Megan Marston scores 1,000th career point to lead Plum girls past Woodland Hills

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Tuesday, January 2, 2024 | 10:41 PM


The Plum girls basketball team entered the New Year hoping to get back on the winning track after three straight losses to close out 2023.

The Mustangs got what they were looking for as they improved to 3-0 in Section 1-5A on Tuesday with a 53-43 victory at Woodland Hills.

“It was a nice bounce back for us,” Plum coach Rich Mull said. “Now that we got some kids healthy that weren’t necessarily healthy before this week, it was good for us to come out and take a step in the right direction. It’s a good feeling for the girls to be 3-0 in the section.”

The Mustangs, who suffered a loss to West Allegheny right before Christmas and a pair of losses at last week’s Hempfield tournament, upped their overall mark to 7-3.

Plum returns to action Friday at Peters Township.

“Peters is a really good team in 6A, so that is going to be a really good test for us,” Mull said.

Plum was led against Woodland Hills by the shooting of senior Megan Marston, who topped all scorers with 25 points.

She came in needing 14 to hit the 1,000-point mark for her varsity career.

The milestone points came with 55 seconds left in the second quarter on a 3-pointer shortly after she sank a pair of free throws to put her on the cusp. The game stopped at that point so her teammates could congratulate her while the Plum faithful showered her with applause.

She sank four from long range in the first half and had 14 at the break.

“That was my dream to get it that way (3-pointer),” Marston said. “When I hit those two fouls shots and I only needed three more, I wanted to make sure it was with a 3-pointer.

“I wanted to get the points, but getting the win is what mattered the most. I knew if we got the win, the points were going to come.”

Colleen Connors Marston, Megan’s mother, was a standout player at Gateway and also surpassed 1,000 points as a senior in 1993. Connors Marston’s 1,000th came nearly 30 years ago to the day, Jan. 3, 1993, against Highlands.

Marston didn’t exit the game unscathed, though, as she was involved in a collision going for a loose ball in the fourth quarter that left her with a bloody nose.

Plum had almost as many points (23) in the first five and a half minutes of the third quarter as it did in the entire first half (24).

The Mustangs led by 23 at the end of the third quarter, but the Wolverines didn’t fold.

Jhalynn Wilson, who led Woodland Hills with 19 points, scored seven in the fourth quarter as the Wolverines cut their deficit to 10, Plum’s final margin of victory.

“We don’t have quit in us,” said Woodland Hills coach Von Pitts, whose team fell to 0-7 overall and 0-2 in the section. “We know we have things to do to put everything together. We’ve gone through some things like injuries and players missing games that have kept us from reaching our full potential.

“We’re working on improving our depth. When the smoke clears, hopefully we can be right in there for that fourth playoff spot in the section. There’s still a lot of games left.”

Miley Young scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half for the Wolverines, ande Hope Hawkins scored six in the fourth quarter and also finished with 15 rebounds.

Riley Stephans also reached double figures in scoring for Plum with 12 points. Nine of her 12 came in the third quarter.

“The big thing for us is playing with consistency with our efforts and some of the other things we are trying to do,” Mull said. “We want to make sure we are playing a full four quarters.”

Both teams were a little rusty in the early going. The Mustangs and Wolverines combined for 13 turnovers, 10 fouls committed and 11 missed free throws in the first quarter.

Plum led 9-7 after one quarter on a pair of threes from Marston and another from Stephans.

A layup from Wilson allowed Woodland Hills to tie the score 15-15 with exactly four minutes to go until halftime.

But the Wolverines then went cold from the field, and Plum started to pull away with a 9-0 run to close the half.

Serena Carnahan delivered a layup and a free throw to extend the Mustangs’ lead to 19-15 with 2:05 on the second quarter clock.

Marston then hit her free throws at the 1:36 mark and followed them up with her milestone 3-pointer to make it 24-15. That was the score as the team’s went to halftime.

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.

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