Greensburg CC girls rout Clairton but Bears sophomore Iyanna Wade scores 1,000th point

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Monday, February 6, 2023 | 11:27 PM


Greensburg Central Catholic rolled out a Spalding TF-1000 Legacy basketball for Monday night’s game against visiting Clairton.

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.

It was their fourth game of 77 or more points this season.

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.”

GCC (17-4, 10-1), which was coming off losses to 4A McKeesport at the Shootout at Seton Hill, and Serra Catholic in section, also got 21 points from freshman guard Erica Gribble, who made five 3s.

The Centurions had reached the No. 1 ranking in the WPIAL and state before the pair of defeats.

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.”

Wade’s father, Carlton Wade, who coaches Clairton, also was a 1,000-point scorer for the Bears before he played college basketball at Marist.

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.

Clairton had won 4 of 5 coming in. Wade had 36, including 29 in the second half, when GCC topped the Bears earlier in the season, 57-48.

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.

Wade made two 3s in the third but both times could only cut the margin to 24.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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