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Girls' Basketball Game Summaries

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2023-2024 Game Summaries

NA Edged In OT by North Penn in PIAA 2nd Round, 56-54

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Senior Caleigh Spurling’s spinning layup at the buzzer in overtime lifted North Penn to a stunning 56-54 win over North Allegheny in the PIAA Class 6A second round on Tuesday night at Bald Eagle Area High School. The Tigers led by as much as nine points in the third quarter but a rally by the Knights forced overtime and Spurling’s game-winning basket propelled North Penn to the PIAA quarterfinals on Friday night.

Spearheaded by senior forward Lydia Betz and senior guard Caroline Henderson, the Tigers led most of the first half and held a 29-25 advantage at intermission. Betz, a Goldey-Beacom College commit, tallied 12 of her game-high 21 points in the first half and Henderson, an RIT commit, totaled 11 of her 19 points in the first 16 minutes.

The Tigers constructed a 35-26 lead midway through the third quarter before an Olivia Stone steal and subsequent 3-pointer by Cameron Crowley cut the NA advantage to 35-29 and began to sway the momentum toward the Knights. North Allegheny sophomore Vange Balouris answered back with a 3-pointer of her own to increase the Tigers lead back to nine at 38-29, but North Penn continued to battle and slowly chipped away.

In the fourth period, North Penn opened the stanza on a 8-2 run and led for the first time since the first quarter, taking a 45-44 lead. With the Knights leading 47-46 in the waning minutes, Henderson buried a critical go-ahead 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Tigers a 49-47 advantage with just 1:14 to play. Undaunted, Crowley hit a long 2-point jumper from the left corner to tie the game at 49-49 with 57 seconds remaining and ultimately forced overtime.

In the extra session, freshman Lily Brown scored immediately for North Penn to give Knights a 51-49 lead. In regulation, the Knights never led by more than one point, but in overtime the Suburban One League Champions garnered a four-point lead at 53-49 before the Tigers clawed their way back. Down 54-51 in the final minute of overtime, Henderson once again connected on a crucial 3-pointer to knot the score at 54-54 with 16 seconds left. That set the stage for Spurling’s game-winning basket at the buzzer to give North Penn a 56-54 victory.

Spurling, a Thomas Jefferson University commit, finished with a team-high 16 points. Crowley netted 13 points, including 11 in the second half and overtime. Brown totaled 12 points with 10 coming after halftime.

For North Allegheny, Henderson was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game for knocking down critical 3-point baskets in crunch time.

North Allegheny’s season comes to an end with a record of 23-4, compiling a win total of 20 or more for the 11th consecutive season. Congratulations to head coach Spencer Stefko and the entire North Allegheny girls’ basketball team for another memorable season.

North Penn improves to 23-4 and advances to the PIAA quarterfinals to face Garnet Valley on Friday night.

Girls Basketball vs. North Penn, 3-12-24

North Allegheny1910137554
North Penn1691212756

Tigers Race Past Royals in PIAA 1st Round, 57-23

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The North Allegheny girls’ basketball team began their trek toward a state championship on Friday night with a 57-23 mercy-rule win over Erie High in the opening round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs.

Appearing in the state playoffs for an 11th consecutive season, the Lady Tigers used a 21-0 run in the first half to gain a strangle hold of the contest en route to the blowout victory. North Allegheny overwhelmed the District 10 champions with a barrage of 3-pointers, paced by senior Caroline Henderson. The Rochester Institute of Technology commit buried five treys on the night and finished with a team-high 19 points on her way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

Seniors Grace Heliger and Kellie McConnell also touched double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively. NA’s stingy defense held the Royals in check most of the night. Junior guard Draya Neavins was the team-high scorer for Erie with 10 points.

With the win, North Allegheny improves to 23-3 on the season, while Erie’s campaign ends with a 17-8 record. The Tigers advance to the Sweet 16 of the PIAA tournament and will take on North Penn on Tuesday night at a site and time to be determined. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Girls Basketball vs. Erie, 3-8-24

North Allegheny161815857

Tigers Fall To Knights In WPIAL Championship Duel, 56-41

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Photo Gallery by Carol & Dana Manz

Two familiar foes battled for a WPIAL Class 6A championship on Friday night at the Petersen Events Center and the top-seeded Norwin Knights earned the District 7 crown with a 56-41 victory over the third-seeded North Allegheny Tigers. The Knights earned their third overall WPIAL championship and first since beating NA in the 2016 title game.

Things looked good for the reigning WPIAL champions in the first quarter as North Allegheny opened up a 6-0 lead with 5:04 on the clock, thanks in part to a pair of layups by senior guard Grace Heliger and a feisty defense. Norwin answered with a 7-0 run to take a brief 7-6 advantage, but senior forward Lydia Betz buried a 3-pointer to give NA the lead back at 9-7 with 2:43 remaining in the period. The Betz trey sparked another 6-0 run for the Tigers and NA led 12-7 with 2:16 left in the first.

