Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week for Feb. 4, 2024

Sunday, February 4, 2024 | 3:53 PM

Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week: Upper St. Clair Panthers

Coach: Pete Serio (10th season)

Record: 5-5 in Section 2-6A, 11-9 overall

Last year: Upper St. Clair finished as champion in Section 2-6A, three games in front of 2022 district champ Mt. Lebanon. The Panthers defeated Peters Township in the quarterfinals and Mt. Lebanon in the semifinals to advance to the 6A title game. USC lost to North Allegheny in the finals, 71-45, and following wins over McDowell and Pennsburg in the first two rounds of the PIAA playoffs, the Panthers lost to Cedar Cliff in the state quarterfinals.

#Earned: The Panthers entered the week tied for fourth place in Section 2-6A with Canon-McMillan, but did not have the tiebreaker after losing earlier this season to the Big Macs. USC first defeated rival Mt. Lebanon on Monday thanks to big even quarters. The Panthers outscored the Blue Devils in the second and fourth quarters, 34-12, to knock off visiting Lebo, 47-31. On Thursday, Upper St. Clair stunned second-place Chartiers Valley, jumping out to a 33-14 halftime lead before holding on to upset the host Colts, 53-47. Those wins have allowed USC to control its own destiny heading into the final week of section play. The Panthers can clinch with a home win Monday against the Big Macs.

Scoring stars: With the loss of junior star Rylee Kalocay to a torn ACL in early January, Upper St. Clair has leaned on a balanced attack with a young team learning on the fly. Against Mt. Lebanon, junior Olivia Terlecki led USC with 16 points while fellow junior Meredith Huzjak scored 15. Three days later at Chartiers Valley, Huzjak scored a game-high 20 points while sophomore point guard Ryan Prunzik chipped in 14 points in the visiting Panthers’ upset victory.

Remember when: In the mid-1990’s, Upper St. Clair won three WPIAL girls basketball championships in a four- year span. The Panthers also won gold in 2003 and again in 2008. Lately, the program has had a silver lining as it finished as WPIAL 6A runner-up in 2021, 2022 and 2023. USC has been eliminated by North Allegheny in the district postseason in five of the last six years — twice in the finals (2021, 2023), twice in the quarterfinals (2018, 2019) and once in the semifinals (2020).

2024 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Teams of the Week

Week 4 – Lincoln Park Leopards

Week 3 – Elizabeth Forward Warriors

Week 2 – Aliquippa Quips

Week 1 – Norwin Knights


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