WPIAL Class 2A girls basketball championship breakdown: Neshannock vs. Serra Catholic

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Thursday, March 11, 2021 | 8:15 PM


WPIAL Class 2A girls basketball championship

No. 1 Neshannock vs. No. 2 Serra Catholic

5 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny

On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com (video stream)

Winner plays: Winner of District 5 champion vs. District 9 champion in PIAA quarterfinals, March 19

How they got here: Neshannock defeated No. 16 Aliquippa, 70-40, in the first round; No. 8 California, 72-16, in the quarterfinals; and No. 4 Sewickley Academy, 47-26, in the semifinals. Serra Catholic beat No. 18 South Side, 53-35, in the first round; No. 10 Carlynton, 60-37, in the quarterfinals; and No. 3 Winchester Thurston, 58-55 in overtime, in the semifinals.

Starting lineups

Neshannock (16-2)

Coach: Luann Grybowski

No., Player, Pos., Ht., Yr.

1, Neleh Nogay, G, 5-6, Jr

11, Addilae Watts, G, 5-8, Jr.

20, Aaralyn Nogay, G, 5-7, So.

24, Megan Pallerino, F, 5-10, So.

34, Mairan Haggerty, G, 5-11, So.

Serra Catholic (16-0)

Coach: Bill Cleary

No., Player, Pos., Ht., Yr.

4, Grace Navarro, G, 5-6, Sr.

14, Nicole Pawlowski, G, 5-7, Sr.

23, Chloe Pordash, G, 5-7, Jr.

25, Rylee Campbell, F, 5-8, Sr.

30, Chloe Honick, F, 5-6, Sr.

Title-game history: Neshannock won the program’s lone WPIAL title in 2019 in Class 3A. Serra Catholic has won four WPIAL titles (1992, ‘99, 2003, ‘05)

Notable: Neshannock’s young starting lineup, which includes two juniors and three sophomores, averages a Class 2A-high 60.4 points per game. Lancers coach Luann Grybowski, who has 682 victories and is in her 41st season as a head coach, guided the team to a 12-game winning streak during the regular season until a four-point loss to Sewickley Academy in the Section 1 finale. The Lancers also lost to OLSH in section play. Neshannock guard Mairan Haggerty averages 18 points and junior guard Neleh Nogay averages 17.5. Nogay had a team-best 18 points in the semifinals. Haggerty scored 29 in the quarterfinal win over California. The Lancers missed the playoffs last season when they were in Class 3A. … Serra Catholic also is led by a veteran coach in Bill Cleary, who has more than 650 wins over 34 seasons. The Eagles were the top seed last year before falling to Laurel in the semifinals. Serra was the only unbeaten team in Class 2A this season but received the No. 2 seed for the playoffs. Junior guard Chloe Pordash and senior guard Nicole Pawlowski each average more than 12 ppg. Senior guard Grace Navarro had 16 points, including the game-winner in overtime, in the semifinal win. Pordash had 14 points, including a basket with 3.2 seconds left in regulation to tie the score.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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