Penn Hills Girls’ Basketball Smothers Gateway In Section Opener, 38-21

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The WPIAL Class AAAA runners up from a year ago, the Penn Hills Indians, opened section play with an impressive 38-21 victory over the Gateway Gators on Friday night. Proving they again will be a top contender for a WPIAL title this season, the Indians defense silenced the Gators who connected for only six field goals for the entire game.

Leading 7-6 in the opening stanza, Penn Hills used an 11-0 run to build an 18-6 advantage in the early stages of second quarter. The run was fueled by junior Ionie Banner who knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half on her way to a 13 point night. Banner was selected as the Player of the Game by the Quad-A Sports Network.

In the second quarter, Penn Hills held Gateway without a field goal until Jasmine Copeland scored with two minutes remaining in the quarter to cut the score to 20-9, Indians. Gateway managed to trim the deficit to 20-14 by intermission thanks to frequent trips to the free-throw line in the waning minutes of the half.

Despite being fanned to life by free throws late in the first half, Gateway was smothered by the Penn Hills defense in the second half. The Gators were completely shutout in the third quarter and didn’t score again until 3:20 remained in the fourth quarter. In the meantime, Penn Hills senior and Cleveland State recruit Jade Ely finished off the Gators with 10 second-half points and finished with a game-high 15 points as the Indians coasted to the 38-21 win.  Gateway’s leading scorer was Copeland with seven points.

Penn Hills improves to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in Section 2-AAAA. Gateway slips to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in section action. The Indians will return to action on Tuesday night with a home game against Fox Chapel. The Gators will also play Tuesday on the road at Woodland Hills.

WPIAL Class AAAA Championship Game Summary

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