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Kennedy Catholic Moves Into PIAA 2A Quarterfinals; Redbank Stunned by McCort; Maplewood, Lakeview, Mercyhurst Prep Fall

Kennedy Catholic's Bella Magestro. File photo by Andy Close.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – Freshman Bella Magestro scored 29 points as Kennedy Catholic beat a feisty Burgettstown team, 56-39 to advance to the PIAA quarterfinals.


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Burgettstown trailed by just two, 21-19, at halftime, but Magestro came out on fire in the second half, drilling four 3s in the third quarter as the Golden Eagles (21-4), extended their lead to 12, 40-28 after the third.

Magestro scored 24 of her 29 points in the second half and scored seven more points in the fourth quarter to help Kennedy pull away.

Layke Fields had a pair of buckets in the fourth quarter for the Golden Eagles, who have won 20–straight since a 2-4 start to the season.


Fields finished with 10 points in the win.

The Golden Eagles, who are looking to make it to the state finals in Class 2A after doing so in Class 1A a year ago, also got six points from Cassie Dancak, five from Hayden Keith, and four from Izzby Bianco.

Jillian Frazier scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half for Burgettstown, while Kaitlyn Nease had a team-high 15 points.

Kennedy Catholic, which is in the PIAA quarterfinals for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, will meet Bishop McCort, a 62-48 winner over Redbank Valley, in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 17 at a site and time to be determined.



VANDERGRIFT, Pa. – Redbank Valley went the final 5:40 without a point as Bishop McCort closed the game on a 14-0 run to stun the D9 champion Lady Bulldogs, 62-48.

A layup by Redbank Valley’s Mylee Harmon tied the game, 48-48 with 5:40 to go, but those were the last points Redbank (26-2) scored.

Gianna Gallucci, who came into the game averaging 16.9 ppg., nearly doubled that with 30 points in the win for Bishop McCort.

Redbank Valley led after the first quarter, 20-16, and at halftime, 34-28, before McCort went on a 15-8 run to take a 43-42 lead going to the fourth quarter.

Gallucci went 11-of-22 from the floor and also had 11 rebounds, while Cameron Beppler had 12 points and Bria Bair nine.

Neither team shot the ball well from the free-throw line, as McCort (16-13) was 10-of-19 and Redbank Valley was 7-of-18.


The Crushers shot 45 percent (23-of-51) from the floor, however, while Redbank was just 32.7 percent (20-of-61).

Harmon led Redbank Valley, whose only other loss of the season came on Dec. 27 to OLSH, with 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Harmon also pulled down five rebounds, while Alivia Huffman had 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go along with nine rebounds.

Caylen Rearick and Kira Bonanno had six points each for Redbank Valley.

McCort will face Kennedy Catholic in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 17 at a site and time to be determined.


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Maplewood came all the way back from a big early hole against Greensburg Central Catholic, but GCC’s Mya Morgan had seen enough.

Morgan scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, part of a 35-point outburst that lifted the Centurions to a 61-48 win over Maplewood in the PIAA Class 2A second round at Slippery Rock University’s Morrow Fieldhouse.

Maplewood trailed by 16, 21-5 in the first quarter, but Bailey Varndell kept them in it early and the Lady Tigers () came all the way back to take a 41-40 lead on a Sadie Thomas 3-point play with 53 seconds to go in the third quarter.


“We started attacking,” said Maplewood coach Shawn Rhoades. “We had them on their heels, I think we just used so much energy to come back, and then it was just one play here, one play there, and that’s a good basketball team. I’m just super proud of our team. The girls could have folded and they didn’t. They battled all year long and they battled again tonight.”

Maplewood (21-6) trailed 21-5 with 2:15 to go in the first quarter, but Varndell kept them within striking distance with four first-quarter 3s to make it 24-14 after one.

“Thank goodness Bailey showed up, otherwise that’s probably a 25-point game,” Rhoades said.

GCC (23-5) extended the lead back to 15, 33-18 after a Morgan 3 with 5:05 to go before halftime, but a Varndell bucket as time expired in the first half got them back within 12, 37-35.

It was all Lady Tigers in the third, as they went on a 16-4 run.

Rhaelyn Koelle got things going in the second half, while Thomas had seven of her 17 points during the run that eventually gave them the lead.

“Rhaelyn gave us a little bit of a spark there,” Rhoades said. “We told them you can’t get it back all at once, you just have to keep digging, and that’s what they did.”

Maplewood had all the momentum going into the fourth quarter, but Morgan stole it right back, going on a personal 9-0 run that gave GCC a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Erica Gribble, a freshman who already has Division I offers, had nine of her 14 points during the early surge in the first quarter.

Varndell finished with a team-high 18 points for Maplewood in addition to Thomas’ 17, while Koelle added six and Madison O’Hara finished with four.

With the win, GCC moves on to face Shenango, a 42-29 winner over Lakeview, in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 17.

“We just told them thank you for everything that you’ve done,” Rhoades said of seniors Varndell and Thomas. “They’ve been great leaders all season long.”



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Mercyhurst Prep dug itself an early hole and was unable to recover in a 59-37 second-round loss to Shady Side Academy.

Freshman Keris Thomas led Shady Side with a game-high 27 points, including five 3s.

Shady Side (25-3) led by 21, 33-12 at halftime, limiting the Lakers to just a Shannon Stevenson 3 in the second quarter and maintained that lead for most of the second half.

The Lakers (20-6) tried to make a push and got as close as 12, 49-37, on a Cassidy Netkowicz 3 with five minutes to play.

Cam Capel, daughter of University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel, responded with a bucket on the other end, which started a 10-0 run to end the game.

Capel added 11 points, while Cate Sauer finished with nine and Syd Burchard seven for Shady Side.

Sadie Messer led Mercyhurst Prep with 15 points, while Olivia Kulyk added 13.

With the win, Shady Side advances to play River Valley, a 56-54 winner over Laurel, in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 17.


(7-1) SHENANGO 42, (10-3) LAKEVIEW 29

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Shenango held Lakeview to just two points in the third quarter to turn a 4-point lead into double digits in a 42-39 win in their PIAA Class 2A Second Round game at Westminster College.

Kyndra Seddon got the Sailors’ lone field goal of the quarter, and Lakeview was held scoreless for almost six minutes.

Lakeview got off to a hot start, leading 7-2 midway through the first quarter, but Shenango came back to cut the lead to one at the end of the frame.

Emilee Fedrizzi scored nine second-quarter points to help Shenango take a 20-16 lead into the half. Fedrizzi was at it again in the fourth quarter as she scored 10 points to help the Wildcats secure the win.

Fedrizzi finished with a game-high 23 points. Kylee Rubin had 12 points.

Seddon and Alaina Peltonen each had six points to lead the Sailors.

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