WPIAL Basketball Playoffs – Wednesday 2/19 Recaps
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | 11:49 PM
Four days and 64 high school basketball postseason games later, the First Round of the 2014 WPIAL Basketball Playoffs has come to an end. While the surprises were kept to a minimum, there were enough eye-brow raisers to make things interesting heading into the Second Round this weekend. Here are recaps from opening round action in the Boys AAAA, Boys AA, Girls AAA and Girls A District 7 playoffs on Wednesday night.
A special thanks to Dennis Fischer, Jason Tennant, Paul Paterra, Steve Nagler, Pete Blais, Mark Schaas, Sean Meyers, Matt Vandriak, Josh Rowntree, Don Rebel, Lou Rood, Bob Barrickman, Brian Mroziak, Randy Gore, Mike Sackley, Bob Gregg, John Smathers and Mark Uriah for their help on these recaps.
WPIAL CLASS AAAA First Round:
Kiski Area Cavaliers 50 – Plum Mustangs 40
Kiski Area (16-5) displayed the importance of free throw shooting by hitting 16 fouls shots in the fourth quarter while outscoring Plum 24-12 in that eight minute time span. The #13 seed Cavaliers won this wild affair that featured two technicals on Plum in the final 20 seconds. Four Cavaliers did all the scoring led by Michael Simmons with 17 points. Joe Brungo added 12, Lincoln Clayton scored 11 and Ryan Sciullo pitched in with 10. Plum, the #4 seed, was led by Nicholas Stotler with 16 points and James Edwards added 13 points. Plum falls to 18-4. Kiski Area advances to the quarterfinals to play Gateway.
Gateway Gators 68 – Upper St. Clair Panthers 50
When Gateway faced Upper St. Clair in a Class AAAA Quarterfinals playoff game three years ago, the Gators needed a huge fourth quarter comeback to stun the Panthers 65-61 in overtime. No such dramatics were needed for the same result Wednesday in a First Round playoff game as Baldwin High School thanks to some lights out shooting by the Gators in the second quarter. Gateway led 12-9 after one quarter before the Gators took control in the second by shooting 9 of 11 from the field for the quarter as they extended their lead to 33-21 going into the locker room. The Panther pulled to within 10 points with a Thomas Steve 3-point shot at the third quarter buzzer, but another Steve trey seconds into the fourth quarter rolled around the rim and appeared headed through before spinning out and USC never threatened again. Junior Thomas Kromka was huge for Gateway on defense, on the glass and had 17 hard fought points, tying him with William Thomas for second on the team in scoring Wednesday night behind Delvon Randall’s game high 21 points. Andrew Wheeler led the Panthers with 12 points while J.J. Conn and Conor Gallagher chipped in 11 points each. USC loses 7 key seniors as they see their season end with a final record of 16-7. Meanwhile for Gateway, they improve to 14-9 and will battle Kiski Area in the Quarterfinals on Saturday marking the fifth consecutive trip to Round Two for the Gators.
North Allegheny Tigers 66 – Norwin Knights 36
North Allegheny shook off a cold first half with 50 percent shooting in the second half and ran away from the Norwin Knights in the opening round of the WPIAL playoffs, 66-36, from Fox Chapel High School on Wednesday night. The Tigers connected on only 9 of 30 shot attempts in the first 16 minutes, but NA still led 23-13 at halftime thanks to just 20 percent shooting from the Knights. North Allegheny outrebounded Norwin, 41-27, and collected 13 offensive boards which proved critical during the light scoring first half. Senior Elijah Zeise cleared the glass for nine rebounds for the Tigers. While the offense was sputtering early, senior Mike Carter kept NA in the lead with seven first half points. In the second half, the third-seeded Tigers finally found their shooting rhythm, which allowed the NA pressure defense to assert itself and force Norwin into 21 turnovers. North Allegheny was without leading scorer Cole Constantino (12.8 ppg) due to injury, but the Tigers didn’t miss a beat with junior guard Mike Fischer getting the start in Constantino’s stead. Fischer led the way with 14 points and eight rebounds. The Tigers were also aided by Luke Gwaltney’s 12 point night and 4 of 4 shooting from the free-throw line. For the Knights, senior Drew Morgan came off the bench to post a team-high nine points, going 3 for 3 from beyond the arc. North Allegheny limited Norwin’s top shooter Curtis Perz to just six points on 3 of 12 shooting. With the win, North Allegheny sits at 20-3 overall and will face Section 1 champion Hempfield in the WPIAL Quarterfinals. Norwin ends the year with a mark of 13-10.
