Without its two top scorers, Mariah Wells and Jenna Devinney, Chartiers Valley girls basketball coach Spencer Stefko knew his team faced an uphill battle Friday night against Mt. Lebanon.
"I know if I was outside this locker room, I wouldn't have even bought a ticket to this game," Stefko. "It was an obvious blowout to me."
But sophomore Alexa Golden didn't see it that way.
Seton-La-Salle 73, Mohawk 45
Seton-La-Salle takes on Mohawk in high school basketball action. (Video by Justin K. Aller; 3/15/2013)
Golden scored 20 of her 23 points in the final 10:32 to lift Chartiers Valley (22-7) past the Blue Devils, 48-37, in a PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal at North Hills.
"Even when I was down in the first quarter, [my teammates] had my back and just told me to keep going at halftime and that my shots would fall," Golden said.
It was the second time Chartiers Valley beat the Blue Devils (24-4) this postseason after Mt. Lebanon won both regular-season meetings. The Colts' other win came in the WPIAL semifinals, 31-27, with Wells scoring 17 points.
But Wells was out with a foot injury and Devinney missed the game with an undisclosed ailment, so the Colts looked to Golden down the stretch.
She scored their final six points of the third quarter to give Chartiers Valley a 30-22 lead.
The Colts still led, 36-29, when Kristin McGeough fouled out with 3:07 left. Before Christine Ehland could step to the free-throw line, Stefko was whistled for a technical foul because he didn't get a replacement on the court for McGeough in the allotted 30 seconds.
Ehland, who led Mt. Lebanon with 16 points, made all four free throws to cut the Colts' lead to three.
But from there, it was Golden's show. She scored the team's final 12 points, making 6 of 6 free throws, to help the Colts advance.
"I guess when you have Alexa Golden, you have a chance," Stefko said.
Class AA quarterfinals
• Bishop Canevin 41, Burrell 29: Celina DePietro hit five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 22 points to lead Bishop Canevin (25-4) past the Buccaneers, 41-29, at North Hills.
"Celina can shoot it," said Crusaders coach Tim Joyce. "She's probably as good a shooter as I've ever had."
DiPietro scored the first four points of the game, but 3-pointers by Sydney Bordonaro and Erika Finn gave Burrell a 6-4 lead with 2:01 left in the first quarter.
Bishop Canevin answered with back-to-back 3s from Johnie Olkosky and DiPietro to start a 13-2 run. Burrell (24-4) never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
• Seton-LaSalle 73, Mohawk 45: Seton-LaSalle wants to get back to the PIAA Class AA championship for the second year in a row, and the Rebels showed again they're in a hurry to get there.
They raced to a commanding lead and rolled to a victory against Mohawk (19-8) in a quarterfinal at New Castle.
The defending champion Rebels (27-2) advance to the semifinals Tuesday and will face Bishop Canevin, which upset them in the WPIAL championship.
"I've been their biggest fan since they beat us," Seton-LaSalle coach John Ashaolu said. "I wanted to play them again. The last game wasn't indicative of what kind of team we are."
Natalie Piaggesi paced Seton-LaSalle with 15 points.
Brad Everett of Tri-State Sports & News Service contributed.