WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps for Monday, February 23rd
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | 1:01 AM
It took an additional 48 hours or so, but the Second Round finally came to an end on another frigid night in Western Pennsylvania. The Final Four is now set in Boys AAAA, Boys AA, Girls AAA and Girls A with plenty of expected teams and some surprises mixed in. Seeds three and four were bounced in Quad-A boys while the second-seed in Double-A boys was knocked out, as was the third-seed in Single-A girls. Here are recaps from the 16 Quarterfinals and 2 Consolation Round One contests played on Monday.
A special thanks to Mike Azadian, Mark Uriah, Brandon Showers, Bob Gregg, Brian Mroziak, Paul Paterra, Bob Orkwis, Steve Nagler, Sam Hall, Terry Neary, Bob Barrickman, Randy Gore and Bobby Fox for their help on these recaps.
BOYS WPIAL CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:
North Allegheny Tigers 65 – Bethel Park Black Hawks 63
Senior Cole Constantino lofted a short range shot over the outstretched arms of Bethel Park’s 6-6 junior Jacob Dixon for a game winning bucket and the North Allegheny Tigers outlasted the ninth-seeded Black Hawks for a 65-63 victory in the WPIAL quarterfinals. Constantino netted a game-high 26 points and his final shot with 1.7 seconds remaining helped lift the Tigers to victory. Following the Constantino bucket, Bethel Park put the ball in the hands of their top scorer, senior Joey Mascaro, but NA forward Jordan Lake swatted his 3-point attempt from the left corner as time ran out. From the start, Bethel Park was intent in pushing the top-seeded Tigers to the limit and took a 10-6 lead in the opening period. However, North Allegheny went on a 15-0 run to take a 21-10 lead in the early stages of the second quarter. The Tigers advantage swelled to 12 points just before halftime when freshman Curtis Aiken poured in a 3-pointer from the right corner to give NA a 39-27 lead. Bethel Park trimmed the score to 39-30 on a desperation buzzer beater before intermission by Josh Duda that banked in from 3-point range. Bethel Park hit another buzzer beater to end the third quarter on a 3-point shot by junior Chance Wright to trim the score to 51-47, Tigers. The Black Hawks came all the way back late in the fourth quarter on a Mascaro trey from the left corner that tied the score at 63-63 with a little over a minute to play. Bethel Park buried 5 of 8 attempts from beyond the arc in the second half. Mascaro finished with a team-high 23 points, followed by junior Levi Metheny’s 13-point effort. With the game tied for the first time since the first quarter, North Allegheny ate up most of the remaining minute to set up a Constantino shot in the waning seconds. Constantino, who delivered several important buckets in the fourth quarter, came through again with the go-ahead shot with 1.7 seconds remaining to put NA in front, 65-63. Bethel Park tossed a deep inbounds pass that was tipped out of bounds by junior Keegan Phillips in the Black Hawk’s forecourt with 1.1 seconds to go. From the same spot where Mascaro tied the game a minute earlier, his 3-point attempt to win it in the final second was denied by Lake who emphatically swatted away Bethel Park’s hopes at a third buzzer beater in the game. Along with Constantino’s big night, Lake’s efforts were pivotal to the win as he won his head-to-head matchup with Bethel’s Park big man, Dixon. Lake ended the night with eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks. With the win, North Allegheny improves to 22-2 and advances to the WPIAL semifinals for the third straight season. The Tigers will face the 12th-seeded Fox Chapel Foxes on Wednesday night. Bethel Park falls to 16-8 overall and will play the Hempfield Spartans on tonight in the PIAA play-in bracket.
