Third Quarter Spurt Paces Hempfield Past Fox Chapel, 54-44

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The Hempfield Spartans used a 12-0 run to open the second half and pulled away from the Fox Chapel Foxes for a 54-44 win in the second round of the PIAA playoffs. The Spartans harassing defense prevented the Fox Chapel guards from consistently feeding Duke-recruit Erin Mathias. Mathias scored 18 points, but 12 of them came in the first half. 

Not only stymying the Foxes, the Hempfield defense forced nine turnovers and turned them into points during the critical third quarter run. Junior forwards Leah Knizner and Lexi Irwin took advantage of the thefts for easy layups to help construct a 38-24 lead and eventual 10 point victory.  Knizner finished with 10 points and Irwin added six.  Hempfield’s leading scorer was IUP-recruit Monica Burns who tallied a game-high 26 points.

The Hempfield Spartans improve to 19-9 on the season and will face the North Allegheny Tigers for the third time this season on Friday night at 6:00 from Gateway High School. NA won the regular season meeting, 61-50, but Hempfield claimed victory in the rematch in the WPIAL semifinals, 60-44. Fox Chapel concludes their season with a 20-6 record.