Hempfield Spartans 74 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 56
Hempfield used an explosive offensive performance en route to a convincing 74-56 victory over Mount Lebanon in WPIAL Class AAAA boys opening round play at Canon-McMillan High School. The Spartans, the No. 6 seed despite a perfect record in section play, scored 42 points in the first half against the Blue Devil’s accomplished defense. Logan Hunter led the way for Hempfield, as he scored 19. He was joined in double-figures by Tony Pilato (17 points) and Kason Harrell (16). For Mount Lebanon, Jonny David netted a game-high 31 points, including six shots from behind the arc. The Blue Devils struggled to find complimentary scoring, however, and even when their offense improved, they could barely trim into their 22-point halftime deficit. Mount Lebanon’s season concludes with an 11-12 record, while Hempfield advances to face No. 3 North Allegheny on Saturday.
WPIAL CLASS AA First Round:
Seton-LaSalle Rebels 61 – Jeannette Jayhawks 49
The #1 seeded Seton-LaSalle Rebels held off a late comeback bid by the #16 Jeannette Jayhawks and went on to win the Class AA opening round game, 61-49. The Rebels led almost the entire game but it was the Jayhawks who managed to hang around long enough to cut the lead to one, 44-43, thanks to a couple of 3-pointers from freshman guard Michael Pompei, with under five minutes to play. However, the strong guard play of Seton’s Dale Clancy was especially present down the stretch and the Rebels withheld the Jawhawks’ late surge. Clancy would finish with 24 points and the frontcourt duo of Ryan Norkus and Levi Masua put in 15 and 9, respectively. The two big men for Seton also accounted for numerous offensive rebounds and second chance points. Clancy’s counterpart on the Jayhawks, point guard Julian Batts had a stellar game of his own and also scored 24 on the night. Miles Sunder finished with 10, eight coming in the fourth quarter. For much of the second half however, the Jayhawks’ offense was forced into finding scoring from other players besides Batts as the Rebels switched into a box-in-one defense focusing on the speedy point guard. The decision paid off for the Rebels as the Jayhawk scoring attack went cold on several occasions. For top-seeded Seton-LaSalle, this win moves them to 22-1 on the year and will keep their playoff run going. Up next will be the Summit Academy Knights in the quarterfinals this Saturday. You can hear that game right here on www.msasports.net.
Summit Academy Knights 75 – Washington Little Prexies 65
Dasonte White and Devin Montgomery combined for 55 points, leading Summit Academy to a 75-65 win over Washington. The Knights built a 13-point lead halfway through the third quarter, then had to hold on as the Little Prexies got to within four five times in the fourth. Nate Swart and Matt Popeck each hit three-pointers as Washington rattled off eight straight points to make it 53-49 with seven minutes left. The teams then traded scores as time ticked away, ultimately down to 65-61 Summit with 2:35 left. The Knights turned multiple takeaways into fast break scores, putting up 10 points over the next 90 seconds, ending the Little Prexies upset hopes. Summit (16-5) had done the same thing in the first quarter, building a 10-point lead, then again in the second, outscoring WHS 15-2 over a three-minute span, threatening to run away with the game. White led all scorers with 31 points. Montgomery ended with 24. Swart’s 19 points keyed Washington (17-7). Matt Popeck and Dequay Isbell each scored 14, Quorteze Levy ten. The Knights take on #1 Seton-La Salle in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Beaver Falls Tigers 70 – Brownsville Falcons 33
A young Beaver Falls team took a big step in their hopes of a WPIAL three-peat as the 4th seeded Tigers defeated the 13th seeded Brownsville Falcons 70-33 Wednesday night at Chartiers Valley High School in the first round of the boys Class AA playoffs. The Falcons kept it close early on, but Beaver Falls put this game out of reach with a 16-0 run starting at the end of the 1st quarter, which allowed the Tigers to build a 38-18 halftime lead. The Tigers continued to dominate in the 2nd half, holding the Falcons to just three points in the third quarter. Beaver Falls man-to-man defense was swarming, forcing 20 Brownsville turnovers on the evening. The Tigers forwards made it nearly impossible for the Falcons players to drive towards the hoop. Defensively for Brownsville, the zone worked early on, but they could not hold off Tigers star freshman Donovan Jeter, who scored 27 points on the night. Dan Stratton had 14 points for Beaver Falls, including a couple of early three’s to set the tone. For Brownsville, Cole Novotney had 14 and brother Ryan Novotney chipped in 13 points on the evening. The Falcons end their season at (14-8) having won the Section 5 championship this season. Beaver Falls moves on looking for a third straight WPIAL championship. They improve to (17-6) and move on to play section rival Neshannock on Saturday.
