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Girls' Basketball Game Summaries

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2017-2018 Game Summaries

NA Bounces Bethel Park In PIAA Quarterfinals, Advances To Final Four

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In a rematch of last year’s WPIAL championship game, the North Allegheny Tigers again prevailed over the Bethel Park Black Hawks with a 44-34 victory in the PIAA quarterfinals on Friday night at Baldwin High School. The Tigers punched their ticket to the state’s final four for the third straight year and matched the program record for most wins in a single season at 28. The win was the fourth in a row in the head-to-head series with Bethel Park with three of those victories coming in the postseason.

The Lady Tigers stormed out of the gates in the first quarter and opened the game on an 8-0 run. NA perimeter shooters had the hot hand in the early going and poured in five 3-pointers in the first half to hold a 30-20 lead by halftime. Junior guard Brynn Serbin helped lead the first-half surge with a pair of treys on her way to a nine-point night.

Tenacious defense has always been a trademark of Jonna Burke’s Bethel Park teams and the Black Hawks turned up the heat on the Tigers in the third quarter. The Black Hawks limited the Tigers to 18-percent shooting in the second half and held NA scoreless for almost the entire quarter before Serbin hit her third 3-pointer of the game prior to the third quarter buzzer.

North Allegheny held a 33-26 advantage after three quarters but the game got tighter when Carlow University recruit Kamryn Lach hit a 3-pointer, her third of the game, to trim the NA lead to 35-32 with 4:52 left in the fourth quarter.

With Bethel Park riding a wave of momentum, the Tigers answered the call on a layup by Madelyn Fischer to extend the lead to 37-32 with four minutes to play. North Allegheny slowed down the pace in in the remaining minutes before senior Courtney Roman broke the backs of the Black Hawks with a 3-pointer with 1:40 on the fourth quarter clock for a 40-32 lead. Roman totaled a game-high 11 points and connected on 3 of 6 attempts from beyond the arc for Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

From that point on, the Tigers put the game on ice at the free throw line. Freshman Lizzy Groetsch, who delivered crucial free throws in the previous win over Altoona in the PIAA second round, went 4 for 4 at the charity stripe down the stretch to advance the Tigers to the final four with a 44-34 victory. Groetsch finished the night with 10 points on 10 of 10 shooting from the free-throw line.

North Allegheny improves to 28-0 on the season and advances to the PIAA semifinals on Monday night to face the runners-up from District 1, Central Bucks South. The game will be broadcast live via the internet by the North Allegheny Sports Network. Bethel Park’s season comes to an end with a 19-7 record.

Girls Basketball vs. Bethel Park, 3-16-18

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Bethel Park10106834

Late Free Throws Put Altoona On Ice, NA Advances To PIAA Quarterfinals, 55-50

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The North Allegheny Tigers entered their playoff tilt with Altoona owning a perfect 26-0 record, including two victories over the Mountain Lions in the regular season. The Mountain Lions boasted a perfect 5-0 record against North Allegheny in state tournament clashes and were 20-3 all-time in PIAA second round games. In Tuesday night’s PIAA second round meeting at Hempfield High School in Greensburg, PA, something had to give and the WPIAL champion Tigers outlasted Altoona for an exciting 55-50 victory.

The game was a nip-and-tuck battle that didn’t see a lead larger than five points for the entire night, and that didn’t come until the waning seconds of the contest. The Tigers and Mountain Lions were tied 19-19 after one quarter of play and were deadlocked 27-27 late in the second quarter. North Allegheny used a 5-1 run to grab a 32-28 lead, the largest of the first half, before Altoona trimmed the score to 32-30 on a Brigid Fox layup prior to halftime.

Seniors Piper Morningstar and Madelyn Fischer led the way for NA in the first half with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Junior Brooke Barcia chipped in with a pair of important 3-pointers off the bench. Altoona was kept float thanks to junior Olivia Hudson’s 12 points.

Senior Piper Morningstar paced the Tigers with 21 points and four 3-pointers.

In the second half, it was more of the same as North Allegheny held a narrow 40-39 advantage after three quarters. The Tigers opened up the lead to 43-39 early in the fourth quarter on a Morningstar 3-pointer, her fourth of the night. The Radford University committ finished with a team-high 21 points.

