Westmoreland County girls basketball all-stars: Mt. Pleasant’s Tiffany Zelmore an elite scorer

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Saturday, April 1, 2023 | 6:38 PM


Tiffany Zelmore

Sr., F, Mt. Pleasant

The ball goes up, hits the backboard with force and rims out. But Tiffany Zelmore is not discouraged.

In one motion, she cleans up her own miss, grunting as she pulls down the rebound, and goes back up for two points. She is fouled in the process and makes the free throw.

The next time down the floor, she does it again — then, again.

The board-crashing senior forward from Mt. Pleasant was one of the WPIAL’s most productive scorers the last few years, and it was her determined play around the rim that allowed her to clean up.

It also earned her the distinction of Tribune-Review Westmoreland Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Greensburg Central Catholic junior Mya Morgan, GCC freshman Erica Gribble, Norwin junior Lauren Palangio and Penn-Trafford junior Olivia Pepple also were considered.

Zelmore averaged 28.8 points and scored 1,629 for her career — 663 this season — as Mt. Pleasant made a run to the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs.

“When I set my mind to something,” she said, “not a lot can stop me.”

Zelmore was a true volume scorer, rarely disappointing, even against better teams. She showed touch around the rim but also developed a perimeter game and cashed in on increased free-throw attempts.

“I didn’t think I would have as many points,” she said. “I originally was guessing I would average around 20 points per game. Teamwise, it was nice for my senior year to be able to have a winning record and make playoffs, but it’s disappointing that we couldn’t get a playoff win. Overall, I think personally, and as a team, we had a successful season.”

Mt. Pleasant coach Scott Giacobbi knows he is fortunate to have coached the program’s second all-time scorer.

“Tiffany has made a lasting impact on our program,” Giacobbi said. “She has been a key contributor and the go-to scorer in our offense since she was a freshman. She’s the type of player opponents must plan for, and her talents influence every part of the game. She’s a special player whom we’ll certainly miss.”

Zelmore also made lasting memories in her final prep season. “TAZ” had her own cheering section as she molded her legacy.

“A lot of my family and friends were there to support the team and myself,” she said. “I think I will be remembered for my determination and my name being in the gym on a banner for scoring 1,000 points.”

Plus, a few more than that.

First team

Kendall Berger

So., G, Norwin

Emerged as key scorer for the Lady Knights, who reached the WPIAL and PIAA 6A semifnals. … Averaged team-best 13.2 points and pulled down 4.7 rebounds.

Camille Dominick

Sr., G-F, Latrobe

Pitt-Johnstown commit was one of area’s top combo forwards. … Averaged 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists for the Wildcats

Laney Gerdich

Sr., F, Yough

Helped lead Yough to WPIAL playoffs for first time in 13 years. … Juniata commit averaged 11.6 points and 10.5 rebounds and finished with 775 career points and 808 rebounds.

Erica Gribble

Fr., G, Greensburg Central Catholic

Fast-rising freshman led GCC in scoring at 16.9 points. Also averaged 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 steals and made 47 3-pointers. … Division I prospect for PIAA semifinalists.

Kaitlyn Mankins

Jr., F, Greensburg Salem

One of top post players in the county, the 6-foot-1 forward averaged 14.7 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 51% from the field.

Mya Morgan

Jr., G, Greensburg Central Catholic

Helped lead GCC to WPIAL quarterfinals and PIAA semifinals, averaging 16.8 points and 2.1 steals. … Made a team-high 55 3-pointers.

Lauren Palangio

Jr., F, Norwin

A talented, 6-1 post player, she helped Norwin to the WPIAL and PIAA Class 6A semifinals. … Averaged 11.9 points and 7.9 rebounds.

Sarah Penrod

Sr., G, Franklin Regional

Led Panthers with 13.1 points per game. … Pitt-Greensburg recruit also averaged 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game.

Olivia Pepple

Jr., G, Penn-Trafford

One of top all-around players in Class 5A led Warriors with 16.5-point average to go with 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals. … Shot nearly 50% from two-point range.

Second team

Avery Davis, Jr.,G, Greensburg Central Catholic

Jenna Dawson, Sr., G, Belle Vernon

Hailey Johnson, Jr., F, Monessen

Ava Kobus, Jr., G, Norwin

Lauren Marton, So., F, Penn-Trafford

Autumn Matthews, Jr., F, Yough

Brooke McCoy, Sr., G-F, Hempfield

Maddie Moore, Sr., F, Southmoreland

Sarah Podkul, Jr., G, Hempfield

Elle Snyder, Jr., G, Latrobe

Third team

Mikalah Chewning, Sr., G, Yough

Ashley Hosni, Jr., G, Hempfield

Madison Marinchak, Jr., G, Ligonier Valley

Rachelle Marinchek, Jr., G, Derry

Myasia Majors, Jr., F, Monessen

Avery Musto, So., F, Franklin Regional

Lilly Palladino, Sr., F, Penn-Trafford

Ashlan Price, Jr., G, Greensburg Salem

Farrah Reader, Sr., F, Belle Vernon

Josie Straigis, Sr., G, Latrobe

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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