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Girls' Basketball Game Summaries

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2019-2020 Game Summaries

Tigers Tame Little Lions In PIAA 2nd Round, 51-38

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North Allegheny used a big first quarter to pounce on the State College Little Lions en route to a 51-38 win in the second round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs. With the win, the Tigers have advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. Junior Lizzy Groetsch paced the Tigers with a game-high 15 points in a well-balanced attack.

Tuesday night’s game was a rematch of the season opener from the Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament, a contest North Allegheny won handily, 70-20. In similar fashion, the Tigers seized control of the game in the early going with a pressure defense that forced a bevy of turnovers. NA scored the first 14 points of the game and led 14-2 after one quarter of play.

Unlike the previous meeting, State College answered back in the second quarter but still trailed the Tigers, 30-15, at intermission.

NA expanded the lead to as much as 18 points in the third quarter and held a 45-28 advantage early in the fourth quarter before State College put together a rally. The Little Lions used a 10-0 run to trim the Tigers lead to 45-38 with 3:08 left in the game.

Shut down in the first half with just four points, Rice University commit Maya Bokunewicz sparked the Lions’ comeback bid with 10 points in the second half. Senior guard Izzy Leazier chipped in with 12 points and two 3-pointers for the Little Lions.

In desperate need of a basket, Groetsch fed junior forward Paige Morningstar for a critical layup to expand the NA lead to 47-38 with just over two minutes remaining. The Morningstar basket sparked a game-ending 6-0 run to close out a 51-38 win. Groetsch was 4-for-4 at the free-throw line down the stretch and 8-for-8 at the stripe for the game. Providing stellar defense on Bokunewicz for most of the contest, Groetch was selected as the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

Also contributing to the victory was Morningstar with nine points and freshman Jasmine Timmerson with eight points and two 3-pointers. Sophomore Taylor Rawls contributed seven points and senior Kat Balouris was strong on the glass with numerous rebounds and chipped in with six points.

North Allegheny improves to 24-3 on the season, making it seven consecutive years the Tigers have won 24 games or more in a season. State College concludes their campaign with a 19-7 record.

The Tigers advance to the PIAA quarterfinals and will take on District 11 champion Nazareth on Friday night at a site and time to be determined. The game will be broadcast live via the internet by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Girls Basketball vs. State College, 3-10-20

State College213101338
North Allegheny1416101151

NA Prevails Over Manheim Twp in PIAA 1st Round, 57-33

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Nearly a week after their thrilling overtime win in the WPIAL championship game, the North Allegheny Tigers opened the PIAA Class 6A playoffs with a 57-33 triumph over Manheim Township on Friday night at Sewickley Academy High School. Junior Lizzy Groetsch led the way with a game-high 24 points on her way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

Appearing in the state playoffs for the seventh consecutive season, the Tigers got off to a slow start offensively but rattled the Blue Streaks with their pressure defense. With Manheim Township held in check, Groetsch scored four points and sophomore Emma Fisher knocked down a 3-pointer to help NA take a 10-2 lead after one quarter.

In the second period, North Allegheny began to find its rhythm and opened up a 29-10 lead by halftime. Manheim Township inched back in the third quarter and trimmed the deficit to 13 points on the strength of swing player Katie Bushong. A Wilmington University commit in volleyball, Bushong scored nine points in the third quarter to trim the NA lead to 35-22. Bushong finished with a team-high 16 points.

Despite the Blue Streaks’ third-period surge, a Paige Morningstar 3-pointer to end the third and a Groetsch trey to begin the fourth gave NA decided momentum and a 41-22 lead. The Tigers rolled from that point on and finished the game strong en route to a 57-33 win.

Along with Groetsch, freshman Jasmine Timmerson reached double figures with 10 points. Morningstar added nine points and senior Kat Balouris chipped in with six.

With the win, North Allegheny improves to 23-3 overall. Manheim Township ends its season with a 19-9 record. The Tigers will take on State College, the runners-up from District 6, in the PIAA second round on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. The game will be broadcast by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Girls Basketball vs. Manheim Township, 3-6-20

Manheim Township28121133
North Allegheny101991957

NA Wins 3rd WPIAL Title in 4 Years, Tops Bethel Park in Overtime

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In an overtime thriller, the second-seeded North Allegheny girls’ basketball team prevailed over top-seed Bethel Park with a 54-50 victory at the Petersen Events Center in the WPIAL Class 6A championship game. With the Tigers trailing 50-49 late in overtime, junior Lizzy Groetsch’s drive and layup gave NA a 51-50 lead with 25 seconds remaining and proved to be the game-winning basket. Free throws by Jasmine Timmerson and Paige Morningstar in the waning seconds helped put the game away and gave North Allegheny it’s third WPIAL title in the last four seasons.

The Tigers have now made five consecutive appearances in the WPIAL championship game. Of those five title games, three of them have gone to overtime. The contest also marked the eighth consecutive year that head coach Spencer Stefko had guided a team to the WPIAL championship game. Stefko led Chartiers Valley to a 2013 title game appearance and Seton LaSalle to back-to-back WPIAL crowns in 2014 and 2015 prior to NA’s current run of five appearances in a row.