Neshannock Lancers 64 – Shady Side Academy Indians 63
The 5th seeded Lancers led just twice in the first round Class AA matchup at Butler, 5-4 early in the first quarter and when it counts most, the final score. Sophomore Ethan Moose drained a three pointer from the left corner with 15 seconds remaining to put the Lancers up for good. Shady Side Academy elected not to call timeout, bringing the ball up the floor. Neshannock committed a foul on the baseline with 10.8 seconds left, but the Lancers had a foul to give, forcing the Indians to inbound. Michael Ware got the ball in the paint and got a good look but could not stick the 10 foot jumper with a hand in his face, the Lancers were able to tip the rebound out of danger to the corner and the time ran out, setting off a celebration for the Lawrence County fateful. It’s the first playoff win in three years for Neshannock, things did not look good for the Lancers with one minute to play as they were down six points. But Neshannock fought back, Ernie Burkes hit a key three, one of 5 on the night for the senior. Shady Side Academy was 4 of 6 at the line in the fourth quarter, the two misses proved critical as the Lancers got the ball back with 38 seconds, trailing by two. Neshannock coach John Corey called timeout, to set up the play and get scorer Matt McKinney back in the game. Moose ran the point as the play was to go to Burkes, but he could not get an open look, the ball reversed around to Moose for the go-ahead jumper.
Neshannock trailed by 11 at the break 33-22 but cut into the lead in the third as Tyler Haswell had a strong game down low for the Lancers, scoring 9 of his 13 in the third. But Shady Side extended the lead again, Michael Ware hit a huge three pointer, he had 18 for the game. The Indians also got a lot of good looks inside, shooting 25-50 for the game. Burkes led Neshannock, now 18-5 overall with 23 points, Moose ended with 15. Neshannock shot just 31 percent from the field, but controlled the offensive glass, gaining 16 rebounds. The Lancers committed just 4 turnovers. Kyle Olander led the Indians, who finish 14-9, with 19 points, Shady Side committed 13 turnovers, including 5 down the stretch. Shady Side Academy saw an 8 game winning streak come to an end. Both teams ended the game with 30 rebounds.
Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 73 – Laurel Spartans 56
The #2 seeded Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions had a fight on their hands with the #15 seeded Laurel Spartans to advance to the WPIAL Quarterfinals Saturday where they will take on the #7 seed Quaker Valley. GCC trailed only once in the game at 5-4 in the 1st quarter before opening a 16-12 lead after one. Seven different players scored for the Centurions in the period with Brian Graytock pacing the way with 4 points. The game remained close in the 2nd quarter until GCC went on an 10-1 run to build an 11 point lead at 32-21. But Laurel responded with an 8-0 run of their own heading into the half to cut the lead to 3, 32-29. Jacob Wilson led the Spartan charge scoring 7 points in the quarter while his older brother Zach tossed in 4 points. For GCC Brian Graytok owned the 2nd quarter scoring 11 of the Centurions 16 points. He finished with 15 for the half and Romano Sebastiani added 4 points, the only other Centurion to score more than 2 points. The 3rd quarter stayed a see-saw affair as the teams exchanged points till about halfway through the period. With GCC clinging to a 41-38 lead over Laurel, the Centurions went on a 9-0 run to take a 12 point lead into the final quarter at 50-38. Noah Wertz launched three long range 3 point bombs to lead Laurel in the period. Christian Hyland had 8 points on a pair of 3 pointers and a bucket to pace GCC. The final stanza saw the Centurions pull steadily away from the Spartans taking the lead to as high as 20 points at 66-44 towards the latter stages of the quarter. Billy Hipp tallied 7 points for GCC and Brian Graytok added 5 to key the Centurions in the 4th. Scott Sidall picked up 6 points and Mason Mraz added 4 points in the 4th for the Spartans as they gave a valiant effort but came up short. Overall Noah Wertz and Jacob Wilson led Laurel with 13 points each and Zachary Wilson added 9 for the Spartans. Brian Graytok led GCC with 20 points followed by Christian Hyland with 12 and Romano Sebastaini with 11. With the win GCC advances to the quarterfinals on Saturday where they will take on Quaker Valley at a site and time to be determined.
