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Northwestern Girls See Season Come to a Close at Hands of Shady Side

Northwestern's Makayla Presser-Palmer.

SHARON, Pa. – A terrific season for the Northwestern Wildcats came to an end on Tuesday with a 62-45 loss to WPIAL champion Shady Side Academy in the PIAA Class 2A second round.

A topsy-turvy third quarter provided two shifts in momentum, the latter of which went Shady Side’s way.

Northwestern (22-5) trailed by 10 at halftime, 32-22 after Shady Side’s Maggie Spell hit at the second quarter buzzer.

Chloe Yazembiak opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer for Northwestern, sparking an 8-0 run that got the Wildcats back within two, 32-20. Makayla Presser-Palmer and Courtney Eddy also knocked down free-throws during the early surge.

The Bulldogs (26-2) responded, going on a 15-3 run to close the third to go up 47-34. Cameron Capel and Karis Thomas both knocked down 3-pointers during the surge for Shady Side.


The lead never dipped below double digits the rest of the way, as the Bulldogs collectively closed the game on a 30-15 run.

“I think that we had an awesome game,” said Northwestern coach Julia Shipton. “They’re a really special group of girls. Their shots fell and our didn’t. The ball just didn’t bounce our way tonight.”

Thomas was the catalyst, scoring eight of her 19 points in the third quarter. Spell netted 16 points for Shady Side, while Cassie Sauer had 13.

The two teams went back-and-forth for much of the first half.

Taylor Stagl knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter for Northwestern, scoring 10 of her 14 points in the first half.


A pair of Stagl free throws got Northwestern to within three, 18-15 at the 4:57 mark of the first half, but Shady Side closed the half on a 14-7 run, which also included 3-pointers from Thomas and Sydney Birchard.

Presser-Palmer led Northwestern with 19 points, with Stagl scoring 14 and Yazembiak six.

With the win, Shady Side advances to play Westmont Hilltop, a 54-48 winner over Seton LaSalle, in the quarterfinals. That game will be on Friday, March 15 at a site and time to be determined.



WEXFORD, Pa. – West Middlesex held Greensburg Central Catholic star Erica Gribble to two points on Tuesday, but GCC still found a way to come out on top, 54-45 in the PIAA Class 2A second round.

GCC (22-6), the WPIAL champions, raced out to a 19-5 lead after the first quarter and led 34-22 at halftime.

Mya Morgan scored 15 points for the Centurions, while Jayla Peterson had 14 and Avery Davis 12.

Gribble, a sophomore, came in averaging just over 20 points per game and already has multiple Division I offers.

West Middlesex (20-6) got within eight, 48-40, but Gribble followed with her first two points of the game to put GCC back up double digits.


Caitlin Stephens led West Middlesex with 22 points, while Emma Mild 10.

With the win, GCC advances to play Everett on Friday, March 15 at a site and time to be determined.


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