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Girls basketball wins two to start season

| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:53 p.m.
(c) 2012 Aaron Loughner
Penn-Trafford's Maria Palarino defends while Plum's Angelena Borriello tries to drive to the basket during the Warriors' season-opening win on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Aaron Loughner | For The Penn-Trafford Star

Penn-Trafford started its girls basketball season by knocking off a pair of playoff teams from last season.

The Warriors began the year with a blowout win on Friday over Plum, 74-38, before topping Shaler, the same team that knocked P-T out of last year's playoffs, 55-44, to wrap up the Penn-Trafford Tipoff Tournament on Saturday.

Ten players scored for P-T in the season opener, led by Maria Palarino's 16-point game. Taylor Cortazzo, who scored 11 against Plum, led the Warriors with 21 points against Shaler, and Maddie Mossellem hit double figures in both games with 10 and 14 points, respectively.

“All the work we put in during practice and in the offseason is showing up now,” senior guard Nicole Hyland said.

That Penn-Trafford was able to limit two quality opponents to under 45 points was one of the biggest positives from the opening weekend, and the Warriors were able to do so by utilizing nearly all of their bench and showcasing their depth.

“Our team always plays lockdown defense, and that is what's going to win us games this year,” Cortazzo said.

“Everyone's pretty versatile and can play a lot of spots on the court, and our bench goes so deep that even our younger kids can come in and help us out a lot,” Hyland said.

The Penn-Trafford team this year is highly motivated after a first-round playoff exit last year, which made getting a win over Shaler that much sweeter last weekend. With eight seniors on the roster, this year's players know it is their final chance to make a deep playoff run.

“Those four seniors that we had last year, it's like they're still with us,” Cortazzo said. “We think about how last year ended, and that's what motivating us.”

Penn-Trafford was scheduled to face preseason No. 10 Gateway in a nonsection game on Tuesday, after this edition's deadline. The Warriors open Section 1-AAAA play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday when they host Laurel Highlands.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@tribweb.com.

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