Three North Allegheny girls basketball players have been selected to play in the annual Roundball Classic at Geneva College. Seniors Piper Morningstar, Madelyn Fischer and Courtney Roman will participate in this prestigious all-star event.
The top boys and girls players from each classification in the WPIAL and City League will play in a series of all-star games on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, at Geneva College in Beaver Falls. The weekend also includes a recognition dinner for players and their families on Thursday evening.
Morningstar is a Radford University commit who led the Tigers in steals this season with 51 and was the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 10.9 points per game. Morningstar was also second on the squad in assists with 65 and poured in 45 3-pointers, third best on the team.
Fischer is a Seton Hill University commit and was North Allegheny’s leading rebounder, hauling in 6.6 rebounds per game. An effective post player, Fischer netted 8.8 points per game and shot 71-percent from the free-throw line.
One of North Allegheny’s top sharpshooters, Roman connected on 64 treys and boasted the best 3-point shooting percentage on team, hitting at a 36-percent clip. Roman averaged 7.9 points per game and delivered clutch shots down the stretch in the PIAA playoffs.
Congratulations to all three Lady Tigers and good luck in the Roundball Classic next month.
North Allegheny (28-0) continues its quest for a state championship tonight when the Tigers take on the Central Bucks South Titans (27-4) in the PIAA semifinals at Chambersburg High School. The Tigers are appearing in the PIAA’s final four for the third straight season and the fourth time in the last five years.
Tonight’s opponent, CB South, is making its first appearance in the PIAA semifinals. The Titans are in the midst of a banner season, with their 27 wins setting a new single-season record. The Titans are the runners-up from arguably the toughest district for girls basketball in the state, District 1.
Three of the final four teams remaining in Class 6A come from District 1. Souderton, the district champion, defeated CB South three times during the course of the season, including a 52-48 triple overtime thriller in the District 1 title game. Souderton takes on Upper Dublin tonight in the other Class 6A semifinal. Click here to view the Class 6A girls’ basketball bracket.
North Allegheny’s 28 wins this season matches the single-season program record for victories which was set last year with a 28-2 mark. Playing without their leading scorer, Rachel Martindale, since the WPIAL championship game, the Tigers have rolled off wins against Upper St. Clair (46-21), Altoona (55-50) and Bethel Park (44-34) in the state playoffs.
Senior Courtney Roman led the Tigers in Friday’s win over the Black Hawks with 11 points, including a crucial 3-pointer with 1:40 remaining in the game. Senior Piper Morningstar has also spearheaded North Allegheny’s run through the PIAA playoffs, pacing the team in scoring in the first two rounds with 18 and 21 points in the two games, respectively. Senior Madelyn Fischer has added strength in the paint as the team’s leading rebounder and freshman Lizzy Groetsch has provided clutch free throws to finish out the last two playoff victories.
After falling to Souderton in triple OT in the District 1 championship, CB South has collected wins over Cedar Cliff (43-40), Council Rock North (48-31) and William Allen (60-40) en route to the PIAA semifinals. The Titans jumped out to a 20-5 lead in the quarterfinal win over William Allen and were paced by senior Haley Meinel’s game-high 25 points.
Meinel is the all-time leading scorer at CB South, surpassing the old mark of 1,048 points during the Titans’ PIAA opening round win over Cedar Cliff. The senior guard will play basketball next season at Division II Jefferson University, formerly known as Philadelphia University.
Another top player to watch out for tonight for the Titans is junior guard Alexa Brodie. Averaging 12.5 points per game, Brodie is an excellent shooter with great skills on defense as well. One of 133 players to be selected to the U-16 National Team, Brodie is receiving Division I interest.
Senior guard Lindsey Scott is the team’s sixth-man and a spark player off the bench who typically defends the opposing team’s best ballhandler. Scott is an outstanding soccer player at CB South and will play soccer collegiately at Division II Muhlenberg University.
Senior swing player Mackenzie Ehresman is another dual sport athlete who will play soccer in college. Ehresman will attend D-I St. Joseph’s University in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Both Scott and Ehresman led the CB South girls’ soccer team to the PIAA Class AAAA championship game in 2016 before falling to Canon-McMillan in the title game, 1-0, in overtime.
CB South is coached by Beth Mattern who is in her 11th year leading the Titans.
Tonight’s PIAA Class 6A semifinal between North Allegheny and Central Bucks South will tip off at 7:30 p.m. from Chambersburg High School. The contest will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network. You can listen to the game by clicking here.