Fox Chapel Foxes 44 – Hempfield Spartans 39
No. 12 Fox Chapel continued its run of upsets in the postseason with a victory over No. 4 Hempfield. The Foxes did it with what has become its calling card – defense. For the second straight game in the WPIAL playoffs, the Foxes held a team to under 40 points. In the first-round the Foxes held no. 5 Pine-Richland to 35 points. In doing so Monday night at Norwin High School, they defeated a Hempfield team that had lost only two games all season. One of the victims of the staunch Fox Chapel defense was Kason Harrel, who was held to just 10 point, all of which came in the second half. The Hempfield senior came into the came averaging more than 25 points a contest and fresh off a 32-point output in the first round against Gateway. Harrel also battled foul trouble throughout the night, eventually fouling out with 1:25 to play. Billy Urso paced the Fox Chapel offense with 16 points and Jake Livingston chipped in with 13, including the Foxes first seven points of the fourth quarter. Joining Harrel with 10 points for Hempfield were Tony Pilato (8 in the first half) and Mitch Golden. Hempfield remains alive in the postseason in the new play-in format, squaring off against Bethel Park Tuesday at North Hills. Five Quad A teams qualify for the PIAA playoffs, the four semifinalists and the survivor of the play-in round. Fox Chapel advances to play top seed North Allegheny Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
Chartiers Valley Colts 65 – Upper St. Clair Panthers 50
In a game that featured two AAAA Section 4 foes, the 2nd seeded Chartiers Valley Colts got 33 points from Matty McConnell on their way to a WPIAL Boys AAAA Basketball Championships semifinal berth. The win in the quarters represented a ‘rubber match’ victory as both teams found a way to beat the other once in the regular season. But, the constant in all three games was McConnell’s thirty-point performances. McConnell scored 104 points in the three games played against the Panthers this year and he was the answer for the Colts tonight, scoring over half of his teams points. Ross Wilkerson scored 12 points and Jake Ritson chipped in 10 points for Char Valley. The Panthers were paced by Andrew Wheeler who scored 11 points on the night and by three players with nine points each (Marcus McGinness, Zach Cherup and Doug Wagner). The biggest play of the game came at the end of the first half. With 0:05 left in the 2nd quarter, USC’s Wheeler hit a 3-pointer that cut the Colts lead to seven points but Matty McConnell took a pass and shot a 30-foot 3-pointer of his own that hit nothing by nylon to give the Colts a shot of adrenalin and a double-digit halftime lead. They would then go on and outscore the Panthers by five points in the 3rd quarter and eventually build their lead to 22 points before settling on the 15-point victory. With the win, the Colts go on to play North Hills in the semifinals on Wednesday while Upper St. Clair will take on another familiar foe in Mt. Lebanon on Tuesday night in the consolation round.
North Hills Indians 37 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 33
The last time these two met in a playoff game in 2009, Mt. Lebanon stopped North Hills’ playoff run with a one-point win. It took six years for North HIlls to avenge the loss.
North Hills, the No. 11 seed, notched its second upset of the playoffs, knocking off No. 3 seed Mt. Lebanon at North Allegheny. In the first round, North Hills beat No. 6 Plum.
Both teams played zone defenses and the pace of the game was slow. Neither team shot well, either. North Hills led at halftime, 15-14, and opened up a 26-18 lead early in the fourth quarter. But Mt. Lebanon came back and when Eddie Jenkins made a 3-pointer with 1:10 left, the Blue Devils trailed by only 34-33. North HIlls’ Kindhal Taylor made one of two free throws with 31 seconds left. After a timeout, Mt. Lebanon’s Mark Lamendola drove into the lane and missed a 12-footer. After a scramble, Mt. Lebanon’s Matt Hoffman grabbed the rebound, but his short shot fell off the rim. There was a tie-up for the ball on the floor. A jump ball was called and North Hills had the possession with four seconds left. North Hills’ Nick Smith was fouled with 3.9 seconds left and he sank both free throws to secure the win.
Senior guard Nick Sabolovic had a big night for North HIlls, scoring 14 points and Smith added 12. Taylor, who averages 16, was held to four. Mt. Lebanon’s Jonny David, his team’s leading scorer, had a bad night shooting and had only four points. Pat Ehland led with 18.
North Hills will be in the semifinals for only the third time in school history.
