Tigers Claw Past Panthers In WPIAL Quarterfinals, 33-26
by Jared Barton
A slow start led to a close finish as the North Allegheny girls’ basketball team beat Upper St. Clair 33-26 Friday night in the WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinals at West Allegheny High School.
The first quarter was filled with back-and-forth play and both teams committed minimal fouls throughout the first half. The Panthers held a slim 9-8 lead at the end of one frame.
The scoring slowed in the second quarter with NA and USC scoring six and two points respectively, and the Tigers held a 14-11 lead at the half.
The scoring opened up in the second half, led by the strong play of senior Rachel Martindale, who tallied 14 total points. Sophomore Lizzy Groetsch was also a strong shooter from the foul line and finished the contest with 11 points.
At the end of three quarters, the Tigers led 24-18.
Martindale opened the fourth quarter with a early three-point shot that gave control of the game to North Allegheny. Masterful defensive efforts from Katerina Balouris, Groetsch and Brynn Serbin secured the win. The trio was solely responsible for keeping senior forward Sarah Price in check with just 10 points on the night. Sophomore Paige Morningstar was also a difference maker off the bench, with six points.
Martindale earned Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors for her all-around play on both ends of the court.
The Panthers fall to 11-12 and still has a chance to continue their season in the PIAA playoffs if the Tigers win the WPIAL championship.
Meanwhile, the Tigers improve to 22-1 overall on the year and head into the next round with some added motivation. NA takes on the Norwin Knights Tuesday evening, the only team that beat the Lady Tigers this season. Norwin defeated Mt. Lebanon 39-35 to make it to round two.
Girls Basketball vs. Upper St. Clair, 2-22-19
|SCORE BY QUARTERS||1||2||3||4||FINAL|
|Upper St. Clair||9||2||7||8||26|