Penn Hills girls determined to work through struggles

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Sunday, January 24, 2021 | 8:01 AM


The Penn Hills girls basketball program is looking to regain focus after an up-and-down start to the season.

The Indians (2-2, 1-1) lost back-to-back games against Beaver and Woodland Hills. Penn Hills fell 37-30 to Beaver in nonsection action Jan. 16 after entering the fourth quarter with the lead.

Two days later, the Indians had one of their worst defensive games as Penn Hills lost at Woodland Hills, 62-48, in Section 4-5A.

“I thought Beaver’s length and maturity kind of hurt a little bit. They were very disciplined and being where they needed to be and taking some things away from us,” coach Robert Cash said. “Against Woodland Hills, I don’t think we played well in all facets of the game. I think defensively we played our worst game in years.”

Senior guard Jasmyn Golden scored a team-high 15 points in the Beaver game and led the Indians with 16 points in the Woodland Hills loss. Senior guard Amoni Blackwell added 14 points against Woodland Hills.

Jasmyn Golden leads the Indians with 18.5 ppg this season.

The guard scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Indians to a 48-40 win at the Oakland Catholic Tournament on Dec. 11 to start the season before the three-week break of winter sports. After the break, Jasmyn Golden scored 20 points in a 58-40 win over Gateway in section play Jan. 11.

“She’s in a rhythm right now,” Cash said. “She’s been knocking down the 3-pointer, and she has the ability to get to the rim. She’s looking to score more. She understands in order for us to be successful, she needs to put the ball in the hole.”

Cash and his players used the three-week shutdown wisely.

“We used the break to get a mental break,” Cash said. “We’ve been in the gym since July. Some kids have been in the gym with high school and AAU. The kids just needed a break to rest their minds. AAU went longer than any other year.”

With no fall league games this season because of the pandemic, the Indians are using the early-season games as an opportunity for their senior guards — Jasmyn Golden, Blackwell and Jayla Golden — to get on the same page.

“I think for us getting prepared day-in and day-out is really important because we don’t go 10 or 11 deep,” Cash said. “We’re going to take it one game at a time and one day at a time and prepare ourselves to be as successful as possible.”

Cash is hoping to get more of an inside presence headlined by senior forward Delainey Carpenter to complement the Indians strong guard play. Carpenter has only reached double figures once with an 11-point game against Gateway.

After the losses to Woodland Hills and Beaver, the Indians were set for tough nonsection matchups at home against Chartiers Valley and at Oakland Catholic.

“It’s time to get back in the gym and figure things out,” Cash said.

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