HS Girls Basketball: South Park, Blackhawk advance

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What would South Park coach Reggie Wells say if leading scorer Allison McGrath went an entire game without a basket?

"I'd say we better win with defense," Wells said.

Good answer.

McGrath, who had averaged 29 points per game in the playoffs, had only six free throws in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals Wednesday night at Chartiers Valley. But South Park's defense came through, and the Eagles earned another championship berth with a 44-40 victory against Elizabeth Forward.

"It wasn't a pretty game to watch," Wells said.

South Park (21-4) advances to the title game for the third year in a row. The Eagles held the Warriors (20-4) 18 points below their season average.

"We extended our [zone] defense more than we did the first time," said Wells, whose team beat Elizabeth Forward in the regular-season finale. "They were able to get inside our defense the last time."

McGrath, who averages 17 points per game, did not score until 3:09 was left in the game. She missed all four shots.

"I actually thought she did a nice job. She didn't get frustrated," Wells said. "She did other things. We had open shots for other people, but we just didn't make many of them."

Eagles guard Lindsay Noss scored a game-high 14 points and made 6 of 14 shots. She made two 3-pointers in the second quarter.

"She's really a dynamite player," Wells said. "She's really kind of overlooked."

Halie Torris added 10 points for South Park despite the Eagles shooting 31 percent.

Alison Pastore led the Warriors with 13 points, and Olivia Barkley added 10.

South Park took a 21-18 lead into halftime, despite shooting only 27 percent (8 of 30) from the field, including 31 percent (5 of 16) from 3-point range.

South Park opened a 16-9 lead, but Elizabeth Forward came back and went on a 9-0 run to grab an 18-16 advantage with 1:20 left in the half. Noss hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the first-half buzzer to give South Park the edge at the half.

Other semifinal

n Blackhawk 69, West Mifflin 57: Chassidy Omogrosso scored 31 points as No. 1 Blackhawk rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit to defeat No. 12 West Mifflin at West Allegheny.

The Cougars (22-2) advance to the WPIAL championship for the seventh time. They will look to win their sixth title.

West Mifflin (18-6) took a 42-30 lead with 4:15 left in the third quarter, but Blackhawk responded with a 29-6 run.

A year earlier on the same court, Blackhawk -- the No. 1 seed -- was stunned by Elizabeth Forward by 14 points in the semifinals.

Blackhawk coach Steve Lodovico had a message for his team when it trailed West Mifflin, 31-27, at halftime.

"We told our girls at halftime that we're going to win this thing," Lodovico said. "They believed that."

Bridgette Shaffer made a 3-pointer less than a minute into the fourth quarter to put Blackhawk in front, 47-44.

Omogrosso was 6 of 14 from the field and 16 of 17 from the free-throw line. Courtney Vannoy added 17 points.

Taylor Thomas scored a team-high 18 points for West Mifflin, which made 9 of its first 13 field-goal attempts to take a 10-point lead after one quarter.

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