Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week for Feb. 18, 2024

Sunday, February 18, 2024 | 9:33 PM

Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week: Penn Hills Indians

Coach: Robert Cash (eighth season)

Record: 7-5 in Section 1-5A, 12-11 overall

#Earned: The Indians finished the regular season by winning three of their last four games thanks to a victory over City League finalist Obama Academy on Monday, 48-43. That same day, the WPIAL playoff brackets were revealed and Penn Hills at 11-11 was picked to play in a Class 5A preliminary round game against Thomas Jefferson. Coach Robert Cash said he was stunned by the pigtail game assignment, thinking the tough nonsection schedule his team faced was more than enough to get them between a 12 and 14 seed. The Indians took their anger out on the host Jaguars by building a 19-6 lead after the first quarter. Up by 14 points at the half, the Indians hit a wall and TJ came back to pull to within one point. However, between the waning seconds of the third quarter and the first couple minutes of the fourth, Penn Hills went on an 11-0 run to take control again and beat Thomas Jefferson, 59-43, to earn the No. 16 seed.

Scoring stars: In the regular season finale, Penn Hills was led by top scorer, senior Hannah Pugliese, who scored 17 points, two points more than her season average. Sophomore Milani Oliver scored 15 points for the Indians in Monday’s triumph. In the preliminary-round game, Pugliese and fellow senior Egypt Moore-Coleman enjoyed huge games. Pugliese was top scorer with 28 points while Moore-Coleman had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. She also had seven steals and six assists. Oliver chipped in with 10 points and seven assists.

Last year: The Indians finished in a tie for third place with Woodland Hills this season in Section 1-5A. Penn Hills also finished in a tie for third place in 2023, except it was a three-way tie for third a year ago as they ended up 6-6 in the section along with Plum and Kiski Area. The postseason was short and not so sweet for the Indians as they lost in the first round of the 5A playoffs to host McKeesport, 62-29.

Remember when: While Penn Hills will be an underdog against top-seeded and undefeated Oakland Catholic on Tuesday, there was a time when the Indians took a backseat to nobody in the WPIAL. Under coach Bill Lind, Penn Hills won Class 4A district gold for seven straight seasons from 1986-92. The Indians also won another title in 1995 for eight crowns in 10 years. After coming close several times, Penn Hills won the elusive PIAA championship in 1990 when it crushed J.P. McCaskey, 86-39, to finish 32-1. That team was induced into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2015.

2024 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Teams of the Week

Week 6 – Trinity Hillers

Week 5 – Upper St. Clair Panthers

Week 4 – Lincoln Park Leopards

Week 3 – Elizabeth Forward Warriors

Week 2 – Aliquippa Quips

Week 1 – Norwin Knights


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