Jeannette girls basketball team nearly wins with 3 players on floor

Saturday, December 2, 2023 | 3:58 PM

Jeannette started with five and ended with three, but still almost won.

The Jayhawks girls basketball team, which only has five players, took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter against Northgate on Saturday at the Aquinas Academy Tournament, but fell short 27-24 despite playing the final five-plus minutes with only three players.

Mckenna Craft, Karmen Kistner and Mary Jones finished the game for Jeannette (0-2) after Adriana Allison (13 points) and Venicia Vignoli fouled out, one with seven minutes remaining, the other at the 5:30 mark.

Jeannette managed to stay close, nonetheless.

“The whole gym was cheering for them,” Jeannette coach Anna Leonard said. “Those three held Northgate to seven points, and they were pressing us the whole last 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

“These moments are the ones that define us and show everyone that we are a family and we fight for each other. One of my proudest moments as a coach. I couldn’t ask for a better five.”

Leonard said Jones had “labored breathing” with about 30 seconds to play, and referees suggested she leave the game. But Jones did not want to cut the lineup any shorter.

“She refused to let us finish with two,” the coach said.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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