Altoona refused to go away and stayed within striking distance thanks to the play of Hudson and Fox. Hudson totaled a team-best 21 points for the Mountain Lions and Fox added 11 points.

Leading 47-46 with three minutes to play, North Allegheny slowed the pace and improved the lead to 49-46 on a layup by Fischer, assisted by Morningstar. Fischer posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, collecting nine offensive boards. The Seton Hill commit was an efficient 8 for 12 shooting from the field and earned Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

The Mountain Lions cut the score to 49-48 on a Hudson layup with just over a minute remaining. That’s when freshman Lizzy Groetsch took a tenuous lead and solidified it for a Tigers victory. Groetsch connected on two free throws with 60 seconds remaining to bump the NA advantage to 51-48. The freshman phenom went on to knock down four more free throws in the final minute to preserve a 55-50 triumph for the black and gold. Groetsch was a perfect 8 for 8 at the charity stripe on the evening.

With the victory, North Allegheny improves to 27-0 overall and will take on the Bethel Park Black Hawks in the PIAA quarterfinals on Friday night at a site and time to be determined. The game will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network. For the Altoona Mountain Lions, their season comes to an end with a 21-5 overall record. Of their five losses, three were to North Allegheny.

Girls Basketball vs. Altoona, 3-13-18

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Tigers Upend Upper St. Clair For PIAA First Round Win, 46-21

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For the second time this postseason, the North Allegheny girls’ basketball team defeated the Upper St. Clair Panthers by a 46-21 decision in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs. The Tigers and Panthers met just two weeks ago in the WPIAL quarterfinals with NA claiming a 45-26 victory.

Upper St. Clair was making its first state tournament appearance since the 2011-2012 season and were going toe-to-toe with the undefeated WPIAL champions. Using a methodical pace with a four-corner offensive approach, the Panthers slowed things down in the first quarter and held an 8-7 lead through eight minutes of play.

The Tigers defense took hold in the second quarter and forced the Panthers into 11 turnovers to take a 19-12 lead by intermission.

With Upper St. Clair taking the air out of the basketball in the first half, the Tigers did very little offensively. In the second half, however, North Allegheny took wing from beyond the arc and put the game away during a dominant third quarter.

Leading 19-13 early in the third, the Tigers used an 8-0 run, keyed by two 3-pointers from senior Courtney Roman, for a 27-13 advantage. Finishing with nine points and sparking a 3-point barrage in the second half, Roman was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. After shooting just 1 for 9 from beyond the arc in the first half, the Tigers knocked down 6 of 12 on 3-pointers in the second half.

Following an Upper St. Clair time out, the Tigers continued to pour on the points and outscored the Panthers 17-3 in the third quarter for a 36-15 lead. The most devastating blow was delivered by senior Piper Morningstar who drained a deep 3-pointer before the third-period buzzer. Morningstar totaled a game-high 18 points with three treys on the night. Also, finishing in double figures was freshman Lizzy Groetsch with 11 points.

The Tigers went into cruise control in the fourth quarter and finished off the Panthers for a 46-21 triumph. The NA defense limited Upper St. Clair to 26-percent shooting (7 for 27) from the field.

North Allegheny improves to 26-0 on the season and will take on the Altoona Mountain Lions Tuesday night at a site and time to be determined. The North Allegheny Sports Network will broadcast the game live via the internet. Upper St. Clair, meanwhile, concludes its season with a 13-11 mark.

Girls Basketball vs. Upper St. Clair, 3-9-18

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North Allegheny712171046

NA Wins Back-To-Back WPIAL Crowns With Mercy-Rule Win Over Peters Township

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In a dazzling performance at the Petersen Events Center, the North Allegheny Tigers won their second straight WPIAL Class 6A championship with a 79-48 mercy-rule win over No. 2 Peters Township on Saturday night. Now 25-0 on the season, the Tigers became the 14th girls’  basketball team in WPIAL history to win a championship with an undefeated record. North Allegheny also earned the largest margin of victory ever in the WPIAL’s largest class with the 31-point win.

