Top-Ranked NA Grinds Out Win Over Pine-Richland, 46-41
The Pine-Richland Rams held North Allegheny to its lowest point total all season, but the top-ranked Lady Tigers managed to grind out a 46-41 home victory to remain undefeated in Section 3-AAAA. Senior forward Danielle Wall led NA with 17 points and was 5 of 7 from the free-throw line. Scoring 11 of her 17 points in the second half, Wall was named the Quad-A Network’s Player of the Game in Monday night’s Game of the Week.
Wall scored a pair of buckets in the first quarter to help NA open up a 6-0 lead, but the Pine-Richland defense gave up points grudgingly and limited the high-powered Tigers to just 15 first half points. A big reason for NA’s struggles was Pine-Richland’s pressure defense and ability to outrebound the Tigers. The Rams held a 34-25 rebounding edge for the game and claimed 14 offensive rebounds for numerous second chance opportunities. Pine-Richland’s Kaitlyn Jenkins pulled down eight rebounds and scored eight points to help the Rams cause.
With North Allegheny leading 15-14 in the second quarter, Jenkins connected on a jump shot with 1:03 remaining in the half and Caitlyn Byerly knocked down a trey moments later to give the Rams a 19-15 lead at intermission. Byerly paced Pine-Richland with 13 points and was 3 for 3 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Chelsea Rourke scored 10 points for the Rams and corralled seven rebounds.
In the second half, the Lady Tigers picked up the intensity on defense and turned the tables on the Rams with their press. North Allegheny exchanged leads with the Rams in the third quarter but still trailed 30-29 heading to the fourth. The Tigers used an 11-3 run to grab their largest lead of the game at 40-33 midway through the fourth period. Wall scored five points and sophomore guard Abby Gonzales notched two steals and two assists in momentum turning run.
However, the scrappy Rams refused to go away, answering with back-to-back three-pointers by Marisa Hombosky and Byerly to cut the score to 40-39 with 2:56 to play. The Tigers increased their lead to 42-39 when Gonzales converted a two-point jumper, but PR quickly responded with a pair of Rourke free-throws to trim the deficit to 42-41 with 2:16 remaining. North Allegheny began to eat up the clock over the next two possessions before putting the game away at the free-throw line. Junior Devvin LaBarge hit a pair at the charity stripe with 40 seconds left and Wall poured in two more free-throws with 19 seconds to play to finish off the Rams, 46-41.
The victory gives North Allegheny its eighth straight win and improves to the Tigers to 9-1 overall and 4-0 in Section 3-AAAA. Pine-Richland falls to 7-4 overall and 1-3 in section play. The Lady Tigers visit Shaler for a clash with the 9-0 Titans on Thursday. The Rams host Plum in a non-conference affair on Wednesday night.
Kiski Area at Connellsville Game Summary
|SCORE BY QUARTERS||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||FINAL|
Connellsville - James Leichliter 25 pts, Trent Bauer 10 pts, Caleb Pittsment 10 pts