Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week for March 3, 2024

By:
Sunday, March 3, 2024 | 9:17 PM


Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week: South Fayette Lions

Coach: Bryan Bennett (sixth season)

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

#Earned: Few thought another WPIAL championship was in the cards for South Fayette after they finished in third place in a tough Section 4-5A, and were seeded No. 6 in the district 5A playoffs. However, two playoff wins over No. 11 Mars and No. 3 Trinity had the Lions roaring into a final four cat fight against the Tigers of McKeesport. The green machine avenged an earlier loss to the No. 2 seed and defeated McKeesport, 49-41, to reach the 5A finals. There, South Fayette jumped out to a four-point lead after one quarter against No. 5 Armstrong, and then extended the advantage to 10 points by halftime. After the lead was cut to four heading into the fourth quarter, the Lions held on to beat the River Hawks for a district three-peat.

Scoring stars: Sophomore sensations Haylie Lamonde and Juliette Leroux have done the heavy lifting on the stats sheet this postseason, and it continued this past week. In the semifinals, Leroux led with 16 points and Lamonde scored 13 in the eight-point victory over McKeesport. Then at the Petersen Events Center, despite facing a triangle-and-two defense by Armstrong, Leroux had 18 points and eight rebounds while Lamonde scored 17 points. Senior Erica Hall took advantage of the River Hawks’ junk defense and added 17 points and eight rebounds in the seven- point golden victory.

Last year: Coming off a WPIAL championship run in 2022 and with most of its big guns returning, South Fayette was the team to beat in girls 5A and did not disappoint. They finished the regular season by winning their final 14 games, then swept through the WPIAL postseason to win a second straight district crown. The Lions made it 22 wins in a row with a PIAA semifinal win over Oakland Catholic, but the run ended with a state championship loss to Archbishop Wood, 61-54.

Remember when: South Fayette became the 13th school in WPIAL history to win three straight girls basketball championships. North Catholic also did it this year…for the fourth time (1980-82, 1993-95, 2017-20, 2022-24). The other district teams that have three-peated include: Bishop Canevin (2016-18), Rochester (2019-21), Vincentian Academy (2012-16), Oakland Catholic (1999-02), Geibel Catholic (1993-96), Avonworth (1992-94), St. Francis Academy (1989-91), Mt. Alvernia (1983-85), Baldwin (1981-83) and Penn Hills, which won seven straight crowns from 1986-92. While Bennett has won three championships in his six seasons, his predecessor did all right as well. Matt Bacco guided South Fayette to back-to-back championship games in 2015 and 2016. The Lions lost in the ’15 finals to Blackhawk, 65-54, however they won their first girls basketball crown a year later, beating rival Trinity, 59-52.

2024 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Teams of the Week

Week 8 – Laurel Highlands Mustangs

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

Tags:

More Basketball

Hampton basketball readies for rare coaching search
Hall of fame basketball coach Joe Lafko steps down at Hampton
Corey Dotchin steps down as Highlands boys basketball coach
PIAA taking bids to host basketball championships
Basketball coach Rob Niederberger, who lifted Shaler from last place to WPIAL contender, resigns