On Saturday night at the Petersen Events Center, the top-ranked North Allegheny Tigers (24-0) will make a third straight appearance in the WPIAL championship game when they take on the No. 2 Peters Township Indians (21-3) at 7:00 p.m. The Tigers are vying for back-to-back WPIAL crowns after becoming the first team to win a Class 6A girls’ basketball title with a 50-39 triumph over Bethel Park last season. It was also the first WPIAL title for the North Allegheny girls’ basketball program.
Peters Township is looking for its first ever WPIAL championship and is appearing in the title game for the first time since 2008 when the Indians dropped a 69-40 decision to Upper St. Clair at the A.J. Palumbo Center. The Indians are in the midst of a renaissance under head coach Bert Kendell, the Big 56 Conference Section 3 Coach of the Year. In his fifth year as head coach, Kendall inherited a program that was 3-19 overall and 0-12 in section play before his arrival and taken them to three straight WPIAL appearances, including this season. The Indians had lost 20 consecutive section games from 2012-2013.
Peters Township is led by standout junior guard Makenna Marisa, a Division I prospect and a three-time first team all-section honoree. Marisa scored her 1,000 career point in a 67-54 loss to North Allegheny on Feb. 8.
Along with Marisa, junior Isabella Mills was also named first team all-section. Sophomore forward Lillian Young is a second team pick and senior Olivia Zeigler was an all-section honorable mention selection this season.
After winning the WPIAL title and reaching the PIAA championship game a season ago, the Tigers rolled through the regular season and postseason in 2017-2018 with a 24-0 record. North Allegheny recently cracked the nationally renowned USA Today Top 25 poll and defeated Upper St. Clair, 45-26, and Mt. Lebanon, 34-20, en route to the title game. North Allegheny boasts the best scoring defense in Class 6A, permitting only 38.1 points per game. The Tigers also rank second in Class 6A in scoring offense, averaging 57.0 points per contest.
North Allegheny had three first all-section honorees this season, including seniors Piper Morningstar (Radford University) and Madelyn Fischer (Seton Hill), and junior Rachel Martindale (D-I recruit). Second-team laurels went to senior Courtney Roman and freshman Lizzy Groetsch. Junior guard Brynn Serbin received honorable mention recognition.
On its trek to the title game, Peters Township toppled Hempfield in the WPIAL quarterfinals, 48-40, and Bethel Park in the semifinals, 55-39. The Indians average 53.5 points per game and permit 45.0 points per game on defense.
North Allegheny has won six in a row against Peters Township, including a non-section win a few weeks ago in the south hills. The Indians have not defeated the Tigers since a 56-43 decision on Dec. 9, 2008.
The WPIAL Class 6A championship game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network. To listen to the broadcast live or on archive, click here. You can follow the Tigers throughout the PIAA playoffs as well on the North Allegheny Sports Network.
The Big 56 Conference released the Class 6A all-section teams Monday afternoon and the North Allegheny girls’ basketball team was well represented. The Lady Tigers had three first-team members, including senior forward Madelyn Fischer, senior guard Piper Morningstar and junior guard Rachel Martindale.
Receiving second-team laurels were senior guard Courtney Roman and freshman guard Lizzy Groetsch. Junior guard Brynn Serbin earned honorable mention recognition. For a complete listing of the Big 56 Class 6A girls’ basketball all-section teams, click here.
Monday night brought to a conclusion an exciting opening weekend at the annual Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament. Listed below is the All-Tournament Team as chosen following the four-day event.
Wright Automotive Tip-Off All-Tournament Team
|Megan McConnell||Chartiers Valley|
|Mackenzie Wagner||Chartiers Valley|
|Piper Morningstar||North Allegheny|
|Maddie Fischer||North Allegheny|
|Alyssa Hyland||Mt. Lebanon|
|Tayonna Robertson||Penn Hills|
|Most Valuable Player|
|Rachel Martindale||North Allegheny|
The 2017-2018 basketball season tips off on Friday night and North Allegheny is yet again hosting one of the top girls’ basketball tournaments in the area this weekend. The Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament is a four-day hoops spectacular that features six of the most prominent programs in girls’ basketball in Western Pennsylvania, including the reigning WPIAL champions in Class 6A and 5A. Here is a preview of this weekend’s varsity action.
Friday, December 8
Chartiers Valley vs. Altoona – 3:45 p.m.
