Penn-Trafford secures Section 1-AAAA win
The beginnings of a winter storm moved into the area Thursday with heavy rain.
It was also raining inside the Penn-Trafford High School gym, but no one got wet.
Unbeaten Penn-Trafford (6-0, 3-0) was firing in 3-pointers from all over the court — 14 in all — in its 71-40 rout of winless Kiski Area (0-5, 0-2) in a Section 1-AAAA contest.
Senior guard Mia Barchetti, who didn't check into the game until the second quarter, led Penn-Trafford with a game-high 17 points. She drained five 3-pointers.
Teammates Morgan Rector (11 points), Taylor Cortazzo (10) and Jackie Bevilacqua (11) each had three 3-pointers as the experienced Warriors overwhelmed a fairly young Kiski Area squad.
“We wanted to come out and make a statement,” Barchetti said. “Did I think we'd beat them by 30? We just wanted to win big.”
Penn-Trafford coach John Giannikas said the 3-point shooting of Barchetti opened up the floor for others.
“We have good shooters,” Giannikas said. “If we wouldn't have made those shots, we probably would have had to grind it out. Mia, Jackie, Morgan and Taylor are shooters. Mia has always been a great shooter. What she did (last night) did not surprise me.”
Penn-Trafford jumped to a 16-9 lead in the first quarter as Cortazzo scored seven points. Channing James, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, led Kiski Area with four points. She finished with a team-high 12 points.
Kiski, which had a height advantage with James and 5-10 Maddie Antone, had trouble with the quick Penn-Trafford guards and their shooting.
“I didn't expect them to make 14 3-pointers,” Kiski Area coach Nick Ionadi said. “We didn't execute. I thought we did OK defensively for the first three quarters. We kept them out of the paint.
“We didn't cover their shooters. If a team makes 14 threes, you're in trouble, I don't care who you're playing.”
Barchetti scored 11 of her 17 points in the second quarter as Penn-Trafford opened up a 36-18 at halftime.
“We fed off each other,” Barchetti said. “I made one and then Morgan and Jackie had one. We got into a flow.”
Penn-Trafford decided to go inside a little more in the second half and started finding success with sophomore Maria Palarino, who scored eight points. Antone, who fouled out with 6:35 left, finished with only eight points for Kiski Area.
“Our guards were so late on their throws. Even when our big players were open, they were getting there,” Ionadi said. “Our guards stared the bigs down. We have a lot of inexperience versus a lot of experience on their side. If you delay a second on their guards, they're going the other way.”
Penn-Trafford continued to build on its lead in the second half, and it made five more 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, two by Barchetti.
“We took what they gave us,” Giannikas said.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.