Penn Hills' Oliver earns all-state honors
Penn Hills senior Desiree Oliver added postseason awards to her resume as her high school career comes to a close. Oliver received first-team honors for the all-state girls team by the Pennsylvania Sports Writers.
Oliver, a Temple recruit, averaged 18 points per game her senior season, which came to an end when Penn Hills (23-4, 10-0) lost to North Allegheny in the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs. Oliver finished with 17 points in her final high school game.
“Last year, I made second team. I have played all four years and it has been something that I was looking forward to, so I'm excited that I was chosen this year,” Oliver said.
Oliver was joined by Pine-Richland senior Amanda Kalin, a Duquesne recruit, with first-team honors in Class 6A.
Cumberland Valley senior Katie Jekot, Boyertown senior Abby Kapp and Plymouth-Whitemarsh junior Taylor O'Brien round out the remainder first team selections in Class 6A.
“At the beginning of the season, I was shooting for the Terrific 10 and things like that. I'm just excited that I got the chance to cap the season off with the recognition,” Oliver said.
Oliver's performance against Bethel Park in the first round of the PIAA playoffs played a major role in the Indians' avenging their loss to Bethel Park in the WPIAL semifinals.
In the state playoff game against Bethel Park, Oliver, who averaged 19.4 points for her career, scored 25 points after being held to 13 in the WPIAL semifinal matchup.
Last season, Oliver was joined by Penn Hills alum Jade Ely, who was selected to the Class AAAA third team during her senior campaign.
Oliver, who finished with 1,725 points for her career, is eager to join the Temple program June 25.
“I'm excited, but at the same time I'm nervous to see what the future holds for me. I'm just going to continue to work hard and work through it,” Oliver said.
In the meantime, Oliver, who took two weeks off after the end of the season, has been working in the weight room to prepare her body for NCAA Division I basketball.
During her free time, Oliver also will help players in the WPA Bruins AAU program, sharing the knowledge she has gained through her years.
The Indians hope to have their sophomore class fill the void left by Oliver. The group includes Diamond Jade Whittington, Tayonna Robertson, Adia Brisker, Ariana Dunson and Nadya Coleman.
Andrew John is freelance writer.