Alle-Kiski Valley girls basketball notebook: Kiski Area loses Hannah Potter to broken wrist

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | 5:19 PM


Hannah Potter hoped to have a standout senior season for the Kiski Area girls basketball team and build off of a strong junior campaign which saw her lead a young Cavaliers squad with an average of 14.9 points a game.

But Potter’s final varsity campaign ended before it really got started as she suffered a broken wrist going in for a successful layup late in a season-opening 56-52 victory against Saltsburg.

Initial tests, head coach Nick Dizon said, didn’t reveal the true nature of Potter’s injury, and he said there were hopes it wasn’t serious enough to keep her out long term. But further examination by an orthopaedic specialist, he added, confirmed the extent of what happened.

Dizon said Potter will be in a cast for about three months and will miss the rest of the season.

“I feel terrible for her more than anything else, considering the time she’s put in over the years,” Dizon said. “Injuries are a part of sports, but when it happens to one of yours who works so hard and does things the right way, it doesn’t make it any easier.

“Her role is still big on this team. It’s just changed a little bit. She’s doing a really good job of helping along a number of our younger players as she sees the game from a different perspective.”

Kiski Area is 3-3 overall and 0-2 in Section 2-5A. The Cavaliers also own nonsection wins over Greensburg Salem and Propel Andrew Street. They will visit section foe Hampton on Thursday.

“The rest of the team was really upset when they heard the news, but this has given a number of other players the opportunity to step up into different roles. We know that one person won’t be able to replicate what Hannah gave us. We need a little bit from everybody.”

Down to the wire

Knoch coach Chris Andreassi said that Section 1-4A is improved all-around from a year ago when the Knights battled Apollo-Ridge, Greensburg Salem and Indiana for the third and fourth WPIAL playoff spots.

He said he was reminded of that competitiveness in Tuesday’s 39-37 victory over Indiana. Knoch rallied from a five-point deficit with under a minute to play.

Strong defensive play, he said, led to a Lauren Cihonski jumper and an Abbey Shearer 3-pointer that tied the game. Then an inbounds play in the final seconds led to an open layup attempt from Cihonski.

She was fouled with 0.2 seconds left, and she sank both free throws for the win.

Knoch joins North Catholic and Freeport at 2-0 in the section. The Knights, winners of four in a row after a season-opening loss to Butler, hope to stay perfect in section Thursday at home against Greensburg Salem.

“The girls came into the season with a great attitude, and they are working so hard for each other,” Andreassi said. “This is a pretty solid section, and we will have our hands full. It’s nice to get experience early in the year with a game like this and come out with a win.”

Rallying cry

Speaking of comebacks, the Plum girls rallied in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s Section 2-5A opener against rival Franklin Regional.

Facing a 10-point deficit at the end of the third, the Mustangs, paced by their mix of youth and experience, outscored the Panthers 19-5 over the final eight minutes to secure a 47-43 victory.

The win put Plum at 3-2 overall as the Mustangs bounced back from a tough 78-50 loss to Allderdice six days earlier.

With sights set on a title in what is shaping up to be a competitive section, the Mustangs will pay a visit to Mars (4-1, 1-1) on Thursday. The Planets suffered a 35-34 loss Monday to Gateway (4-1, 2-0).

Early test

Deer Lakes is off to a 2-0 start in Section 3-3A as the Lancers have taken care of business against South Allegheny and Valley.

The youthful Lancers have averaged 57 points in their past three games, all victories, and limited Valley to 27 points in a 59-27 triumph Monday.

Deer Lakes now will turn its attention to Thursday and test its mettle against Class 3A No. 2 Carlynton, one of the other 2-0 teams in the section. The Cougars, led by Division I recruit Jada Lee, edged East Allegheny, 40-38, Monday.

One of Carlynton’s two losses this season came at its season-opening tournament, a 50-48 setback to 6A Fox Chapel.

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

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