Penn-Trafford girls basketball ready for challenge in move to Class 6A

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Saturday, December 5, 2020 | 11:14 AM


There will be a new set of challenges for the Penn-Trafford girls basketball team this season, and it has nothing to do with the coronavirus.

Penn-Trafford has jumped from Class 5A to Class 6A, and veteran coach John Giannikas knows the competition will be a lot tougher.

The Warriors are in a section with Butler, North Allegheny, North Hills, Norwin, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley and Shaler.

“There won’t be an easy game,” Giannikas said. “Don’t get me wrong, Class 5A has a lot of good teams, but not as good as Class 6A. Everyone has talented players. We’ll be in for a battle every game.”

Giannikas said North Allegheny and Norwin are both loaded with talent.

Penn-Trafford returns three starters: junior Maura Suman and seniors Alley Prady and Mackenzie Powell. The Warriors must replace 1,000-point career scorer Bella Long and reserve Morgan Hilty from a team that finished 15-8 overall and 8-6 in Section 3-5A.

The Warriors lost 37-36 to Gateway in the opening round of the WPIAL playoffs.

Giannikas said the team is capable of using multiple lineups, whether a matchup calls for five guards, four guards and a post or three guards and two forwards.

“A lot depends on the team we’re playing or the situation of the game on what packages we’ll use,” Giannikas said. “We have five good guards. How the guards play will dictate how the team will play. They’re pretty skilled.”

Prady averaged 12 points, Suman 11.5 and Powell, who will play all five positions, averaged 11.

“It’s an exciting group,” Giannikas said. “We’ve had to battle some setbacks at practice. Some kids have been held out for precautions.

“We were able to meet in the summer and work in small groups. You could tell a lot of them worked on their own to get better. In the fall, a lot played other sports. But when their seasons were over, they were with us working out. They are a committed group.”

Penn-Trafford is scheduled to start the season against Sto-Rox on Dec. 11. The Warriors are slated to visit Belle Vernon on Dec. 12.

Penn-Trafford girls basketball at a glance

Coach: John Giannikas

Last year’s record: 15-8 (8-6 Section 3-5A)

Returning starters: Maura Suman (Jr., G), Allie Prady (Sr., G), Mackenzie Powell (Sr., F)

Top newcomers: Jada Czesnakowski (Sr., F), Brooke Cleland (Sr., G), Maddie Setzanfand (So., G), Olivia Pepple (Fr. G), Kylee Piconi (So., G), Lillian Palladino (So., G)

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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