Carmichaels clinched its ninth consecutive WPIAL playoff berth and set up a key game Thursday against Section 3-A leader Avella by winning on the road, 55-45, over California Monday night.
The win keeps Carmichaels (6-1, 16-2) one game behind Avella.
California (4-3, 13-5) stayed within striking distance throughout. Carmichaels led 26-20 at halftime and California cut the deficit in half entering the fourth quarter. But the Mikes pulled away down the stretch as guard Morgan Berardi made seven of eight free throws in the fourth quarter.
Berardi finished with 12 points, 11 assists and five steals. Amanda Brown led Carmichaels with a game-high 23 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds.
California’s Courtnee McMasters matched Brown for game scoring honors with 23 points. Natalie Baron had 11 points.
Avella 43, Jefferson-Morgan 39: Olivia English had 16 points as Avella held off Jefferson-Morgan, 43-39, in a Section 3-A game.
The first-place Eagles (7-0, 11-6) held a 40-24 lead entering the fourth quarter before the Rockets (2-5, 6-11) finished the game on a 15-3 run.
Kayla Yorko had 14 points to lead the Rockets.
West Greene 64, Mapletown 11: Emily Courtwright had 18 points and 10 rebounds as West Greene topped Mapletown, 64-11, in Section 3-A to move into a tie with Jefferson-Morgan for the fourth playoff spot in the section.
Madison Raber led the Pioneers (2-5, 10-8) with 20 points, while Emily Stoll added 11 points and Alyssa Raber had 13 rebounds.
Madison Bogden led Mapletown (0-7, 0-14) with five points.
Serra Catholic 48, Monessen 13: Megan Stieg’s 15 points helped Serra Catholic to a 48-13 Section 4-A win over Monessen.
Nicole Pero added 10 points for Serra (7-0, 15-2), which led 30-4 at the half.
Chelsea Szakel had eight points for Monessen (4-6, 7-10).
Trinity 78, Montour 40: Rachel Phillis had 23 points as Trinity ripped Montour, 78-40, in a Section 5-AAA game.
Lauren Simpson added 15 points for the Hillers (4-6, 7-10), who led 40-19 at the half.
Marissa Gerst and Emily Mastrioni had 12 points each for Montour (0-9, 2-16).
Bishop Canevin 63, Chartiers-Houston 40: Erin Waskowiak had 17 points as Bishop Canevin jumped out to a 36-15 halftime lead en route to a 63-40 Section 4-AA win over Chartiers-Houston.
Carly Forse added 15 points for the Crusaders (8-1, 15-3).
Amanda Balzer had 13 points, Addy Knetzer added 10, while Ashley Balzer had 12 rebounds for Chartiers-Houston (4-6, 10-8).
Ringgold 43, Thomas Jefferson 32: Josie Schmidt had 15 points and blocked five shots, while sister Kaylee Schmidt added 10 blocked shots as Ringgold won a key Section 4-AAA victory over Thomas Jefferson, 43-32.
The victory improves the Rams to 5-5 in section play and 8-9 overall and gives them a season sweep of Thomas Jefferson (4-5, 7-11).
Alexis Yanif led TJ with nine points.
Fort Cherry 56, Wilkinsburg 36: Jenna Lucas had 33 points as Fort Cherry topped Wilkinsburg, 56-36, in a Section 4-AA gmae.
Tina Bellhy added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Rangers (4-5, 7-8), who were playing without injured leading scorer Rachel Bellhy.
Lakeisha Wright had 21 points for Wilkinsburg (0-10, 0-13).
Belle Vernon 64, West Mifflin 58, OT: Tiernie Singleton and Katlyn Swegas had 17 points each as Belle Vernon pulled out a 64-58 Section 4-AAA win over West Mifflin to pulled into a tie for second place with the Titans.
Jessica Swegas added 15 points for Belle Vernon (6-2, 12-4), while Alyssa Cairns led West Mifflin (6-2, 7-9) with 15 points.
Bentworth 65, Burgettstown 36: Senior guard Taylor Pompei scored 39 points, making six of Bentworth’s 10 three-point field goals, as the Bearcats pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 65-36 victory over host Burgettstown in Section 5-AA.
The win enables Bentworth (3-7, 6-12) to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Bearcats led 30-20 at halftime and 44-33 after three quarters, then outscored the Blue Devils 21-3 over the final eight minutes.
Kristen Roy led Burgettstown (1-8, 1-16) with 12 points.
Canon-McMillan 52, Baldwin 37: Canon-McMillan used some strong defense and aggressive rebounding to defeat visiting Baldwin 52-37 in Section 4-AAAA.
C-M (2-8, 7-10), which stayed in the playoff race with the win, was locked in a tie at halftime but outscored Baldwin (3-6, 8-9) 12-3 in the pivotal third quarter.
Danielle Parker scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds to pace the Big Macs. Brittany Hutchinson had 13 points, and Olivia Lorusso scored 13 points and hauled in 17 rebounds.
Miranda Johnston paced Baldwin with 17 points.
Chartiers Valley 57, Peters Township 31: Chartiers Valley remained within striking distance of Section 4-AAAA leader Bethel Park by defeating host Peters Township 57-31.
Mariah Wells and Kassidy O’Keefe each scored 15 points, and Jenna Devinney had 10 for CV (8-2, 14-4), which began the night two games out of first place.
Madison Kerr had a game-high 16 points for Peters Township (0-10, 3-15), which trailed 20-14 at halftime before CV broke open the game in the third quarter.
Carmichaels 69, Avella 53: Brandon Lawless scored 26 points and visiting Carmichaels defeated Avella 69-53 in a Section 3-A game.
Cory Fuller followed with 13 points and Sean Smoggie had 12 for Carmichaels (4-2, 14-3), which has won three in a row. Avella (0-6, 2-14) was led by Brandon Miller, who had 23 points.
West Mifflin 53, Ringgold 30: Derrick Fulmore and Cleve Randolph had 10 points each as West Mifflin topped Ringgold, 53-30, in a Section 4-AAA game.
West Mifflin (8-1, 13-3) took control of the game with a 13-5 run in the second quarter.
John Maldonado had 13 points to lead Ringgold (1-8, 2-15).