Quaker Valley Quakers 64 – Apollo-Ridge Vikings 47
No. 7 Quaker Valley (21-2) ground out an impressive 64-47 win over No. 10 Apollo-Ridge (19-4) in WPIAL Boys AA First Round action at North Allegheny High School. The Quakers, who in addition to leading scorer Chris Conlan (13.0 points per game), have seven players that average between 5.2 and 7.2 points per game. They received incredible balance yet again, with three players hitting double figures. Winter Fondi scored 16 points and collected 8 rebounds, Conlan scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Christian Miller added 13 for the Quakers, who move into the AA Quarterfinals for the fourth straight season. After building their 3rd Quarter lead to 40-20, Quaker Valley would turn the ball over on six trips down court, allowing Apollo-Ridge to cut the lead to 11. But the Vikings could never get closer than that, with Quaker Valley running away in the 4th quarter. Star Junior Tre Tipton shined bright for Apollo-Ridge, scoring 22 points and grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds. But the Vikings’ four other starters only combined for 12 points. One bright spot was little-used Junior Dylan Flickinger, who averaged 1.4 points per game this season. Flickinger dropped in 13 points, including a trio of three-pointers in the 4th quarter. Quaker Valley will next meet No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic in the AA Quarterfinals on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Aliquippa Quips 59 – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers 41
Aliquippa controlled the game from the opening tip, beating Chartiers Houston 59-41 in the AA Boys WPIAL basketball playoffs. The Quipps led by 13 at the half, but the Bucaneers cut the defecit to 10 after three quarters, before Aliquippa had two possessions take nearly three minutes off the 4th quarter clock to seal the victory. Chartiers Houston’s Alec Ferrari led all scorers with 19 points. Ben Shade was also in double figures with 10. The Quips balanced attack we led by Jassir Jordan’s 16 pionts and Patrick Anderson’s 14. Aliquippa (17-5) advances to Saturday’s quarter finals. They’ll play Avonworth at North Allegheny. Tip off set for 1:30.
Avonworth Antelopes 80 – Frazier Commodores 43
Class AA’s sixth-seeded Avonworth Antelopes used a 29-10 run in the first half to gain a 24-point halftime advantage and allowed them to soundly defeat the Frazier Commodores in the first round of the playoffs. A combination of man-to-man defense and full-court pressure created twenty-one Commodore turnovers which led directly to many Antelopes points. Eleven Avonworth players found themselves in the scoring column before the night was over, led by senior Eric Gallupe (15) and freshman Garrett Day (14). Day drained four shots from beyond the 3-point line on the evening. Jamal Hughley and Jesse Zubik each contributed 11 points in the win as well. Frazier’s Charley Manack paced the Commodores attack with 10 points in the loss. With the loss, Frazier’s season comes to an end with a record of 15-8. Avonworth (17-5) now advances to face Aliquippa in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs in a game to be played on Saturday, site and time to be determined.