The Chartiers Valley Colts gallop into the 2017-2018 season as the defending WPIAL champions in Class 5A following a 20-8 season and is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the classification. The Colts trotted past Oakland Catholic in the WPIAL title game, 52-36, before falling to Trinity in the PIAA second round. A wealth of talent returns from last year’s championship team, including PA Big 56 Conference first-team selections Mackenzie Wagner, Megan McConnell and Gabi Legister. Wagner and McConnell make up one of the most exciting guard tandems in the WPIAL. Wagner averaged 15 points per game last season and McConnell averaged 11 points per game as a freshman. McConnell’s older brothers are T.J. (Philadelphia 76ers) and Matty (Robert Morris) who had storied high school careers and are continuing their lore in the pros and college, respectively. Legister is a 6-2 forward who has committed to Division I Kennesaw State where she will play for former Pitt women’s basketball coach Agnus Berenato who is in her second season of a rebuild at Kennesaw.
The Altoona Mountain Lions are returning to the Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament for the second straight season and were one of the few teams that defeated Chartiers Valley a year ago with a 60-53 victory at last year’s tournament. The Mountain Lions clawed their way to a 15-9 record last season and won the Class 6A District 6 title with a 54-42 triumph over State College in the championship game. Altoona rolled through the District 6 playoffs with an average margin of victory of 24.8 points before losing to Cedar Cliff in the first round of the state playoffs. The Mountain Lions were hit hard by graduation, losing all five starters and their sixth-man off the bench from last year’s squad.
Mt. Lebanon vs. Norwin – 5:30 p.m.
Like Chartiers Valley and Altoona, the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils reached the state playoffs last season and are coming off a 19-7 season and a Section 3 title in arguably the toughest section in Class 6A. The Blue Devils lost their top two scorers from last year but still have one of the best coaches in the WPIAL in head coach Dori Oldaker. Mt. Lebanon won three consecutive PIAA titles under Oldaker from 2009-2011. Junior forward Jamey Napoleon, who averaged eight points and five rebounds per game last year, and guards Alyssa Hyland and Jess Wilhelm are expected to be top contributors this season.
The Norwin Knights saw their bid for a WPIAL three-peat come to an end last season at the hands of the Blue Devils in the WPIAL quarterfinals, 47-44. Two years ago, it was Norwin who bounced Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs during their march to a second straight WPIAL title and appearance in the PIAA quarterfinals. In a series that has developed into an exciting, competitive rivalry, Norwin and Mt. Lebanon will hook up again in day one at the Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament. Despite their loss in the WPIAL quarterfinals, the Knights had another successful season with a 17-6 record and second-place finish in Section 2-6A under seventh-year head coach Brian Brozeski. Norwin suffered significant losses due to graduation and return only two players with varsity experience, senior Megan Polcynski and junior Jessica Kolesar.
North Allegheny vs. Penn Hills – 7:15 p.m.
The night cap of Friday’s tripleheader pits the North Allegheny Tigers against the Penn Hills Indians. The Tigers enter the season as the top-ranked team in the state in Class 6A and the Indians are ranked fifth in the state, setting the stage for an epic season opener. The expectations are high for North Allegheny after reaching the PIAA title game last season and capturing its first WPIAL crown in program history. The Tigers surrender only one senior from last year’s team and return leading scorer Rachel Martindale, senior guard Piper Morningstar (Radford University) and senior forward Madelyn Fischer (Seton Hill University).
The Penn Hills Indians have been one of the top teams in the largest classification over the past few years and have reached the state tournament three consecutive seasons. Their opening night opponent has been a thorn in their side, however, knocking them out of the PIAA playoffs two of the last three seasons. North Allegheny owns a 14-game winning streak over Penn Hills. The Indians will try to snap that losing skid but will have to do so without Desiree Oliver and Jade Ely who are now playing Division I college basketball, and Diamond Jay-Whittington who is out for the season with a knee injury. Despite those losses, coach Robert Cash has a deep and talented roster that is headlined by Tayonna Robertson. Receiving Division I interest, Robertson is a 6-1 junior who averaged over 12 points per game as a sophomore. Juniors Ariana Dunson and Adia Brisker should be major players for a Penn Hills team coming off a 23-4 season and undefeated Section 2-6A title.
