Martindale’s Hot Hand Helps NA Top Blue Devils In WPIAL Semifinals
For the second straight season, the North Allegheny Tigers have punched their ticket to the Peterson Events Center to play in the WPIAL championship. The Lady Tigers advanced to the Class 6A title game by beating the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils on Tuesday night, 61-44, in the WPIAL semifinals at North Hills High School. North Allegheny moves on to face the Bethel Park Black Hawks on Saturday night.
Mt. Lebanon held an early 5-4 lead in the first quarter thanks to a 3-pointer and lay-up by junior Alyssa Hyland. After testing the waters in the first couple minutes of the game, the top-seeded Tigers vaulted ahead with a 14-0 run to a take an 18-5 lead. Sophomore Rachel Martindale scored eight points in the first quarter on her way to a game-high 22 point night. Martindale knocked down six 3-pointers and was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. North Allegheny increased the advantage to as much as 23 points with 1:52 remaining in the second quarter and took a 38-18 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Stony Brook University recruit Kenzee Bushee and Cornell University recruit Kate Sramac were both held scoreless by the Tigers defense in the first half, but the talented Mt. Lebanon duo finally started to heat up in the second half. In particular, Bushee tallied seven of her nine points in the third quarter and helped the Blue Devils trim the deficit to 14 points, 43-29, late in the third. Sramac chipped in with five points in the second half.
Behind the hot hand of Martindale, and the inside presence of junior Madelyn Fischer, the Tigers pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 61-44 triumph. Fischer added 14 points and five rebounds and junior Piper Morningstar drained three triples for a nine-point effort. North Allegheny shot 50-percent from the field (23 of 46) and was 11 of 24 on 3-pointers. Mt. Lebanon shot 32-percent (17 of 53) and was paced by Hyland’s 17 points.
North Allegheny improves to 23-1 overall and will take on Bethel Park for the WPIAL Class 6A championship on Saturday night at 7:00. Mt. Lebanon falls to 18-6 on the season and will await the PIAA playoffs next week.
Girls Basketball vs. Mt. Lebanon, 2-28-17
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