WPIAL CLASS AAA First Round:
Blackhawk Cougars 77 – Kittanning Wildcats 28
Four players scored double digits helping the top seeded Cougars blow out #16 Kittanning. Blackhawk jumped out to a 25-5 lead after the 1st quarter, where they also out rebounded Kittanning 17-3. The Cougars extended that lead to 30 points, taking a 43-13 lead to the locker rooms at the half. Blackhawk outscored Kittanning 22-10 in the 3rd quarter to enact the mercy rule, rolling to a 49 point victory. The Cougars were averaging a WPIAL best 68.7 points per game coming in, and had won their 19 previous games by an average of 25 points. Blackhawk’s Chassidy Omogrosso led all scorers with 15 points. Bridgette Shaffer scored 14 for the Cougars, while Halle Denman scored 12 and Mariah Evans added 10 points. Kittanning was led by Emily Knepshield’s 10 points. Knepshield played her final WPIAL game, ending a high school career in which she scored over 1,000 career points. This was the first meeting between these schools since the 2006 WPIAL Quarterfinals, a 46-31 Kittanning win. Blackhawk improves to 20-2 with the win, and will take on #9 Mt. Pleasant on Saturday. Kittanning finishes the season at 15-8.
Mount Pleasant Vikings 46 – Belle Vernon Leopards 42
Alexa Szelong scored six straight points during a critical fourth quarter stretch to lead Mount Pleasant over Belle Vernon Area 46-42 in WPIAL Class AAA girls’ first-round action at Canon-McMillan High School. Szelong netted a game-high 24 points, including a three-point play that put the No. 8 seed Lady Vikings ahead 37-35, a lead they would not relinquish. The Lady Leopards controlled the play for the majority of the contest, as they led for the entire first half until the Lady Vikings used 9-0 run to take a one-point edge into the locker room. Belle Vernon, the ninth seed, took a one-point advantage into the final quarter, but the Lady Vikings outscored the Lady Leopards 18-13 over the last eight minutes. Kaitlyn Slagus paced the Leopards, as she scored 19 points. Belle Vernon finishes the campaign with a record of 16-7, while Mount Pleasant advances to the quarterfinals to face top-seeded Blackhawk.
Ringgold Rams 37 – Hopewell Vikings 30
Hopewell appeared to be headed for an easy win after leading Ringgold 18-6 at the half, but the Lady Rams stormed back to force overtime and upset the Lady Vikings Wednesday night in a girls AAA first round game, 37-30. In the game contested at Chartiers Valley High School, Hopewell led rather late in the fourth quarter, 29-23 but three-point field goals by sophomore Bailey Cooper and Eleni Radic knotted the game at 29-29 going into the extra session. Ringgold outscored Hopewell, 8-1 in overtime to end the Lady Vikings season at 18-4. Radic led the winners with 17 points while Cooper added 13. Guard Shaniya Rivers paced Hopewell with 14 points. The Lady Rams improve to 13-9 and will face West Mifflin in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
West Mifflin Titans 63 – Indiana Little Indians 39
For a second consecutive night, an Indiana High basketball team was beat at Fox Chapel as West Mifflin girls outscored Indiana, 63-39. Indiana’s only lead came in the first period. They went up by a point, 8-7. The Titans led at the end of the first quarter, 17-11. They were up at the half, 42-19, and had a 55-27 advantage by the time the third quarter ended. Ciara Patterson, a 5-foot-7 senior guard, scored a game-high 25 points. Taylor Thomas added 16. Indiana was led by Lucy Bujdos with 12 and Kaitlyn Hoff scored 10.
Elizabeth Forward Warriors 53 – Moon Tigers 45
The #2 seeded Elizabeth Forward Lady Warriors had to fend off a determined effort by the #15 seeded Moon Lady Tigers to advance to the WPIAL Quarterfinals Saturday where they will take on the #10 seed Central Valley. EF led the entire way jumping out to an 8-0 start in the opening minutes of the game, but could not put Moon away despite having leads of 9, 11, and 13 points at various points of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd quarters. The Lady Tigers showed great resiliency in bouncing back time and time again. EF held a 5 point lead after 1 quarter 16-11, and was able to up it to 11 points by halftime where they went in with a 31-20 advantage. Kylie Owoc led the way in the 1st half with 11 points for EF followed by Abby Sporio’s 8 points. Amirah Moore led Moon with 6 points by halftime with Abby Unis chipping in 5 points. Moon outscored EF 15-11 in the 3rd quarter to cut the deficit to 7, 42-35. Moore had 6 points in the 3rd to pace the Lady Tigers who trailed 35-22 early in the period. The 4th quarter saw a furious comeback attempt by Moon fall short as they were forced to foul and EF hit just enough free throws to keep the margin no closer than six points. Moore led the way for Moon with 16 points followed by Unis with 7, and Daeja Quick and Kristen Gondol with 6 points each. Allison Pastore tallied 14 points to pace EF followed by Kylie Owoc with 13, Abby Sporio with 11 and Natalie Fekula with 8. The key to the victory was the pressure defense that EF employed for the entire game. Head Coach Sam Kosanovich said after the game: “The key to the game was our defense, we depend on it to get our offense moving.” For EF it was indeed the key as they were able to repeatedly keep Moon from setting up their offense and harassed the Moon ball handlers into many turnovers which translated into fast break points. EF will now play Central Valley Saturday at a site and time to be determined by the WPIAL.
