Lady ’Canes stunned by North Allegheny
North Allegheny (52) Vs. New Castle (47)

The New Castle girls’ quest for a fourth-straight section title got a little more difficult last night.

North Allegheny shocked the Lady ’Canes, 54-47, in WPIAL Section 3-AAAA action at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House.

The victory avenged the Lady Tigers’ 47-45 home loss to New Castle on Dec. 21. It also propelled North Allegheny (5-5 section, 11-8 overall) into third place in the section.

“I thought the girls did a great job of keeping their composure and continuing to attack,” said first-year North Allegheny coach Sherri McConnell, a sister-in-law of Duquesne University women’s coach Suzie McConnel Serio and Chartiers Valley boys coach Tim McConnell. “We learned a lot from the last time we played them when we lost to them by two points. I think that’s been kind of burning inside us since then. We proved that we learned from it and it made us a better team and we took care of what we needed to do.”

Meanwhile, the Lady ’Canes (9-2, 14-4) dropped a game and a half behind section-leading Butler (10-0, 21-1). The two teams meet Friday at New Castle in the season finale. The Lady ’Canes need a victory in that game, as well as a Butler loss at North Allegheny on Monday, to claim a share of their fourth section crown in a row.

“I am at a loss for words,” New Castle coach Luann Grybowski said. “Never did I expect this. We’ve had three players out sick, but that’s not an excuse. Abby (Allen), Shelby (Rodgers) and Tasia (Wise) have all been sick. They’re all battling, but you have to play through it. Those aren’t excuses. You just don’t get it done. When you get outhustled — when they run to try to save a ball and we don’t do anything but stand there and watch. We just stood and watched them play.

“I am just totally baffled. If they don’t know by now that they have to play the game, they’re never going to learn it,” she continued. “You have to do it — sick, healthy, whatever it takes. However you need to get it done, you have to get it done. They won the battle. They outhustled us and outbattled us.”

While the final score was close, the game really wasn’t. The Lady Tigers led for most of the second half. The guests built a 12-point, 50-38, edge with 1:11 to play, but New Castle fought back in the final minute to pull within five points, 52-47, with 24.8 seconds to go. Rodgers swished a 3-pointer and, after a pair of NA freebies, New Castle scored six-straight points. Allen and Rodgers had buckets, while Allen capped the spree with a drive to the basket.

She was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw. The Lady ’Canes got the rebound, but were unable to convert and North Allegheny held on for the win.

“We didn’t play hard until the last minute,” Grybowski said. “That’s the story of the game.”

New Castle had control of the game early. The Lady ’Canes held a 19-12 lead with 5:51 remaining in the first half. However, foul trouble played Logan Hartman, Wise and Allen. The three went to the bench as Allen and Wise both had three personal fouls and Hartman had two.

The Lady Tigers took advantage of the depleted New Castle lineup and went on a 10-0 run to post a 22-19 edge with 2:30 remaining in the second quarter. They carried a 26-23 advantage into halftime.

The win was the sixth in seven games for North Allegheny. The Lady Tigers have won five-straight section contests.

“Coming into the year, everything was new for the girls and our staff,” McConnell said. “So, we just wanted to keep getting better and better and be peaking at the end of the season and that’s kind of what we’re doing now.”

Kelly Brennan led North Allegheny with a game-high 18 points. Rodgers paced New Castle with 13 points, while Tasia Wise and Hartman had 10 points apiece.

The Lady ’Canes return to action at 3:30 p.m. today when they host North Catholic, the top-ranked WPIAL Class A squad.
Game Scoreboard
North Allegheny 8 18 7 19 0 52
New Castle 11 12 10 14 0 47
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
North Allegheny
New Castle
#11 Abby Allen231050
#24 JaVonna Moss000000
#23 Tasia Wise5000100
#31 Jazelle Dennis142050
#22 Logan Hartman5000100
#44 Nikki Wise142040
Home | Game Schedules | Archive Coverage | Player of the Week
Lets Talk Basketball | BasketBlog | Big Shots
Copyright ©
All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
Site Designed By: MotionLX, LLC