BOYS WPIAL CLASS AA Quarterfinals:
Aliquippa Quips 74 – Bishop Canevin Crusaders 51
ALIQUIPPA GOT OFF TO A QUICK START BY GRABBING A 17-9 LEAD AFTER A QUARTER BEFORE BLOWING THE GAME WIDE OPEN IN THE SECOND AND WENT ON TO BEAT BISHOP CANEVIN, 74-51 IN A WPIAL BOYS AA QUARTERFINAL MONDAY AT WEST ALLEGHENY. THE QUIPS OUTSCORED THE CRUSADERS 19-9 IN THE SECOND PERIOD TO UP THE LEAD TO 18 AT THE BREAK. CHUCKY HUMPHRIES LED THE QUIPS WITH 20 POINTS WHILE STEPHON MCGINNIS AND KAEZON PUGH ADDED 15 EACH AND JASSIR JORDAN CHIPPED IN WITH 13. BISHOP CANEVIN GOT 19 POINTS FROM MITCHELL KING, 13 FROM JOHN WELDON AND WALTER BONDS WITH 10. ALIQUIPPA REMAINS THE ONLY UNBEATEN TEAM IN THE WPIAL AT 23-0 AND WILL FACE GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC IN THE SEMIFINALS ON WEDNESDAY. GCC OUSTED THE QUIPS IN LAST YEAR’S SEMIS. THE CRUSADERS FELL TO 17-7 AND WILL MEET NESHANNOCK ON TUESDAY IN A PIAA PLAY-IN GAME WITH THE WINNER QUALIFYING FOR THE STATE PLAYOFFS.
Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 59 – Neshannock Lancers 49
With Neshannock holding a tenuous 22-19 halftime lead over fourth-seeded Greensburg Central Catholic at Peters Twp. High School Monday, it looked like Cinderella could make an appearance in the WPIAL semifinals. However, the Centurions put any questions to rest with a strong second-half performance. Greensburg Central Catholic had a five-point lead after the first quarter, but hot shooting by Jason Swope of Neshannock allowed the Lancers to hold a three-point lead at the break. Greensburg Central Catholic used too much pressure defensively, however, which lead open looks in transition. Fouls didn’t help Neshannock’s cause either, allowing the Centurions to get to the foul line early in the fourth quarter via the bonus. Heading to the line early and often in the fourth period, Greenburg Central Catholic’s Romano Sebastiani made most of each trip, going 8-11 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter alone. Sebastiani finished with a game-high 21 points, 14 of which came in the final period of regulation. The Centurions also had Ty White finish in double-figures with 14, while the Lancers were led by Jim Powers (14), Jason Swope (12) and Ethan Moose (10), who finished with a double-double before fouling out. Despite the loss, Neshannock’s season is still alive, as the Lancers take on Bishop Canevin Tuesday at Canon-McMilan at 8 p.m. The winner of that game will earn at least the final sixth spot out of the WPIAL to qualify for the PIAA playoffs. Meanwhile, Greensburg Central Catholic moves on to battle top-seeded Aliquippa Wednesday at a site and time yet to be determined. Last season, the Centurions defeated Aliquippa in the WPIAL semifinals 60-51 before losing to Seton-La Salle in the WPIAL finals.
