PIAA Class 3A girls basketball championship breakdown: Mohawk vs. West Catholic

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 | 6:22 PM

PIAA Class 3A girls basketball championship

No. 1 Mohawk vs. No. 2 West Catholic

5 p.m. Thursday at Giant Center, Hershey

On the air: PCN (video); TribHSSN.TribLive.com/WKST-AM 1200 (audio)

How they got here: District 12 champion West Catholic defeated District 4 champ Loyalsock Township, 62-52, in the quarterfinals, and District 11 champ Notre Dame Green Pond, 59-33, in the semifinals. Mohawk defeated District 9 champ Punxsutawney, 68-52, in the quarterfinals and District 6 champ Forest Hills, 74-58, in the semifinals.

Starting lineups

West Catholic (11-4)

Coach: Beulah Osueke

No., Player, Pos., Ht., Yr.

2, Destiney McPhaul, G, Sr.

10, Ciani Montgomery, G, Sr.

11, Daziy Wilson, G, Sr.

13, Ti’Eisha Walker, F, Sr.

23, Patience Sanders, F, Sr.

Mohawk (19-4)

Coach: Mike O’Lare

No., Player, Pos., Ht., Yr.

3, Jordan Radzmynski, 5-10, G, Jr.

4, Abigail Shoaff, 5-5, G, Sr.

10, Paige Julien, 5-8, G, Sr.

11, Hannah McDanel, 5-8, G, Sr.

24, Nadia Lape, 5-5, G, Sr.

Title-game history: Mohawk is making its first appearance in a girls state title game. West Catholic is making its second appearance after a 45-42 loss to Bellwood Antis in 2018.

Notable: McPhaul, a 5-8 guard, is one of the top players in the state. Averaging 20.9 points per game, she scored 19 in the state quarterfinals and 26 in the semifinals. McPhaul chose Virginia Tech from a list of finalists that included Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Michigan. In the semifinal win over Notre Dame Green Pond, West Catholic went on a 16-0 run in the first quarter and led 40-10 at the half. McPhaul had 19 first-quarter points. Montgomery (16.9) and Wilson (10.7) also average in double figures. Osueke is the first Black coach, male or female, to win a Philadelphia Catholic League championship. Now in her eighth season, West Catholic went 0-18 in her first year as coach. … Mohawk knocked off undefeated teams in its first two state playoff games. Lape, who will attend the U.S. Military Academy, averages 14.3 points per game and scored 21 in the state quarterfinals and 22 in the semifinals. Julian, a West Liberty State recruit, is the team’s leading scorer with 19.6 points per game. McDanel also averages in double figures (14.9). Lape, Julian and McDanel have combined for 123 points in two state playoff games. O’Lare, in his 15th season, is 229-126 at Mohawk.

Jonathan Bombulie is the TribLive assistant sports editor. A Greensburg native, he was a hockey reporter for two decades, covering the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for 17 seasons before joining the Trib in 2015 and covering the Penguins for four seasons, including Stanley Cup championships in 2016-17. He can be reached at jbombulie@triblive.com.


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