Worth the Waite: Sophomore leads Allderdice to City League girls basketball title

Saturday, February 17, 2018 | 3:36 PM

The smallest player on the court had the biggest impact down the stretch for Allderdice.

Emma Waite, a 5-foot sophomore guard, sparked a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter, and Allderdice rallied to win their first City League girls basketball title since 2012 by defeating Westinghouse, 49-43.

Sophia North led Allderdice (15-9) with 15 points, and Waite scored 12 of her 14 in the final quarter, including eight in a row at one point to turn a 38-33 deficit with 3 minutes, 50 seconds left into a lead the Dragons would not relinquish.

“That (last four minutes) is our style. That's how we usually play,” Allderdice coach Ellen Guillard said. “Emma is our leader, hands down. She dictates play. She's the floor general. Most of the girls look to her. She goes in there fearless.”

“I played terrible the first half,” said Waite, who was scoreless until the third quarter. “I knew I had to keep up and keep trying to bring the team the win.”

Westinghouse (13-9) was led with 16 points each from Chyna Simpson and Khamille Andrews, who also pulled down a game-high 22 rebounds as the Bulldogs built a lead with ball-pressure defense that held the Dragons to just three points in the second quarter.

Allderdice was fortunate to trail just 19-16 at halftime, and it was the scoring off McKenzie Thompson, who had all 10 of her points in the first half, that kept them in it.

“McKenzie, she has been clutch all season. I think she's the best (shooter) from the field on the entire team right now,” Guillard said. “She came in focused and ready to go, and I was thankful. If it wasn't for her, I don't know where we would have been.”

Westinghouse built their lead to as much as 30-22, but Allderdice scored the final seven points of the third quarter, a run capped by a late 3-pointer by North. The Dragons completed the comeback in the fourth, sealing the win by making 14 of 15 free throws in the quarter and winning the title after losing in last year's title game to Obama Academy.

“I'm just proud of these ladies. We've grown so much since last year. We've gone through a lot of stuff, and I'm just so grateful that their hard work gets represented right here,” Guillard said, tapping the City League trophy.

Allderdice and Westinghouse both advance to the PIAA tournament in two weeks in Class 6A and 2A, respectively, along with City League semifinalist Obama Academy in Class 5A.

Matt Grubba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com

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