Quaker Valley Quakers 64 – Lincoln Park Leopards 55
IN A WPIAL AA BOYS QUARTERFINAL MONDAY NIGHT WHICH WAS CLOSE THROUGHOUT, QUAKER VALLEY PULLED OFF A MILD UPSET OVER 2ND SEED LINCOLN PARK, 64-55. THE QUAKERS LED BY TWO POINTS AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER AND 25-20 AT THE BREAK IN THE CONTEST HELD AT THE AMBRIDGE FIELDHOUSE. THE LEAD REMAINED AT FIVE AFTER THREE PERIODS BEFORE THE QUAKERS SEIZED CONTROL IN THE FOURTH. FOUR QUAKER VALLEY PLAYERS REACHED DOUBLE FIGURES AS CHRIS CONLAN LED THE WAY WITH 18 POINTS, FOLLOWED BY CLAY NOYES WITH 16, TYLER GARBEE WITH 13 AND AMOS LUPTAK HAD 10. THE LEOPARDS WERE LED BY NELLY CUMMINGS WITH 24 POINTS WHILE ZAY CRAFT ADDED 12. LINCOLN PARK WILL NOW PLAY IN THE PIAA PLAY-IN GAME TUESDAY NIGHT AT 8PM AGAINST OUR LADY OF SACRED HEART AT AMBRIDGE. THE 21-3 LEOPARDS MUST WIN TO GAIN ENTRY INTO THE STATE PLAYOFFS. THE QUAKERS ARE NOW 19-5 AND HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE PIAA TOURNAMENT. QUAKER VALLEY WILL MEET SETON-LASALLE ON WEDNESDAY IN THE WPIAL SEMIFINALS.
Seton-LaSalle Rebels 60 – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers 54
A game that had little excitement for three quarters plus turned into a bit of a nail biter as the defending WPIAL Class AA Champion Seton LaSalle Rebels had to hold on late to defeat the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers 60-54 in a quarterfinal matchup last night at Canon Mc Millan High School. OLSH center Collin Neville picked up two personal fouls in the first 1:25 of action, forcing him to the bench for most of the first half. When he left the game, Rebels senior Ryan Norkus took over, dominating inside and scoring 18 first half points to lead his club to a 32-20 lead at the break. The Rebels led by as many as 19 points in the second half and by 13 with 1:25 left in the game when Rebel senior guard Christian DelGreco picked up a pair of technical fouls and was ejected. Charger senior guard Hunter Szilagy made all four free throws, then OLSH’s Santino Platt hit a three on the ensuing possession to suddenly cut the Rebel lead to six. The Chargers threatened but never got any closer. Norkus led Seton LaSalle with 22 points, but OLSH’s Szilagy led all scorers with 29. The Rebels advance to a semifinal matchup with Quaker Valley on Wednesday, while the Chargers will meet Lincoln Park this evening in a PIAA “play in” game at Ambridge High School.
BOYS WPIAL CLASS A Round One Consolation:
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 59 – Sewickley Academy Panthers 49
The Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans broke open a tie game with a 23-13 fourth quarter run to stay alive for a berth in the PIAA tournament by defeating Sewickley Academy 59-49 Monday night at Fox Chapel. In a game that was tight throughout senior guard Timon Gribbon score 12 of his game-high 15 points on the fourth quarter to advance the Trojans past the Panthers. Tristan Newcamp added 14,Kenny Fukon a dozen, and Vince LaGrande with 11 rounded out four Trojans in double digits on the night. Sewickley got 14 each from Chris Groetsch and Justin Pryor in the loss. After starting the season with 22 straight wins the Panthers’ season comes to a close with back-to-back losses at 22-2. CWNC improves to 15-9 and will play the winner of Tuesday’s Cornell California game to for the right to represent the WPIAL in the PIAA tournament as the fifth seed out of District 7.
GIRLS WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:
Blackhawk Cougars 83 – Trinity Hillers 44
Blackhawk’s Chassidy Omogrosso scored 24 of her game-high 35 points in the second half to lead the Cougars to an 83-45 win over Trinity in the girls WPIAL AAA quarter-finals Monday at North Allegheny High School. After a slow start, the Hillers closed to within 7 points of Blackhawk, 33-26 at halftime. But the Cougars found their shooting touch from three-point range and outscored Trinity 33-10 in the third quarter to pull away. Courtney Vannoy added 22 points for Blackhawk. Sierra Kotchman, Mary Dunn and Abbey O’connor each had 11 pionts for the Hillers. Trinity (17-7) faces Beaver in a PIAA play-in bracket game 6:30 Tuesday night at Moon. Blackhawk (21-3), the defending WPIAL and PIAA champions, will take on Chartiers Valley in the semi-finals Wednesday night.
