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Mt. Lebanon girls look for someone to pick up scoring load

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who 2 watch

preseason player of the year

MADDIE ANTONE

Kiski Area

5-9 sr. guard

17.0 ppg

PLAYERS TO WATCH

JORDAN HOLMES

Mt. Lebanon

6-1, Sr., F, 7.1 ppg

DELRIKA JONES-CAREY

Woodland Hills

5-9, Sr., F, 14.9 ppg

MEGAN MARECIC

Bethel Park

5-10, Jr., G/F, 13.7 ppg

KRISTA PIETROPOLA

Plum

5-10, Jr., G, 17.5 ppg

MARIAH WELLS

Chartiers Valley

5-9, Sr., G, 11.7 ppg

preseason top 10

1. Mt. Lebanon (25-4)

The Blue Devils have won three of the past four WPIAL championships.

2. Chartiers Valley (25-4)

A WPIAL semifinalist in Class AAA last year, the Colts return all five starters.

3. Bethel Park (15-9)

Scorer Megan Marecic will help ease the graduation loss of Justine Carroll.

4. Woodland Hills (11-12)

Led by Delrika Jones-Carey and Desiree Garland, it could win Section 2.

5. Upper St. Clair (15-13)

Senior guard Jordan Serio leads a team that finished third in the WPIAL last year.

6. North Allegheny (17-6)

Meg Morningstar is among the top sophomore prospects in the region.

7. Oakland Catholic (28-3)

Will miss guard Bobbi Baker, who helped team to PIAA title game last year.

8. Hempfield (20-4)

All-section guard Monica Burns is back for WPIAL quarterfinalists.

9. Kiski Area (16-7)

Maddie Antone averaged a double-double last year and added 4 assists per game.

10. Gateway (19-4)

Two-time defending section champ returns all-section guard Chelsea Richardson.

section favorites

section 1

Hempfield

The Spartans went 20-4 and were the only Section 1-AAAA team to advance to the WPIAL quarterfinals last year. After going 37 years between section titles, Penn-Trafford won each of the past two. Senior guard Taylor Cortazzo is back for the Warriors, whose only section defeat last season was to Hempfield. Kiski Area has last season's top scorer in the section, guard Maddie Antone.

section 2

Woodland hills

With Destiny Brown having graduated from two-time defending section champion Gateway, this section opens up a bit. Woodland Hills has two talented and experienced seniors in Delrika Jones-Carey and Desiree Garland, who combined for 30 points per game last year. Plum, which has increased its win total each of the past four seasons, is ledby guard Krista Pietropola.

section 3

Oakland Catholic

Oakland Catholic rolled to a 21-0 start last season and made it to the WPIAL and PIAA title games. But all five of their starters were seniors so the Eagles must reload — something they seemingly always do. North Allegheny was Oakland Catholic's closest pursuer last season but was the only playoff team from the section that failed to make the quarterfinals (Pine-Richland and Shaler did).

section 4

Mt. Lebanon

This has the makings of the most competitive section, with multiple teams harboring legitimate WPIAL championship aspirations. Four teams advanced to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA Round of 16 last season (Chartiers Valley in Class AAA). Forwards Christine Ehland and Jordan Holmes are returning starters for defending WPIAL champion Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park's Megan Marecic was one of Class AAAA's top players as a sophomore last season and Upper St. Clair's Jordan Serio is arguably the classification's best point guard. Chartiers Valley had two players who were all-section junior guards last season: Mariah Wells and Kassidy O'Keefe.

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Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 11:10 p.m.
 

Thirty points?

Thirty-five points?

The exact number is irrelevant (it's actually 35.8). Whatever the number cited, it's been brought up repeatedly.

“We've discussed it every day in practice,” Mt. Lebanon girls basketball coach Dori Oldaker emphasized more than once.

“That's definitely been mentioned,” Blue Devils senior guard Amanda Frosztega said, the roll of her eyes palpable even via phone.

Thirty-five was the average points Mt. Lebanon's graduated seniors scored per game last season.

Kelly Johnson (Clarion University), Liz Tommasi (Johns Hopkins) and Emma Pellicano (Allegheny College) were the Blue Devils' top three scorers last season.

“We discuss the fact that we've got to make up those 30 or 35 points we lost,” Oldaker said. “That's scary. We've got find a way. Someone has to step up.”

At Mt. Lebanon, there seemingly always is someone who can.

The defending WPIAL Class AAAA champion Blue Devils have played in the past four WPIAL championship games (winning three) and had their string of four consecutive PIAA title game appearances snapped with a PIAA quarterfinal loss last season.

Still, Mt. Lebanon enters the 2012-13 season that begins Dec. 7 having won three of the past four PIAA championships.

Even with the void of 35.8 points to fill, the Blue Devils are again expected to maintain their status as the marquee program in WPIAL Class AAAA basketball.

“We will be fine,” Frosztega said. “Everybody knows how to score — it's just about having more of a mindset to do it and finding a way to get those points.”

With five seniors graduated from last season's 25-4 team, Oldaker said Mt. Lebanon entered preseason practice with an open competition for all five starting spots.

Junior forward Christine Ehland and senior forward Jordan Holmes are back, projected as starters again, along with Frosztega, senior guard Alex Ventrone and junior guard Margie McCaffrey. Junior Madeleine Collins is a swing player who also should see playing time.

“We're always aware of what the standard is at Mt. Lebanon,” Frosztega said. “Everybody is trying to beat you, so you have to take that competition and get better.”

As usual, Mt. Lebanon will play a challenging nonsection schedule with an eye to seeing where it stacks up come late February.

If it's anything like the past five years, you can bet Mt. Lebanon will be a title contender.

“We're not there yet,” Oldaker said. “But I have hope that we'll get there.”

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.

 

 

 
 


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