,” McKeesport coach Amy Gumbert said. “We usually play man, but we went to a (2-3) zone. In the first half, we struggled to get rebounds, but out defense picked up.”

Rachael Manfredo added 15 points for McKeesport, which outscored Penn-Trafford in the fourth quarter, 20-5.

Penn-Trafford (9-3, 3-2) had won seven of eight.

“We didn’t shoot well all night,” Penn-Trafford coach John Giannikas said. “We just wanted to hang on and try to make a run at the end. We compounded it with some bad turnovers. We probably had 20 turnovers.”

Penn-Trafford cut a 15-point deficit to seven late in the third. Kamryn Pieper hit a 3, and Lauren Marton and Tori DeStefano made free throws to pull the Warriors within 37-30.

Maddie Cherepko, though, beat the third-quarter buzzer with a layup to extend the lead to 39-30.

But Manfredo’s three-point play to open the fourth stretched the margin back to double digits.

Boord connected on her sixth 3, and it was back to a 15-point advantage, at 45-30.

“We always practice moving the ball and getting good shots,” Boord said.

Said Gumbert: “She is capable of doing that all the time. She overcame shoulder problems from back in seventh grade. She is resilient.”

With the Warriors struggling from the field, the Tigers solidified control with an 11-0 run in the fourth.

Maddie Hertzler hit a 3 to make it 55-33.

Penn-Trafford, usually good for several 3s, only had two makes from long range.

“Their length bothered us a little bit,” Giannikas said. “That caused us to rush some shots. We had some looks early. Maybe, if we make those, it’s a different story. Our defense played well for the most part. We gambled some at the end.”

McKeesport took a 22-16 lead into the half after Boord hit three 3-pointers and the Tigers pressured the Warriors into 10 first-half turnovers.

Annabelle Aquino, the Warriors’ 5-1 freshman guard, hit a 3, and Olivia Pepple made back-to-back baskets to cut the deficit to 22-14.

Pepple had a team-best 15 points, and Lauren Marton added nine.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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