Penn-Trafford girls use fast start to down Franklin Regional

Friday, December 27, 2019 | 8:04 PM

Penn-Trafford junior guard Allie Prady was hoping she and her teammates would get out of the gates faster than they had in recent basketball games.

The Warriors would rather wind up and go early than have to rally late.

“We haven’t started out good in the first quarter lately, so it was good to be able to do that today,” Prady said. “We needed that.”

Prady scored 17 points and senior guard Bella Long added 14 to pace the Lady Warriors to a 53-34 victory over Franklin Regional on Friday in the Penn-Trafford Holiday Tournament.

With four 3-pointers, three coming in the third quarter, Prady helped the Warriors (5-2) maintain a double-digit lead and register their third straight win.

“Every coach will tell you, all they want is four solid quarters,” Penn-Trafford coach John Giannikas said. “We could have played better, but we shot the ball well today.”

Franklin Regional (2-5), with a number of underclassmen in the lineup, fell behind after the first quarter, 14-3, and trailed 22-11 at halftime.

Showing command on their home floor, where it is 3-1 this season, Penn-Trafford tried to speed up the tempo and force the Panthers into turnovers.

“The last three games before today, we’ve had the lead and gave them up in the third quarter,” Franklin Regional coach Anthony Kobus said. “The girls battled hard. We have a lot of freshmen coming off the bench for us, and they are learning.”

The Panthers lost to Obama Academy, 48-47, and Plum, 47-43.

They played without forward Noelle Boyd in their latest game. Their only senior was out with an illness.

Junior Angel Kelly hit a 3-pointer early in the third for the Panthers to trim the deficit to 10 at 24-14, but Long and Prady answered with threes of their own, and Kenzie Powell also hit from deep for the Warriors as they ballooned the advantage to 45-20 heading to the fourth.

Penn-Trafford upset then-No. 2 Gateway earlier this month, 59-58, on a buzzer-beating three from sophomore Maura Suman.

Prady, Suman and Powell all have helped to take the scoring load off of Long, a Slippery Rock commit and the Warriors’ all-time leader in 3-pointers made.

All three have scored consistently in the high teens or have topped 20 points in games.

“We have four kids averaging around double digits,” Giannikas said. “They have stepped up and help give us balance.”

Junior Kathryn Nardo led Franklin Regional with nine points and Kelly had eight.

Powell had eight for Penn-Trafford.

“We’re all trying to get into a rhythm together,” Prady said. “It’s not just me scoring. (Senior) Morgan (Hilty) and (junior) Brooke (Cleland) have really helped, too.”

Hilty, Cleland and Prady all played on Penn-Trafford’s PIAA championship softball team last spring.

The round-robin tournament concludes Saturday. Penn-Trafford plays McKeesport, while Franklin Regional faces Norwin.

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

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