Central Valley Warriors 53 – Mars Fighting Planets 45
The WPIAL’s leading scorer in the regular season shined bright on the post-season stage on Wednesday night at Butler. Seairra Barrett scored 28 points, 4 above her season average including 18 in the final half as the Warriors knocked the Planets out of the playoffs with the first round win. Central Valley struggled in the first half, trailing 24-18 at the break, with 8 turnovers in the second quarter alone. Barrett took over the game in the third quarter, taking rebounds from the defensive glass and driving coast to coast for layups on three occasions. The Warriors also did the job defensively, holding Mars’ leading scorer during the season, Ali Goetz to just 8 points for the contest. Kiana Law also turned up the heat in the second half, she scored 11 of her 15 points after halftime. After the 11 miscues in the first half, the Warriors committed just 6 more for the game for a total of 17. Mars also committed 17 turnovers, 6 in the final frame. Central Valley moves to 15-7 on the season and advances to Saturday’s quarterfinals. Mars was led by Sarah Getsy with 14 points, the Planets end the season at 15-7.
South Park Eagles 59 – Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 25
One after another, three-point shots did everything but fall through the basket for defending Class AAA champion South Park in the first half of their opening round contest against Thomas Jefferson Wednesday night at Baldwin High School. But once they started falling in the second half, their record setting performance spelled lights out for TJ. The Eagles led only 24-18 at the half before getting hot on offense with a WPIAL AAA record 11 3-pointers while shutting down and outscoring the Jaguars 35-7 in the second half en route to a 34-point triumph. Super sophomore Allison McGrath was dominant in all facets of her game, shining on defense and on the glass as well as pouring in a game high 28 points for South Park. She left the game mid-way through the 4th quarter with a bruise over her left eye but head coach Reggie Wells is optimistic she will be ready for a third matchup against Section 5 foe Trinity on Saturday in the Quarterfinals. Senior Amanda Quinn chipped in 12 points for the Eagles, who won for their 13th consecutive game and improved to 19-4 overall. Freshman Haley Zoglmann led Thomas Jefferson with 8 points as the Jaguars season ends with a mark of 13-10.
Trinity Hillers 59 – Hampton Talbots 53
The #11 seed Trinity Hillers upset the #6 seed Hampton Talbots in the first round of the WPIAL girls Triple A basketball playoffs on Wednesday night with a 58-53 win at West Allegheny High School. The Hillers led 11-8 at the end of the first period and 26-24 at the half. Trinity led by as many as nine as they built a third quarter advantage before settling for a 42-34 lead at the end of the third quarter. Hampton was able to cut the gap to three late in the fourth period before Trinity salted away the win at the free throw line. Trinity was led by sophomore center Mary Dunn with 19 points, 17 coming in the first half, and senior guard Kelly Korpus and freshman guard Sierra Kotchman with 15 points apiece. Hampton was paced by sophomore forward Lexi Griggs with 13 and freshman guard Jenna Lafko with 12. Trinity (17=6) moves into the quarterfinal round where the Hillers will meet defending champion and #3 seed South Park, a 59-25 winner over #19 seed Thomas Jefferson. Hampton ends its season at 14-9.