Chartiers Valley Colts 54 – Beaver Bobcats 40
The Lady Colts got 14 points from seniors Alexa Gordon and Karley O’Keefe on their way to a win against upset-minded Beaver and a semi-final berth in the WPIAL Girls AAA Basketball Championships. Most of O’Keefe’s points came in the first have on torrid 3-point shooting as she made all four shots she took from beyond the arc. Golden, the Kent State recruit, scored 10 of her game total in the 2nd half providing a nice balance for Chartiers Valley in notching their 20th win on the year. The turning point came early as, after the Bobcat’s Sabrina DiGiacomo hit a 3-pointer near the end of the first quarter to cut the Colt lead to one point, the Colts got a 3-pointer of their own at the buzzer to extend their lead back to four points. The Colts then outscored Beaver 12-0 in the 2nd quarter to finish out a 15-0 run to give them a 27-11 halftime lead. They would cruise on to victory from there. Melissa Rickens was the only other Colt to score in double-digits as she netted 12 points on the night. The Bobcats were led Rider recruit Lexi Possett who scored 16 points on the night. With the win, the Chartiers Valley Colts (20-4) advance to take on top-seeded Blackhawk on Wednesday night. Beaver remains alive in their hopes of getting into the state basketball playoffs but they will have to knock of Trinity on Tuesday night to do so.
South Fayette Lions 48 – South Park Eagles 45
For one Cinderella the clock would strike 12 midnight tonight. That came in the form of the #15 Eagles of South Park losing to the #10 Lions of South Fayette, 48-45. Although South Park’s season will continue Tuesday night in a PIAA play in game vs #14 McGuffey Highlanders at North Hills High School it was not the next game they were hoping to play. South Fayette used their size advantage working the ball to junior Emily Anderson who finished with 17 points, par for the course on her playoff run, but this time they were getting production from beyond the arch in the form of Mikayla Fetchet. Fetchet had 10 points all in the second half with 9 of those 10 coming on clutch threes to put the Lions up. South Park won the turnover battle causing 21 total turnovers to 11 committed on but they couldn’t convert turnovers into points. No turnover almost more costly than with about 9 seconds to go in the game South Park was able to force a possession switch as South Fayette inbounded the ball. We had a time out on the floor and Lions’ head coach Matt Bacco told his girls they knew who was getting the ball, Allison McGrath who drained an earlier clutch three and came into the game averaging 15 points per a game in post season action. McGrath tried a late three in desperation but to no avail. That was when the clock officially struck 12 and the Eagles glass slipper was left on the court. Leading the Eagles’ scorers were Natalie Clidesdale who had 17 points and Alyssa Greer with 9 points. The Lions will move on to face #6 Elizabeth Forward Warriors in a semi final matchup to take place on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined for the right to play at the Peterson Event Center in Oakland.
Elizabeth Forward Warriors 67 – McGuffey Highlands 51
Abigail Sporio scored 10 of her game-high 22 points in the second quarter, helping Elizabeth-Forward build a 10-point lead at intermission on the way to a 67-51 win over McGuffey. The Warriors (19-5) opened the period on a 14-0 run and never trailed again. E-F used a quick start to each of the first three quarters building a 16-point lead early in the third quarter as the Highlanders struggled to defend the Warriors’ speed. Jessica Palady scored nine points in the third quarter, part of her 19 points, giving E-F plenty of cushion to withstand an early fourth-quarter McGuffey flurry. Palady hit three treys in the contest. Olivia Barkley added 11 points for the winners. Sammie Weiss scored 22 for the Highlanders (18-7) . Katie Demi added 15 including three three-pointers for McGuffey. The Warriors clinched a state tournament berth and will play South Fayette in the WPIAL semifinals Wednesday. McGuffey plays South Park in the state qualifier bracketss’ first round Tuesday.
