Deep 3 helps Burgettstown girls defeat GCC in Class 2A quarterfinals

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Wednesday, February 22, 2023 | 9:37 PM


With Greensburg Central Catholic advancing on her team in the fourth quarter and momentum slipping away from Burgettstown, Jillian Frazier decided to take the stress out of the situation.

In a game that had 15 3-pointers, none were more important — or impressive — than the one Frazier launched from long distance.

Her 25-footer from just across the volleyball line — Stephen Curry range — splashed down with 18 seconds remaining to break a tie GCC had worked so hard to force.

The long 3 from north of the right wing thrust the fifth-seeded Blue Devils to a 50-45 upset of No. 4 GCC in the WPIAL Class 2A quarterfinals Wednesday night at AHN Arena in Peters Township.

The Blue Devils’ side of the gym erupted like a crowd at the Pavilion at Star Lake as the team secured its first trip to the semifinals in school history.

“I didn’t really think about where I was (on the court),” Frazier said. “I don’t really practice them much from there.”

Burgettstown (19-5), which has only been to the quarterfinals three times in program history, moves on to play No. 1 Shenango (20-4) on Saturday.

Burgettstown and GCC have qualified for the PIAA playoffs.

GCC (19-5) drops into the consolation bracket, where it will play Brentwood (13-9) on Friday. The play-in games in 2A will determine state seeding.

Frazier, who has 60 3s this winter for a single-season school record, finished with 16 points to lead three players in double figures.

Junior forward Kaitlyn Nease added 13, and senior guard Addison Carnes chipped in 11.

“That’s normal for her,” Burgettstown coach Megan Zitner said of Frazier’s long bomb. “That’s not the first time she has hit a 3 to beat the buzzer from deep. She always has the green light.

“We knew how good GCC was, but we said, ‘Let’s prove them wrong. GCC had their time. Now, it’s our time.’ ”

After Frazier’s fourth 3 dropped, she made two free throws with five seconds left to ice it.

GCC, which rallied from 10 down in the third quarter, finally tied it at 45-45 on a cutting layup by freshman Abby Dlugos with 2:30 to play.

But the Centurions, who made 10 3s — four each from freshman Erica Gribble and junior Avery Davis — could not regain a lead they last possessed at 5-4.

An 8-0 run by the Centurions that included 3s from junior Mya Morgan and Gribble cut it to 38-37 early in the fourth.

Nease put back a miss to make it 43-37 with four minutes to go, but Davis swished a 3, and Gribble hit again from behind the arc to cut it to 45-43.

But GCC was tense with the score tied, and it turned the ball over with 40 seconds left.

Gribble had a 3 attempt in the closing seconds but couldn’t connect.

“Sometimes, inexperience gets you,” GCC coach Chris Skatell said. “(Burgettstown) played great, don’t get me wrong. But they didn’t do anything special. We just weren’t right. We had too much inexperience on the floor.”

GCC played without senior forward Cadie Peters, who was on the bench in sweats. She did not play for an undisclosed reason.

Dlugos started in her place.

“I am proud our girls kept playing and didn’t pack it in,” Skatell said. “We’ll learn from this.”

Burgettstown led 12-5 after the first quarter, ending the frame with an 8-0 run.

GCC got to within 14-13, but Frazier made a 3 late in the second as the Blue Devils grabbed a 20-16 lead at the half.

Eight straight points, including six in a row to open the third, stretched the margin to 26-16.

Avery made a layup off an assist from Gribble, but Carnes finished a drive and the Blue Devils took a 35-29 lead into the fourth.

Gribble finished with 19 points, and Davis and Morgan had 12 apiece.

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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