The contest was a test of wills between the two best defenses that Class 6A had to offer. In a back-and-forth battle, North Allegheny forged ahead to grab a 44-40 lead late in the fourth quarter. A Morningstar put-back and a Taylor Rawls runner gave NA the four-point advantage with two minutes remaining. However, Bethel Park senior guard Lauren Mullen made four consecutive free throws to tie the game, the last of which with 38 seconds left in regulation, to ultimately force overtime with a 44-44 deadlock.

In the extra session, the seesaw nature of the game continued. North Allegheny held a 49-48 lead before Division I recruit Olivia Westphal’s runner in the lane gave Bethel Park a 50-49 advantage with 51 seconds remaining in OT.

That set stage for Groetsch’s heroics and the go-ahead bucket with 25 seconds left to pull NA ahead, 51-50. Groetsch, a University of Pennsylvania recruit, tallied a team-high 19 points and also surpassed the 1,000-point milestone for her career. For her memorable performance, Groetsch was selected as the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

Following the Groetsch layup, Timmerson came away with a steal and made two clutch free throws to advance the lead with 53-50 with 16.6 seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, an errant Bethel Park pass was reeled in by Morningstar and the junior forward put the game on ice with a 1-for-2 trip to the free-throw line with 5.9 seconds in overtime, giving NA a 54-50 win.

Also contributing to the NA offense were sophomores Rawls and Emma Fischer, who both netted nine points, respectively. Fischer was a spark from the perimeter and drained three 3-pointers

Bethel Park was led by Westphal with 19 points and St. Bonaventure commit, Maddie Dziezgowski, who posted 17 points.

With the WPIAL championship victory, North Allegheny improves to 22-3 overall. Bethel Park slips to 21-3 on the season. Both teams have qualified for the PIAA playoffs next week.

Girls Basketball vs. Bethel Park, 2-29-20

North Allegheny918981054
Bethel Park1312118650

NA Earns 5th Straight Title Game Appearance, Tops USC, 39-27

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by Jared Barton

A defensive battle propelled North Allegheny to a fifth straight WPIAL title game appearance after a 39-27 win over Upper St. Clair in the Class 6A semifinals at North Hills High School.

Offensive struggle was the theme for both teams early on, but the Panthers found six points apiece off of four three-pointers from freshman Sam Prunzik and Paige Dellicarri in the first quarter. USC held a 12-11 lead after one.

North Allegheny added seven points in the second quarter thanks to the strong play of Lizzy Groetsch who ended the half with a game-leading seven points. NA led 18-12 at the midpoint mark.

Junior Paige Morningstar teamed with senior Kat Balouris to provide a dominate post presence in the second half. Morningstar showed great defensive efforts with multiple blocks that stifled the USC offense. The NA defense held Upper St. Clair to just 15 points in the 3rd and 4th quarters combined.  Freshman Jasmine Timmerson and sophomore Taylor Rawls provided steals and blanketing defense in the midcourt as well.

The Tigers were led by Groetsch down the stretch and finished the game with a game-high 18 points while earning the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

The Panthers fall to 14-8 overall, but the season continues for USC, as they have clinched a spot in the PIAA Playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Tigers improve to 21-3 overall and get set to face the No. 1-seeded Bethel Park Blackhawks in the 6A WPIAL Championship on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. and you can catch the game on the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Girls Basketball vs. Upper St. Clair, 2-25-20

Upper St. Clair1208727
North Allegheny11791239

Tigers Handle Highlanders In WPIAL Quarterfinals, 65-46

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The North Allegheny girls’ basketball team advanced to the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals on Friday night with a convincing 65-46 victory over Baldwin at Chartiers Valley High School. The win was NA’s 20th of the campaign and marked the eighth consecutive year the Tigers have won 20 games or more in a season.

Facing a Baldwin team that was making its first WPIAL playoff appearance since 2015, North Allegheny stormed out of the gates and took a 16-2 lead in the first quarter. The Tigers were hot from beyond the arc and continued to scorch the Highlanders for a 40-20 halftime lead. NA knocked down 12 3-pointers on the night with eight coming in the first half. Sophomore Taylor Rawls poured in three treys to pace the Tigers at intermission.

Along with strong perimeter shooting, North Allegheny excelled on the offensive glass and was helped by the rebounding efforts of junior Paige Morningstar and senior Kat Balouris. The two forwards also defended the paint well by blocking numerous Baldwin shot attempts.

In a well-balanced performance, North Allegheny led by as much as 31 points and coasted to the victory in the second half, 65-46.

Leading on the scoresheet was junior Lizzy Groetsch and freshman Jasmine Timmerson with 16 points each. Morningstar also touched double figures with 14 points. Baldwin was paced by junior Lexi Bernotas, who scored all nine her points coming in the first half.

Timmerson, who contributed three 3-pointers and helped facilitate the Tigers attack, was selected as the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

With the win, North Allegheny improves to 20-3 on the season, while Baldwin falls to 12-10 on the year. The Tigers advance to the WPIAL semifinals to face Upper St. Clair on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. The game will be broadcast live via the internet by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Girls Basketball vs. Baldwin, 2-21-20

North Allegheny1624141165