Greensburg CC girls rout Clairton but Bears sophomore Iyanna Wade scores 1,000th point
Monday, February 6, 2023 | 11:27 PM
It is the ball the WPIAL requires teams to use in the playoffs.
The Lady Centurions looked playoff ready but only partially because of the ball they were using.
Third-ranked GCC was motivated, and it showed. The team regained its swagger with a 78-40 victory over the Bears to shake off a two-game slide and move a step closer to a section title.
Both teams have clinched playoff spots. The WPIAL will reveal pairings next Monday.
“I don’t really like the texture of the ball, but it’s good for us to get used to it for the playoffs,” said GCC junior guard Mya Morgan, who scored a season-best 28 points and made four 3-pointers. “We came together more as a team tonight and played with more energy.”
Morgan had a big night, hanging 16 in the opening quarter, but she wasn’t the game’s top scorer.
Sophomore Iyanna Wade pumped in 35 points, connecting on six 3s, and reached the 1,000-point mark for her short and blossoming career late in the first quarter for the Bears (9-8, 7-5).
The 5-foot-3 Wade, who came in averaging 34 points, had 50 in a game this season.
She reached 1,000 in just 36 career games, firing high-arcing shots and fearlessly attacking the rim against taller players.
“I am glad for her,” GCC coach Chris Skatell said of Wade, whom he has coached with AAU’s Western PA Bruins. “That kid works her butt off. I was shocked when she missed a foul shot.”
Wade, who made 9 of 10 free throws after converting 15 of 15 in an earlier game against GCC, said she knew what she was up against with the Centurions but appreciated the milestone coming so early.
“It’s definitely a big accomplishment for me,” she said. “I’ve been working so hard this year to even make this possible. GCC has great players and playmakers, so that matchup is always rough.”
GCC put up 47 points in the first half to build a 23-point lead by halftime.
Wade made a 3 in the first to get Clairton within 14-12, but the Bears could not keep up, and the deficit gradually swelled.
Wade had 12 of the 14 in the first, and 22 of the Bears’ 24 in the first half.
A 19-2 run by GCC that included 3s from Gribble and Morgan, and back-to-back hoops from senior Cadie Peters, put the Centurions up 38-16 late in the second quarter.
Gribble delivered a nifty touch-pass to Peters as Gribble drifted backward out of bounds under the rim. Peters had eight of her 11 points in the second quarter.
“Gribbs and Mya shot it really well tonight,” Skatell said. “The McKeesport game took a lot out of us. I was happy with our effort against Serra. … It was a tough loss. We did some better things. We played ball tonight.”
Clairton, despite the lack of depth, matched GCC on the boards, routinely getting offensive rebounds.
“We’re at a point in the season where we have a large enough body of work to know our strengths and weaknesses,” Skatell said. “We need to be better rebounding the ball.”
The Bears fell victim to the 30-point mercy rule early in the fourth on a layup by junior Cara Dupilka, who scored eight.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
More Basketball• Suspended Shady Side Academy coach Jonna Burke files lawsuit against PIAA
• Westmoreland County Senior Spotlight: Greensburg Salem’s Ashlan Price
• Hampton point guard Meghan Murray commits to Kent State
• Westmoreland high school notebook: Znavor takes over Yough girls basketball team
• Kiski Area’s Johns excited to commit to Shippensburg for basketball