Penn Hills girls look to keep the ball rolling after playoff season

Sunday, November 26, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Robert Cash doesn’t want the Penn Hills girls basketball team to take its foot off the gas. Last season, the Indians found a way to turn around their fortunes.

Penn Hills returned to the postseason after batting through a ferocious race in Section 1-5A. The Indians lost in the first round to McKeesport and finished with a 10-12 record, including a 6-6 mark in section. Penn Hills made a nine-win turnaround and are hoping to add a few more to the win column this season.

“We always want to build off the momentum of a season like last year,” Cash said. “We want to be better than last year. We had a good start to practice and want to keep going and see where we end up.”

Penn Hills will open the season Dec. 1 at the Mt. Lebanon Tip-Off Tournament against the host Blue Devils. The Indians have the benefit of plenty of experience returning. Slippery Rock commit Hannah Pugliese led the team in scoring last season.

Forward Egypt Coleman also put up strong numbers. Center Cara Crawford, forward Gia Cash and sophomore Milani Oliver will also be counted on to fill up key minutes for the Indians.

Robert Cash said he is happy that Penn Hills has 18 girls out for the team this season. He is hoping to keep them throughout the season.

Oliver had an outstanding all-around freshman year. She helped Penn Hills qualify for the PIAA Class 3A state track meet in the 1,600-meter relay last season.

That speed helps Oliver play well on both ends of the floor.

“It allows her to be explosive and get to her spots well,” Robert Cash said. “She can get quality shots. She also does a good job creating turnovers.”

Penn Hills plans to create plenty of havoc to stay in the race for a playoff spot out of the section. The Indians will be in a section with Franklin Regional, Gateway, Indiana, Kiski, Plum and Woodland Hills.

With higher numbers and more experienced upperclassmen in the lineup, Penn Hills would like to make the playoffs with a little less drama needed this season. Robert Cash believes the Indians have the right formula to do so.

“We will be able to play multiple ways,” Cash said. “We always want to play as fast as possible. But we also want to play fast, but still be able to make adjustments.”


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