The Tigers played a near-perfect game and had four players reach double figures in the victory, including junior Rachel Martindale who scored her 1,000th career point in the game.  Martindale scored 13 points, along with senior Courtney Roman. Roman had the hot hand from the perimeter, draining 4 of 6 shots from beyond the arc. Senior Piper Morningstar and freshman Lizzy Groetsch each netted 18 points for the team high. Groetsch put forth a sterling all-around performance, adding six rebounds, six assists and two steals on her way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

Freshman Lizzy Groetsch was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Saturday night’s title tilt was a rematch of a regular season meeting at Peters Township on February 8 in which the Tigers earned a 67-54 victory. In the first foray with the Indians, North Allegheny led by only one point with 2:30 left in the game before pulling away at the free-throw line. In the WPIAL championship, the Tigers never gave the Indians a glimmer of hope.

Leading 25-21 in the second quarter, North Allegheny used an 11-2 run to end the half and took a 36-23 lead into intermission. From there, the Tigers rolled to the win in the second half and invoked the mercy rule by the fourth quarter. In the first meeting, rebounding and 3-point shooting proved to be the difference makers. For the WPIAL title, the deciding factors remained the same.

North Allegheny outrebounded Peters Township, 33-16, including 12 offensive boards. The Tigers shot 50-percent from beyond the arc, pouring in 9 of 18 attempts. Peters Township shot a paltry 1 of 13 on 3-pointers for a 7.7-percent success rate.

Peters Township junior standout Makenna Marisa did her best to single-handedly keep her team in the game and led the Indians with 25 points, over half of her team’s total output.

After earning back-to-back WPIAL gold, the undefeated Tigers will set their sights on a PIAA championship. North Allegheny improves to 25-0 overall and will face the Upper St. Clair Panthers on Friday night in the first round of the state playoffs at 6:00 pm at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School. The game will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network. Peters Township dips to 21-4 on the season and will take on rival Bethel Park in the PIAA opening round. For a look at the PIAA Class 6A brackets, click here.

Girls Basketball vs. Peters Township 3-3-18

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North Allegheny2313261779

NA Outlasts Mt. Lebanon For 3rd Straight Trip To WPIAL Title Game

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North Allegheny punched its ticket to the WPIAL championship game for a third straight season with a 34-20 victory over the fifth-seeded Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils on Tuesday night. It was the second consecutive year that the Tigers and Blue Devils met in the WPIAL semifinals. NA topped Mt. Lebanon last season in the semifinals, 61-44.

In the first quarter, Mt. Lebanon used a methodical four-corner offense to spread out the NA defense. The strategy was effective in the early going as the Blue Devils held a 9-3 advantage after one quarter of play. Mt. Lebanon took good care of the basketball with only one turnover and limited the Tigers to 1 of 8 shooting in the opening stanza.

In the second quarter, however, the North Allegheny defense rattled the young Blue Devils into eight turnovers which turned into points for the reigning WPIAL champions. The Tigers outscored Mt. Lebanon 13-2 in the second period and held a 16-11 lead at intermission. Senior Piper Morningstar scored seven points in the first half to help spearhead the NA effort. Morningstar finished the night with a game-high 12 points and three steals.

In the second half, Mt. Lebanon tried to employ the same deliberate offense but with the Blue Devils trailing, it did not have the same effectiveness. North Allegheny inched the lead to 22-14 after three quarters and put the Blue Devils away by outscoring them 12-6 in the final eight minutes for a 34-20 triumph. The Tigers defense limited Mt. Lebanon to 25-percent shooting from the field. The Blue Devils were led by junior Jamey Napoleon’s seven points.

While it was an erratic night for the NA shooters, just 4 of 25 from beyond the arc, senior Madelyn Fischer was a steady presence on the inside and posted eight points on 4 of 5 shooting and reeled in seven rebounds. For her efforts, Fischer was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.  Junior Rachel Martindale chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds.

North Allegheny remains undefeated with a 24-0 overall record and advances to face the second-seeded Peters Township Indians on Saturday night at the Petersen Events Center at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network.  Mt. Lebanon slips to 13-12 overall and will continue their season on Friday, March 9 in the first round of the PIAA playoffs at a site and time to be determined.

Girls Basketball vs. Mt. Lebanon 2-27-18

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