GIRLS WPIAL CLASS A Quarterfinals:
Vincentian Academy Royals 84 – Imani Christian Saints 31
The Vincentian Academy Royals who hadn’t played in 10 days due to scheduling and bad weather showed no ill effects of the layoff and easily handled the Imani Christian Saints 84-31. The number one seed will move on to play in the semi finals as they try for their 4th consecutive WPIAL Girls single A title. Much like their first round win the Royals used intense full court pressure, creating turnovers and scoring easy baskets. They led 28-6 after one quarter and forced 18 Saint turnovers. The second quarter was more of the sane as they put up 27 more points and led at the half 55-17. Imani turned the ball over 26 times in the first half as the Royal defense was stifling. The third quarter put an stamp on the Royal win as Vincentian went on a 14-0 run to make the score 69-17. The starters came out for head coach Ron Moncrief and the mercy rule running clock was in effect. The Saints managed 7 points in the 3rd stanza and it was 74-24 after 3 quarters. Vincentian used the bench again in the 4th and out scored Imani 10-7 in the frame and the final was 84-31. Vincentian was led in scoring by Torrieonna Cash with 18 points. Brenna Wise chipped in 18, she also had 6 rebounds putting her just 1 shy of a career 1000. Maia Joiner another starter had 12 for the Royals. Imani was led in scoring by Channing James with 8 points. The Saints will move on to the consolation round for the right to participate in the PIAA state playoffs.
Quigley Catholic Spartans 52 – Serra Catholic Eagles 35
QUIGLEY CATHOLIC BROKE OPEN A TIGHT GAME IN THE SECOND QUARTER AND COASTED TO A 52-35 VICTORY OVER SERRA CATHOLIC IN A WPIAL GIRLS A QUARTERFINAL MONDAY EVENING AT AMBRIDGE. TIED 12-12 AFTER THE OPENING PERIOD, THE LADY SPARTANS OUTSCORED SERRA 15-4 IN QUARTER NUMBER TWO AND CRUISED IN THE SECOND HALF. QUIGLEY, NOW 19-4 WAS LED BY GABRIELLE SMITH WITH 18 POINTS WHILE HER SISTER KAITLYN SMITH NETTED 12 AND LIZ DUER ADDED 12 AS WELL. KATIE SIEG WAS THE ONLY DOUBLE DIGIT SCORER FOR THE LADY EAGLES WITH 20 POINTS. THE LADY SPARTANS CLINCHED A SPOT IN THE UPCOMING STATE PLAYOFFS AND WILL FACE TOP SEED VINCENTIAN ON WEDNESDAY IN THE WPIAL SEMIFINALS WHILE SERRA WILL TAKE A 14-8 MARK INTO TUESDAY’S PIAA PLAY-IN GAME AGAINST IMANI CHRISTIAN. THE CONTEST BEGINS AT 5PM AT WEST ALLEGHENY. EVEN WITH A VICTORY, SERRA WOULD NEED ANOTHER PLAY-IN WIN TO GRAB THE FIFTH AND FINAL SEED IN THE PIAA TOURNAMENT.
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 67 – Jefferson-Morgan Rockets 27
Upset-minded Jefferson-Morgan was able to stick close to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic for more than a quarter of play during Monday’s WPIAL Class A girls quarterfinal matchup at Peters Township High School. However, the Trojanettes’ outstanding defense stymied the Rockets and allowed North Catholic to pick up a 67-27 win that advanced them to the semifinal round. The Trojanettes led 16-15 in period number two, but were able to blow the game open with 14-0 run that gave them a 30-15 halftime lead. North Catholic stretched its advantage to 46-27 by the time the third period came to a close, and it sealed the deal with an impressive 19-0 showing in the fourth quarter. Abby Goetz and Mary Casamassa led the charge for the Trojanettes by tying for the game lead with 14 points each. Samantha Breen chipped in 13 points to the winning effort, while Kiki Palmer added nine points. Jefferson-Morgan received a team-high 13 points from Erin Confortini. North Catholic advances to the WPIAL Class A semifinals, where it will face Riverview on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The Rockets will get at least one more game this postseason, when they face Section 3-A rival California on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in a PIAA playoff game. J-M’s only two losses in the regular season came against Cal. The winner of the rematch will need one more victory to get the WPIAL’s fifth-and-final spot in the PIAA playoffs.
