With boys record broken, Monessen AD quietly holds on to girls WPIAL scoring mark

Wednesday, February 22, 2023 | 5:17 PM

A basketball used to break the WPIAL girls scoring record sits lonely in a box in Gina Naccarato’s basement.

Naccarato is the athletic director at Monessen, her high school alma mater, and has the power to put the ball in the school’s trophy case. But she chooses to keep the memories stashed away.

“I’m appreciative of it and glad that it happened, but I see it as one part of my life,” Naccarato said. “It’s not something I think about or talk about much.”

With Tom Pipkins’ longtime WPIAL record falling on the boys side when Aquinas Academy’s Vinnie Cugini broke it a few weeks ago, it should be noted that Naccarato’s mark of 3,364 points has lasted since 1995.

Pipkins, who played at Valley, saw his record of 2,838 points survive 30 years.

Cugini went on to top 3,000 points. His team advanced to the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals.

The girls mark also would take a special player to break. Someone with a scoring touch who either averages over 30 points a game for all or most of their career or routinely scores in double figures for playoff teams that go deep into the state tournament.

A player who averages 30 points and plays 25 games for all four years would score 3,000.

“I didn’t even know Pipkins’ record was broken,” Naccarato said. “Records are meant to be broken. It will happen eventually, I’m sure. I know one thing is there is a running clock (mercy) rule today. When we played, we didn’t have that. And we played around 25 games or so when we won the WPIAL.”

Naccarato, who also was a standout in soccer where she scored 168 goals, played college basketball at Duquesne — as did Pipkins.

Monessen won a WPIAL Class A title in 1995 when Nacarrato was a junior. She certainly gives that accomplishment more love than her points.

“When I walk in the gym, I look at our championship banner first,” she said. “That means more to be than the record. I tell the kids, when you win a championship, nobody can ever take that away from you. Things like records, they can.”

Another Monessen alum, Charel Allen, ranks second behind Naccarato on the WPIAL list with 3,110 points. The 2004 grad played at Notre Dame.

The rest of the WPIAL girls’ top 10 scorers are: Brooke Stewart, East Allegheny (3,055 points), Jess Strom, Steel Valley (2,840), Kamela Gissendanner, Clairton, (2,703), Chassidy Omogrosso, Blackhawk (2,686), Swin Cash, McKeesport (2,678), Carrie Bordas, Aliquippa (2,658), Maude Searcy, Wilkinsburg (2,541) and Tanisha Wright, West Mifflin (2,477).

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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