For the entire varsity schedule for the four-day Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament, see below.
|Friday, December 8|
|Game 1||Chartiers Valley vs. Altoona||3:45 p.m.|
|Game 2||Mt. Lebanon vs. Norwin||5:30 p.m.|
|Game 3||North Allegheny vs. Penn Hills||7:15 p.m.|
|Saturday, December 9|
|Game 4||Penn Hills vs. Chartiers Valley||11:00 a.m.|
|Game 5||Altoona vs. Mt. Lebanon||12:45 p.m.|
|Game 6||North Allegheny vs. Norwin||2:30 p.m.|
|Sunday, December 10|
|Game 7||North Allegheny vs. Altoona||1:30 p.m.|
|Monday, December 11|
|Game 8||Norwin vs. Chartiers Valley||6:00 p.m.|
|Game 9||Mt. Lebanon vs. Penn Hills||7:45 p.m.|
North Allegheny athletics recently concluded a dazzling fall sports season with three state titles (Girls Tennis, Girls Golf and Girls Volleyball) to go along with an individual state champion (Ashley Huang – Girls Tennis) as well. Before the winter sports season has even tipped off, the North Allegheny girls’ basketball team is projected as Class 6A’s No. 1 team in the state of Pennsylvania by Lancaster Newspapers and Jeff Reinhart.
The Tigers are coming off a banner season in 2016-17, winning the program’s first WPIAL title and reaching the PIAA championship game in Hershey. North Allegheny loses only one senior and returns several key pieces from last year’s championship team.
Senior forward Madelyn Fischer, a Seton Hill commit, and senior guard Piper Morningstar, a Radford University commit, are two valuable contributors on the inside and perimeter. Also back is the team’s leading scorer from a season ago, junior guard Rachel Martindale who averaged 12 points per game and poured in a team-high 69 3-pointers, hitting at a 37-percent clip. Martindale initially gave a verbal commitment to play softball at the University of Pittsburgh but reconsidered in the fall. She is receiving numerous looks from Division I programs for college basketball. Senior guard Courtney Roman returns to provide additional fire power from beyond the arc.
Always a hallmark for teams led by Spencer Stefko, entering is third season at North Allegheny, is a stifling and turnover creating defense. Junior guard Brynn Serbin, a player who notched 46 steals last season, will again spearhead the defensive efforts. A tremendous facilitator as well, Serbin posted a team-best 91 assists.
The No. 1-ranked North Allegheny Tigers will open the 2017-2018 season on Friday, December 8 against the Penn Hills Indians at the Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament. The Indians are ranked No. 5 in the state in the same poll. The season opener will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.
With the upcoming basketball season just a month away, North Allegheny girls’ basketball player Madelyn Fischer signed her letter of intent to play collegiate basketball at Division II Seton Hill University.
Fischer was a consistent force in the paint and helped NA to 28-2 season, a WPIAL championship and an appearance in the state title game in Class 6A.
As a junior, Fischer was second on the team in rebounds, averaging 5.6 boards per game for a total of 167 on the season. She averaged 7.8 points per game and was the team’s top shooter from the charity stripe (min 50 attempts) with a 78-percent free-throw shooting percentage.
Fischer will join a women’s basketball program at Seton Hill that finished with a 16-13 record a season ago. The Griffins are coached by Mark Katarski who won the PSAC West Coach of the Year award last season and is currently in his fifth year as head coach.
Fischer looks to build upon a terrific junior campaign in the upcoming season with the Lady Tigers. Madelyn is the daughter of Dawn and Mike Fischer.
North Allegheny senior basketball player Piper Morningstar has signed her letter of intent to play college basketball at Division I Radford University in Virginia. A terrific all-around player for the Lady Tigers, Morningstar helped NA to 28-2 season, a WPIAL championship and an appearance in the state title game in Class 6A.
As a junior, Morningstar averaged nine points per game, third best on the team, and poured in 57 3-pointers at a 34-percent clip. She also hauled in 105 rebounds, made 14 blocks and dished out 63 assists.
Morningstar will be a great addition to the Radford University women’s basketball team which posted a 24-9 season in 2016-2017. Radford reached the Big South Conference championship game and made an appearance in the WNIT tournament.
Morningstar hopes to study at Radford’s College of Business and Economics while playing basketball for the Highlanders. Piper is the daughter of Darren and Kim Morningstar and has two sisters, Meg and Paige.
North Allegheny girls’ basketball coach Spencer Stefko was recently recognized by the Tribune Review for his efforts in raising money for cancer research and to honor his father with a 180-mile bike ride in Columbus, Ohio. The fundraising continues through October 6. Click here to read this inspirational feature story on Coach Stefko.