Riverview Raiders 42 – California Trojans 38 in Overtime
Freshman Ariel Rafferty scored a game high 16 points to lead The 6th seeded Riverview Lady Raiders in 42 to 38 upset overtime win over the 3rd seeded California Lady Trojans in a Girls “A” Quarterfinal Round Game on Monday Night at Norwin High School. The Riverview win ended a 22 game California winning streak. After a low scoring 1st half, Riverview lead just 15 to 14 at halftime. California edged Riverview 8 to 7 in the 3rd quarter and the game was tied at 22 heading to the 3rd quarter. Riverview scored the 1st 8 points of the 4th quarter, but California got a pair of made three’s from Sophomore Kylie Huffman and another 3 from Freshman Bailey Vig in the final 2 minutes of regulation to force overtime. Riverview outscored California 7 to 3 in the extra session to earn the 42 to 38 win. Riverview improves to 17-7 and will take on North Catholic in the Semi-Finals on Wednesday. California drops to 22-2 and will face Section 3 foe Jefferson Morgan in the WPIAL Playback round on Tuesday Night at Peters Township High School.
GIRLS WPIAL CLASS AAAA Round One Consolations:
Shaler Titans 49 – Baldwin Highlanders 26
Shaler Head Coach Neal Martin was not pleased with his team’s performance in their 48-36 loss to Norwin in the WPIAL Class AAAA Quarterfinals. Baldwin Head Coach Gavin Prosser was not happy that the Highlanders committed 29 turnovers in a 41-27 quarterfinal loss to North Allegheny. Both teams came into the first WPIAL Consolation PIAA Play-In game with a fresh start and new efforts and the game showed that, until Shaler put the hammer down in the 4th quarter to post the 49-26 victory at Fox Chapel High School. Although Shaler was the more apparently aggressive team throughout the contest, the Titans only led by 5 points at halftime. When Baldwin senior Amanda Larkin nailed a 3-pointer with 3:25 remaining in the third quarter, the game was tied at 23-23. Shaler scored the next basket and then Lizzie Kline put her stamp on the final seconds of the third, making a steal and feeding Rylee Donovan for and easy layup and then making another steal which led to a buzzer beating layup and a 29-23 lead for Shaler heading into the fourth quarter. All told, the run for Shaler turned out to be 26-3 as the Titans outscored Baldwin 20-3 in the 4th period to win by 23 points. Kline, the 5-7 senior guard who is headed to the University of Connecticut to play volleyball, led all scorers in the game with 15 points. Kline added 6 rebounds, 3 steals and two assists in a great all-around effort. Senior Andi Lydon, who is headed to Central Connecticut State to play basketball, posted a double-double for Shaler finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The 6-1 senior scored 7 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. Freshman Gia Thorpe added 8 points for the Titans who notched their 20th win of the season. No Fighting Highlander reached double figures. Baldwin was led by Lauren Gilbert with 8 points. Larkin finished her career with 7 points including Baldwin’s only basket in the 4th quarter on a three-point field goal. Natalie Gazzam provided an early spark of the Baldwin bench with 4 points. The senior forward finished with a team high 6 rebounds. Larkin and Gazzam are the only two seniors who will graduate from a Baldwin team that ends the 2014-2015 campaign at (15-10). Shaler (20-5) will await the winner of the other WPIAL Consolation PIAA Play-In game between Penn-Trafford and Pine-Richland. The Rams finished a game ahead of Shaler in Section 3/AAAA during the regular season and the Warriors were the defending WPIAL AAAA Champions and the #1 seed in the tournament before losing to Penn Hills in the quarterfinal. Penn-Trafford and Pine-Richland will square off tomorrow night with a 6:30 tip-off set at North Allegheny High School. The winner of that game will face Shaler on Thursday night to play for the 5th and final seed in the state playoffs at a site & time to be determined.
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