NA Earns 5th Straight Title Game Appearance, Tops USC, 39-27
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
|SCORE BY QUARTERS||1||2||3||4||FINAL|
|Upper St. Clair||12||0||8||7||27|