Penn-Trafford Rallies To Beat Plum & Other First Round Recaps

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#7 Penn-Trafford vs. #10 Plum
Penn-Trafford overcame a 13-point, second half deficit and topped the Plum Mustangs, 46-43, in the opening round of the WPIAL Class AAAA Girls Basketball Playoffs. It’s the second straight year the Warriors have knocked off the Mustangs in the First Round and the sixth consecutive win for PT in the head-to-head series.  The Mustangs charged out of the starting gate in the second half with a 12-0 run, but Penn-Trafford battled back and took a 44-43 lead with 23 seconds remaining on an Athena Biondi free-throw.  Krista Pietropola, who scored a team-high 15 points, had a chance to give Plum the lead back but missed on a leaning shot attempt.  PT’s Casey Aunkst was fouled and hit two more free-throws in the waning seconds to finish off a three-point win for the Warriors. Aunkst netted 15 points for PT and seven in the final quarter.  The Warriors improve to 17-5 overall and advance to the WPIAL quarterfinals while Plum’s season ends with a mark of 15-8.

#2 Mt. Lebanon vs. #15 Gateway
Second-seeded Mt. Lebanon led by just a point at halftime, but the Blue Devils eventually wore down the pesky Gateway Gators in the second half for a 63-46 first round victory.  Senior Jada Epps and junior London Wade kept pace with the Blue Devils in the first 16 minutes, but the Section 4 champs took control behind a 24 point performance by senior Christine Ehland.  Ehland netted 18 of her 24 points in the second half. Madeleine Collins and Maura Wallace chipped in 11 points apiece for the winning Blue Devils.  Epps finished with14 points and Wade contributed with 11 for the Gators in defeat. Mt. Lebanon jumps to 16-5 on the season and faces Penn-Trafford in the WPIAL quarterfinals.  Gateway’s campaign comes to a close with a 13-9 record.

#8 Baldwin vs. #9 Shaler
The Shaler Titans used an 18 point performance from Lizzie Kline and stellar free-throw shooting down the stretch to cut down the Baldwin Highlanders, 48-35, in the opening night of the Quad-A playoffs. Shaler held a 17-16 lead at the half and seized control with a 9-0 run to start the second half and outscored the Highlanders in the third quarter, 19-10.  Baldwin trimmed the deficit to nine with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter but could come no closer. Abby Conrad added 11 points for the Titans. Amanda Larkin was the lone Highlander in double figures with 13. Despite Baldwin’s hot finish to the regular season, its year ends with a 12-9 mark.  Shaler improves to 16-6 and earns a third crack at top-seed and Section 3-AAAA foe North Allegheny.