Despite the early momentum, Norwin swung the pendulum in its direction with a tide-tuning 14-0 run and a 21-12 lead by the midway point of the second quarter. From that point on, the Knights never trailed again and grew the lead to as much as 16 points in the fourth quarter, 48-32, and prevailed by a 56-41 decision.

Norwin was paced on the scoreboard by sophomore Ava Christopher with a game-high 16 points. However, the best overall performance was delivered by senior forward Lauren Polangio, who tallied a double-double with 12 points, 15 rebounds and dominated the paint with five blocks. Junior Kendall Berger added 10 points for the Knights.

For North Allegheny, Betz paced the team with a team-high 13 points and was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. Senior guard Caroline Henderson attempted to lead a comeback charge for NA in the second and scored nine of her 11 points in the second half.

North Allegheny falls to 22-3 overall, while Norwin improves to 21-3 on the season. Both teams will host PIAA first round games on Friday, March 8.

Girls Basketball vs. Norwin, 3-1-24

North Allegheny126121141

NA Advances to WPIAL Championship With 43-30 Win Over Peters Township

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The North Allegheny girls’ basketball team punched its ticket to the WPIAL Class 6A championship game for a second consecutive season, and eighth time in the last nine years, with a 43-30 triumph over the Peters Township Indians on Monday night at Mt. Lebanon High School.

The reigning WPIAL champions faced a Peters Township team that was appearing in the WPIAL semifinals for the first time since 2019 and Tigers used their big game experience, as well as a stifling defense, to slow down the Indians. Peters Township mustered only 17 points in the first half and trailed by five at intermission.

Peters Township boasted a pair of 6-3 forwards, including D-I recruit Natalie Wetzel, but North Allegheny senior forward and Goldey-Beacom College commit, Lydia Betz, outplayed them both in a dazzling performance. Betz netted a game-high 21 points and penetrated through the Indians defense at will. Sophomore forward Cate Pingpank drew the start and logged important minutes as well, contributing six points.

In the early stages of the second half, Peters Township trimmed the NA lead to 22-19, but the Tigers answered with a 9-0 run that was keyed by Betz for a 31-19 advantage. From that point on, the Tigers controlled the game.

The Tigers celebrate following a 43-30 win over Peters Township.

Leading by seven points after three quarters, North Allegheny pulled away in the final stanza by outscoring Peters Township, 12-6, en route to a 43-30 win. The Tigers were able to possess the ball and play keep away from the Indians in the fourth quarter thanks in part to the slick guard play and ball handling of senior Kellie McConnell.

North Allegheny improves to 22-2 on the season with the victory, while Peters Township falls to 22-2. The Tigers advance to the WPIAL championship game on Friday at 7:00 pm at the Petersen Events Center to face a familiar foe, the Norwin Knights. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.

The Indians will host the third-place consolation game on Wednesday against Chartiers Valley.

Girls Basketball vs. Peters Township, 2-26-24

North Allegheny91391243
Peters Township7107630

Tigers Claw Past Panthers In WPIAL Quarterfinals, 44-41

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by Jared Barton

The third-seeded North Allegheny girls’ basketball team earned its way back to the WPIAL 6A semifinals with a hard-fought 44-41 win over sixth-seeded Upper St. Clair from UPMC Court Thursday night.

It was all Tigers in the first quarter, as NA held an 11-0 lead before USC could get on the board. Senior Caroline Henderson had a trio of 3-pointers in the first frame, giving North Allegheny the hot start. The Tigers led 13-2 after one quarter.

Upper St. Clair woke up in the second stanza, outscoring North Allegheny, 20-7, in the quarter. Junior Meredith Huzjak had eight points in the frame, while fellow junior Olivia Terlecki had eight before the halftime break. Junior Claire Rosenberry scored right before the half ended as USC led 22-20.

North Allegheny came out of the gates strong in the third quarter, led by senior Kellie McConnell, who hit a quick 3-pointer to start the second half. Fellow senior Lydia Betz also went to work in the second half, scoring important points in the paint. She finished the game with nine total.  USC’s Huzjak tied the score at 32-32 in the final seconds of the third quarter on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot.

Senior Grace Heliger drained a three to begin the final quarter, as she contributed seven total points, with most coming in the second half. Late in the contest, Terlecki knotted the game at 41-41 with a trey, but NA had a quick response from Henderson with 50 seconds left. The sharpshooter nailed a 3-point shot giving her a game-leading 24 points. Henderson was named Wright Automotive Player of the Game for her efforts. USC held the final possession, but Huzjak was unable to hit from beyond the arc as time expired.

Upper St. Clair ends the season with a 12-11 overall record. North Allegheny improves to 21-2 and has guaranteed a spot in the PIAA State Basketball Tournament with the win. The Tigers face No. 2 Peters Township on Monday night in the WPIAL Semifinals at site and time to be determined.

Girls Basketball vs. Upper St. Clair, 2-22-24

Upper St. Clair22010941
North Allegheny137121244