A-K Valley basketball notebook: Plum’s Kennedie Montue eclipses 1,000 points

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | 6:36 PM

Kennedie Montue has shown a keen scoring touch the past three seasons for the Plum girls basketball team.

This winter, the junior forward is averaging more than 20 points for a Mustangs squad (10-4, 6-1) leading Section 2-5A.

In Monday’s 44-37 victory over Franklin Regional, Montue surpassed 1,000 career points.

The benchmark points came from the foul line in the second quarter. She sank both shots to put her at 1,000. She finished with a team-best 23 against the Panthers and has 1,008 all-time.

“It’s a great feeling to see her get a lot out of all the time she puts into the game,” Plum coach Steve Elsier said. “We put her in positions to be successful the best we can, and she responds.”

While Montue’s focus is on helping her team fight for a section title, she eventually can turn her attention to Plum’s all-time leading scorer, Krista Pietropola.

Pietropola scored 1,386 points for the Mustangs before playing at Youngstown State and Slippery Rock.

Growing from adversity

Kiski Area was dealt a blow in the season opener as senior captain, all-star and leading scorer Hannah Potter was lost for the season with a wrist injury.

Coach Nick Dizon said his youthful team rallied around Potter and has been improving despite its record of 5-11 overall and 0-8 in Section 2-5A.

“Our kids show up and compete every day,” Dizon said. “Obviously, losing Hannah wasn’t something we expected, so we needed more from some players early. We’ve had up-and-down moments in that growth, but the effort and attitude is always there in wanting to get better.”

Dizon said players such as junior forward Morgan Reed, with five double-doubles on the season, freshman Lexi Colaianni (9.6 ppg) and sophomore guard Riley Hanan have stood out.

“It’s a close-knit group that has gone through all the adversity together,” Dizon said. “They understand they have to stick together to weather the storm. I think this will ultimately make us better.”

Tight at top

Entering Thursday, only one girls basketball section features a three-way tie for first place.

Deer Lakes is a part of that in Section 3-3A. The Lancers, along with Derry and Carlynton, are 7-2. The trio is two games ahead of fourth-place East Allegheny (5-4).

Deer Lakes, whose section losses came against Carlynton, 35-29, and Derry, 47-40, hopes to turn the tables on its rivals the second time around.

The Lancers visit Carlynton at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Deer Lakes hosts Derry on Feb. 3.

Carlynton completed a section sweep of Derry last Thursday, but it lost in section play to South Allegheny, 44-39, and Shady Side Academy, 56-54.

Prepping for stretch run

There is more separation in Section 1-4A as North Catholic, Freeport and Knoch continue to show their strength.

The Trojans, as expected, have rolled through their section slate at 9-0 and take on Highlands for the second time in as many days Thursday evening.

Freeport, winner of five straight in section, is 8-1. Knoch, which routed Indiana, 62-43, on Monday, is 7-2.

Indiana (4-5), Apollo-Ridge (4-5) and Greensburg Salem (3-6) hope to make a run toward the WPIAL playoffs.

Thursday’s Section 1 slate has Freeport at Burrell, Highlands at North Catholic, Indiana at Apollo-Ridge and Knoch at Greensburg Salem.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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