NA Steamrolls Manheim Township in PIAA 1st Round, 76-53
A week after winning the WPIAL Class 6A championship, the North Allegheny girls’ basketball team turned its attention toward a state title on Friday night and opened the PIAA tournament with a 76-53 win over Manheim Township.
The Tigers welcomed the Blue Streaks, the seventh-place finisher out of District 3, to UPMC Court for a rematch of the 2020 PIAA first round contest between these two teams. Similar to their meeting three years ago, NA once again prevailed in a blowout.
While the game ended with a convincing victory, it started with a strong effort by the visiting Blue Streaks. Senior Julia Goebig scored six of her 12 points in the first quarter and helped give Manheim Township a 7-4 lead three minutes into the game. After slow start offensively, North Allegheny’s defense and persistence on the offensive glass paid off and the Tigers answered with a 9-2 run to take a 13-9 lead by the late stages of the opening stanza.
Leading 13-12 at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers found their shooting rhythm and outscored the Blue Streaks, 22-8, in the period for a 35-20 advantage at intermission. Junior guard Caroline Henderson helped spark the offensive charge with nine of her 12 points coming in the first half, including three 3-pointers, on her way to Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.
From there, it was all Tigers and the black and gold pulled away for a comfortable 76-53 victory. In all, four Tigers finished in double figures. Senior Jasmine Timmerson and junior Kellie McConnell each netted a team-high 18 points. Junior forward Lydia Betz added 15 points and a wealth of rebounds.
For Manheim Township, junior Ava Byrne led the way with 18 points. Junior Sarah Kraus tallied 13 points in addition to Goebig’s 12.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 21-5 on the season, while Manheim Township finishes up with a 17-11 record. The Tigers advance the second round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs to face Mt. Lebanon 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. Manheim Township, 3-10-23
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