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Monessen speeds past Fort Cherry for win

Monessen reached the WPIAL semifinals at top speed.

Freshman guard Mariah Altomore-Ward scored 17 points, and Geena Shrader added 12 to lead Monessen to a quarterfinal victory against Fort Cherry, 42-30, Saturday at Baldwin in the WPIAL Class A girls basketball playoffs.

"We knew we had to force them to play our fast-paced game," Monessen coach Gina Naccarato said. "We tried to force the issue a little bit at the beginning with our press. They couldn't slow it down on us."

Fort Cherry (16-5) was outscored in the first half, 23-11.

Monessen (18-4), seeded fourth, will play Tuesday against No. 1 seed North Catholic in the Class A semifinals. Vincentian Academy and Quigley will meet in the other semifinal.

"I'm happy with where we're at," said Naccarato, a first-year coach, who won a WPIAL title as a player with Monessen in 1995. "I told them they could be here if they played hard and they played their game."

Sophomore guard Jessie Merckle led Fort Cherry with 17 points. The Rangers could reach the PIAA playoffs if Monessen wins the WPIAL title.

North Catholic 53, Winchester Thurston 47 — Kendall Hoffman scored 12 points, Lynzi Mueller 11 and Erin DiSanti 10 to help Class A No. 1 seed North Catholic (21-3) defeat Winchester Thurston (15-8) in a quarterfinal game at North Hills. North Catholic led by as many as 14 in the third quarter, but Winchester Thurston tied the game late in the fourth quarter before North Catholic won it on a series of free throws. Jamyse Brown led Winchester Thurston with a game-high 17 points.

Hopewell 59, Blackhawk 43 — Hopewell (24-0) remained the only undefeated team in the WPIAL, cruising to a dominant victory against Blackhawk. Paige Alviani led Hopewell with 18 points, and Alexa Hayward led Blackhawk (14-8) with 13. Hopewell will meet Chartiers Valley in the semifinals.

Chartiers Valley 61, Mt. Pleasant 41 — Erica Restich scored 23 points, and Paige Aleski added 17 to lead Chartiers Valley (20-4) into the semifinals.

New Castle 65, Hampton 44 — LaShauna Brothers scored 20 points, and Kylynn Waters 18 to lead Class AAA No. 2 New Castle to a convincing victory at North Allegheny. New Castle (19-3) will play Indiana in the semifinals Wednesday. Adrianna Ferraro scored 18 for Hampton (16-8).

Indiana 60, Uniontown 41 — Tira Stossel scored 19 points, with four 3-pointers, to lead Indiana (21-1) into the semifinals. Indiana is undefeated against WPIAL competition.

BOYS BASKETBALL

North Allegheny 58, Peters Township 47 — North Allegheny (19-4) eliminated the defending Class AAAA champion, with Anthony Dallier leading his team's sixth consecutive victory with 17 points. Phil Horensky scored 16 for Peters Township (13-10).

North Catholic 54, Washington 49 — Martin Long and Jesse Long each scored 17 points to lead North Catholic (21-2) to the WPIAL Class AA victory over Washington (18-5) at North Hills. Washington, which was paced by Marquis Brown's 17 points, led at halftime, 20-14.

South Fayette 54, Beaver Falls 36 — South Fayette (19-4) moved into the Class AA semifinals and set up a third game with Section 3 champion and No. 1 seed North Catholic with an easy victory against Beaver Falls (14-9). Mike Lamberti scored 20 for South Fayette, which split its two regular-season games with North Catholic (21-2).

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