WPIAL CLASS A First Round:
Vincentian Academy Royals 82 – Carmichaels Mighty Mikes 14
The Carmichaels Lady Mikes were able to taste postseason victory with an overtime Preliminary Round win on Saturday over Monessen. Their reward was a first-round date with top seed Vincentian Academy and that date did not go well. The bad news started when it was determined that Carmichaels would be without their leading scorer Caroline Cree due to illness. Then after about one minute of play, it was evident that it was going to be a tough night for the Mighty Mikes. The Lady Royals dominated both offensively and defensively, starting out with a press defense that really never even allowed Carmichaels to get a good look at the basket, let alone a score. Carmichaels didn’t get on the board until late in the first quarter when Katie Reagan converted a free throw. The score at the end of one was 30-1 with Brenna Wise leading the way for the Royals with 12 points. Vincentian backed off of the press defense after that, but still stymied the Mikes’ offense. In the second quarter they really did it without their starting five on the floor for most of the time. The Mikes got their only field goal of the first half when Kaitlyn Wilson scored on a put back. At the half, Vincentian led 54-3. The mercy rule was in affect for the entire second half and Vincentian went with all bench players for the whole 16 minutes. The Royals outscored the Mikes 28-11 in the second half and ended with 13 different scorers. Wise finished with 14, Torrieonna Cash and Sarah Marusic both added 12 each. Kiersten Elliott was also in double digits with 10. The Mikes only had 3 scorers total with 6 from Wilson and 4 each for Reagan and Amanda Brown.
Frazier Commodores 29 – Sewickley Academy Panthers 14
Sewickley Academy committed 28 turnovers and their leading scorer Maddy Casale(12 ppg.) was held scoreless as Frazier defeated Sewickley Academy 29 to 14 in a Girls “A” 1st Round playoff game on Wednesday Night at Chartiers Houston High School. How long has it been since the Frazier Girls won a playoff game? Well Frazier Head Coach Shara Zupanc said she asked her Athletic Director Paul Harvey before the game the last time the girls basketball team won a playoff game and its been so long even he didn’t know, but Zupanc pointed out the program last won a section title in 1974 so this playoff win has been a long time coming for the Perryopolis Community. Lauren Timko lead the scoring for Frazier with 7 points and the scrappy Jamie Muccioli was the Commodores defensive catalyst forcing turnovers. Sewickley Academy scored 6 points in the 1st quarter, managed only 2 in the 2nd quarter, 4 in the 3rd quarter and only 2 in the 4th quarter. Frazier lead only 10 to 8 at halftime but outscored Sewickley 14 to 4 in the 3rd quarter to take control of the game. Mckenzie Coles lead the Panthers with 4 points. Sewickley’s season ends with a 14-7 record. Frazier improves to 16-5 and will meet the top seed Vincentian Academy in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Serra Catholic Eagles 58 – Eden Christian Academy Warriors 30
Serra Catholic dominated its opponetnts throughout the regular season winning games by an average margin of 34 points. At least in the first round of the playoffs the trend continues. After Eden Christian Academy made a basket on its first possession of the game, Serra Catholic went on an 11-2 run and never looked back. Four Eagles scored in double figures led by Nicole Pero with 16 points Megan Sieg and Danielle Dindak each added 12 points and Leslie Hoye scored ten. Leading the way for Eden Christian Academy (9-14) was Jenna Santoro with 18 points and Abbie Bazzoli added ten. Serra Catholic, the #2 seed improves to 21-2 and advances to the quarterfinals.
Aliquippa Quips 49 – Avella Eagles 48
Aliquippa trailed Avella 41-31 after three quarters Wednesday night. But the Lady Quips outscored the Eagles 18-7 in the 4th to steal a 49-48 win in the opening round of the WPIAL class A girls basketball playoffs. Avella had a chance to win at the buzzer, but missed a desperation shot from underneath the basket. The back and forth contest saw Aliquippa jump out to an 8-0 lead, only to have Avella fight back to lead by as many as 13 in the second half. Alexos Perry and Queenisa Gilbert each scored 12 points to lead the Lady Quips (13-10). Avella (15-6) was led by Kenna Drazich with 14 points. Laura Craig added 11. Kira Doaks was also in double figures with 10. Aliquippa will face Serra in the quarter finals Saturday at noon at North Allegheny.
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