Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week for Feb. 26, 2024

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | 12:33 AM

Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week: Laurel Highlands Mustangs

Coach: Stewart Davis (second season)

Record: 10-2 in Section 3-4A, 20-2 overall

#Earned: The spectacular turnaround for the Mustangs from 1-19 two years ago to 20-2 this season continued last week with a pair of postseason victories. In the first round, Laurel Highlands enjoyed some home cooking as they feasted on Quaker Valley, outscoring the Quakers 20-3 in the second quarter on their way to a 65-29 win. In the Class 4A quarterfinals, it was a rematch of last year’s first-round contest in which host Highlands beat Laurel Highlands by 20 points. The tables turned this time around for the Mustangs as they stifled the Golden Rams. Laurel Highlands trialed by one point heading into the fourth quarter then outscored Highlands 23-10 in the fourth to win by a dozen points, 45-33, advancing to the semifinals and a showdown Tuesday against top seed Blackhawk.

Scoring stars: Laurel Highlands had three players in double-digit scoring in the opening-round win at home over Quaker Valley. The Mustangs were led by junior Miyah Harris, who scored 24 points. Junior Aryianna Sumpter scored 22 points and sophomore Aierra Jenkins added 13 points. In the quarterfinals victory at Highlands, sophomore Taylor Irwin led the way with 12 points while Sumpter scored 11 points for the victory.

Last year: Two years ago, the Mustangs finished in last place in Section 3-5A with a 1-19 overall record. Last season, the first under coach Stewart Davis, Laurel Highlands improved by 10 games, finishing 11-11 and in fourth place in Section 3-4A behind Elizabeth Forward, Belle Vernon and West Mifflin. Returning to the postseason, the Mustangs traveled to Highlands for a 4A first-round playoff game and lost to the Golden Rams, 54-34.

Remember when: The game Tuesday against Blackhawk at Peters Township marks only the second WPIAL semifinal trip in program history. The program’s only other appearance in the district final four was 26 years ago. Laurel Highlands defeated Bethel Park, 63-25, and Mt. Lebanon, 67-52, before falling to North Allegheny, 70-64, in the 1998 Quad-A semifinals. The two wins this week were the first time the Laurel Highlands girls basketball program tasted a postseason victory since they knocked off Mars in a 2011 Class 3A preliminary round game, 46-39. The 20-win season for the Mustangs is impressive considering the program won a total of 14 games in six seasons between 2017-2022.

2024 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Teams of the Week

Week 7 – Penn Hills Indians

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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