All season long, the Westinghouse High girls basketball team had heard about Allderdice's tandem of Sierra Fordham and Sydnee Abernathy. There was good reason for those accolades as the tandem accounted for more than 40 points a game for the Dragons in the season.
Both again reached double figures in the City League girls championship game. But both had to work for their points as the Bulldogs made the most of a pressing defense that helped spark 49 Allderdice turnovers in a 54-42 victory for Westinghouse Saturday at Obama Academy. The win lifted the Bulldogs' record to 16-9, heading into a PIAA Class AAA preliminary round Tuesday against Johnstown at Central Cambria High School.
Allderdice slipped to 12-13 and will meet the WPIAL Class AAAA runner-up March 8 in a PIAA first-round game.
The Bulldogs have been a perennial participant in the City League championship game, but Saturday marked the first time in four years the Bulldogs and coach Phyllis Jones were able to hoist the championship trophy.
"It feels very good," said Jones, who has been the team's coach since 1990. "I haven't realized it yet, but it will hit me."
Balance has been a key for the Bulldogs this season, and it was evident again Saturday. Just four players scored for Westinghouse, but three of them -- Jasmine Myers (23), Brittany Jackson (18) and Lashae Stinson (11) -- reached double figures.
Myers and Jackson were particularly potent in the first quarter, combining to score 13 of Westinghouse's 15 first-quarter points as the Bulldogs amassed a 15-6 lead.
That fast start was something Jones had sought as Westinghouse had won the first two regular-season games against Allderdice, but were decided by single-digit margins.
"When I saw that lead in the beginning, I said 'Maybe we can hold onto it,'" Jones said. Her optimism was confirmed as Westinghouse's pressure defense induced 13 Allderdice turnovers in the first quarter.
Fordham had 16 points and Abernathy 13 for the Dragons.