BP girls basketball upends Altoona, will face Norwin in PIAA Class AAAA second round

Russell Finelsen, Staff Writer, Assistant Editor, Sports Editor

BP had three players with at least ten points, and the girls varsity basketball team beat Altoona, 66-55.

This was a battle of conference winners. Altoona won the PIAA District 6 division. Meanwhile, Bethel Park won the WPIAL Class AAAA Section 4 division.

The Black Hawks got off to a fast start behind their big three. Shannon Conley, Justina Mascara, and Kaitlyn Chess all had 10 points or more to boost BP (21-5) to victory.

Conley led all players with 23 points, including key baskets in the third and fourth quarters to help put the game away.

Mascaro had 18 points, and Chess also got a huge game with a double double. Even though she contributed 10 points, she got 15 boards to help BP boost its second-chance point opportunities and to stop Altoona from scoring. The rest of the Black Hawks squad added 15 points, which proved to help lift the team over Altoona.

For Altoona (13-12), Paige Whitfield led the team with 16 points. The game was played on Friday, March 6 at Hollidaysburg High School.

BP will go on to the second round of the PIAA’s. BP will face Norwin on Tuesday, March 10 at 6 PM at Plum High School.

Norwin (22-4) advances after a thriller against Pine-Richland, 52-51, on Friday. After Pine-Richland’s Chelsea Rourke stole an inbound pass for Norwin with less than seven seconds left, she lost control, and Norwin player Taylor Sabol was able to get possession of the ball. This is after Pine-Richland (21-6) put together a 29-7 run from the third quarter’s three minutes warning to the end of the game. Norwin was leading 44-23 with three minutes left in the third.

Norwin was led by Alayna Gribble. She had 19 points, including a two-pointer to keep Norwin up by four in the final seconds to secure the win. Amanda Batey also had 11 points.

Whoever wins the match-up with BP and Norwin will advance to the quarterfinals against the winner of the Penn Hills-North Allegheny game.

It is to be noted that BP lost to Norwin in the third game of the season for BP, 52-50. However, this was before BP’s 17-game winning streak.

It should be a great game between two of the best teams in Class AAAA as they clash for a trip to the PIAA quarterfinals.