Dynamic young guards have Greensburg Central Catholic girls in contention ahead of schedule

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Wednesday, January 18, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Greensburg Central Catholic is growing up fast.

The girls basketball team has just 11 players and only two seniors, so it might look like their best days could be ahead.

But the Centurions, brimming with talent, have emerged as a serious contender in WPIAL Class 2A.

To a large degree, the team’s 13-2 record (6-0 Section 3-2A) is due to the combined play of a three-guard nucleus in juniors Mya Morgan and Avery Davis and budding freshman Erica Gribble.

The trio, all with roots in North Huntingdon, have been a long-bombing wrecking crew, producing 73 3-pointers through the first 14 games.

It’s a pick-your-poison situation for opposing defenses.

“Most teams play zone on us now,” coach Chris Skatell said. “We’re growing up as we go. We’ll have a step forward and a step back here and there, but you can see the talent is there.

“Of the starters, Mya is the only one who played a lot last year.”

Morgan (13 ppg) is the steadying presence and experienced backcourt leader who is helping to bring Davis and Gribble along. Although, both have proven to be varsity ready and don’t need much teaching.

Gribble averages 14 points and Davis 10.

GCC is ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL and state — behind Freedom, on both accounts.

“I didn’t think we’d click as quick as we did,” Morgan said. “We play together when we share the ball well and work as a team.”

Gribble is one of the top players in the state in the Class of 2026. She already has scholarship offers from St. Joseph’s and Buffalo and has strong interest from other Division I schools.

“Gribble was an eighth grader last year,” Skatell said. “I couldn’t be happier with her play. She is a straight-up basketball player. Sometimes she is too unselfish.”

Gribble, whose sisters Alayna and Olivia were standouts at Norwin, said the older players at GCC have made her transition go smoothly.

“I feel like a leader on the team,” Gribble said. “We’re such a small team, and we’re all friends and get along really well. It’s easy to communicate with everyone.”

With Morgan, Skatell knows he has a player who looks comfortable in big games.

“When we’re rolling, we’re very balanced and even in scoring,” Skatell said. “When Mya rolls, the team rolls.”

Davis has found a role in the backcourt, helping to take pressure off Morgan and Gribble. GCC hasn’t had a scoring trio like this since Melina Maietta, Anna Eisaman and Bella Skatell in 2018-19.

Davis has a team-high 23 3s, Gribble had 17 and Morgan 14.

Chris Skatell last week had “mid-term” interviews with each of his players to assess their play. As he did so, he took inventory on their roles.

“Davis and (junior Cara) Dupilka have been very good, steady,” Chris Skatell said. “Dupilka had nine defensive rebounds in the Serra game. (Senior Cadie) Peters and (senior Kaylin) Reusser keep it all going in the right direction.”

Skatell has played up to eight girls in the rotation, with freshman Abby Dlugos and sophomore Erica Rodriguez also logging minutes.

“We’re OK when we share when we should and defend when we should,” Skatell said.

GCC opened some eyes when it defeated defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Neshannock, 61-56, in the third game of the season. Gribble scored 23 in that game.

The Centurions overcame a 20-point loss to Seton LaSalle to win nine of their next 10 games, including section wins over Serra Catholic (47-43) and Clairton (57-48), both top five teams at the time.

GCC was allowing 35.4 points, with more emphasis being placed on the defensive end of the floor.

“(Clairton standout) Iyanna Wade had seven points in the first half,” Skatell said. “But she had 29 in the second. We kind of went to sleep in that game. We need to keep defending and getting stops.”

GCC played the majority of its regular season games before mid January and did so on purpose.

“We’ve had a lot of games early,” the coach said. “That gives us some time to rest a little and say, ‘OK, here’s what we need to work on.’”

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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