High school basketball roundup: J-M, West Greene girls advance
The Jefferson-Morgan girls overcame a four-point halftime deficit to earn a rare postseason victory for the Rockets, 29-25, over Eden Christian Academy in a WPIAL Class A preliminary round game Saturday afternoon at Chartiers Valley.
The Rockets (10-13) advance to play second-seeded Serra Catholic Wednesday at a site to be determined.
“We have a lot of freshmen on the team,” said J-M coach Ellen Hildebrand, “and it took a while to get the seniors and freshmen caught up with each other. I’m just thrilled for the seniors and the freshmen that they got to taste this experience, and hopefully we’ll be here more than once.”
Kayla Yorko and Katie Shaffer each scored eight points to lead the Rockets.
Jefferson-Morgan held the Warriors (12-11) to two points in the third quarter.
West Greene 50, Clairton 26: Madison Raber had 25 points and 15 rebounds, Alyssa Raber added 13 points and 14 rebounds, and West Greene won a playoff game for the second consecutive year, 50-26, in the WPIAL Class A preliminary round at West Allegheny High School.
Justice Hall added 10 points for Clairton, which finished the year at 7-14.
West Greene (13-9) gets the No. 16 seed and will play No. 1 Vincentian Wednesday, site and time to be determined.
Emily Courtwright added eight points and six rebounds.
Quigley 81, California 38: Needing only 16 points but averaging 22.3 per game this season entering Saturday’s WPIAL Class A first-round game against Quigley, Trojans senior Courtnee McMasters figured she had a pretty good shot at reaching 1,000 for her career.
Still, she didn’t buy a glass case for the game ball. Didn’t want to jinx anything.
The 13th-seeded Trojans might have been on the wrong end of an 81-38 rout, but McMasters scored 18 points to become the second player in school history and the sixth in the area this season to reach 1,000.
She did it by making a pair of free throws with 2:56 left in the third quarter.
“It’s amazing,” McMasters said. “It’s a childhood dream to accomplish it.”
McMasters got a big boost by scoring 56 points in a win over Mapletown Feb. 6. She nearly lost out on the chance for 1,000 when the Trojans’ game against Neighborhood Academy this past Monday was postponed.
But she got there Saturday at Peters Township by scoring 12 points in the first quarter, four in the second and two apiece in the third and fourth.
“I’m happy for Courtnee, personally,” California coach Chris Minerd said. “She’s the first person I’ve ever had do it. She’s played for me for six years because I also coached her in middle school. I think it’s a big step for the program because she’s only the second player to do it for girls at California.”
California finished the year 14-8.
South Fayette 61, Freeport 35: South Fayette made eight three-pointers en route to a 61-35 victory over Freeport Saturday in a WPIAL Class AAA preliminary-round game at North Allegheny.
Caitlin McLuckie and Shannon Gillespie had 12 points apiece. Both had a pair of treys. So, too, did Kristen Hardt and Min Wells.
Jess Aulicino led Freeport (8-13) with 20 points.
South Fayette will play No. 13 Central Valley Wednesday.
St. Joseph 45, Avella 30: Avella was without Olivia English and Sunny Liggett, and Alexandria Barr was lost to a hand injury, as Avella suffered a 45-30 loss to St. Joseph in a WPIAL Class A girls first-round game.
Kenna Drazich led Avella, the Section 3-A champion and No. 5 seed, with 18 points, but the Eagles closed the year at 13-9.
Mallory Heinle led St. Joseph (11-12) with 23 points, and Amanda Klawinski added 12.
Burrell 64, Beth-Center 34: Cole Bush scored 23 points and Burell rolled to a 64-34 victory over Beth-Center in a Class AA preliminary round game at West Allegheny.
Beth-Center (10-12) got off to a slow start, falling behind by double-digits in the first quarter, and never recovered. The Bulldogs struggled against Burrell’s full -pressing defense and didn’t have an answer for Bush.
Alex White scored 14 points and Peter Spagnolo had 11 for Burrell (16-6), which has won seven in a row.
Adam Walters and Dean Holt each scored 10 points for B-C.