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Plum girls' Zezza excited for first matchup with section rival Fox Chapel

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Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Plum's Courtney Zezza, left, get's up to block the shot of Gateway's Jada Epps, during Friday night girls basketball action at Plum High School, December 20, 2013.
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Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Plum and Fox Chapel girls basketball teams meet Friday at Plum High School, and one of the most intriguing battles within the game could be the one between a pair of 6-foot-3 forwards.

Mustangs junior Courtney Zezza and Foxes senior Erin Mathias will see a lot of each other in the paint, and it could go a long way in determining the winner of the key section contest.

Fox Chapel entered the week 4-0 in Section 2, while Plum was 3-0. Both tried to stay undefeated in section play Wednesday, as the Mustangs were to face Penn Hills and the Foxes were to play Gateway.

The games ended past the deadline for this week's edition.

“We're really looking forward to (Friday),” Zezza said

“It will be a good challenge for me (against Mathias). I will not back down from her. Being physical is an important part of my game, and I don't want to let anyone change that.”

Mathias leads Fox Chapel with 16.4 points per game. She was limited to nine points against Penn Hills, but the Foxes still were able to score a 37-30 road win last Friday. Sophomore guard Taylor Cohen led the way with 10 points.

Zezza made her mark in the second game of a successful two-game trip to suburban Columbus over Christmas break.

She tallied a career-best 28 points and was strong on the boards in Plum's 72-50 victory over Delaware Christian, Ohio.

Zezza was 6 of 8 from the line, and she complimented the 23 points scored by senior Krista Pietropola.

Against Westland, Ohio, on the first day of the trip, Zezza scored 17 points to help the Mustangs to a 66-58 win.

Through nine games, Plum produced a 7-2 record, and Zezza averaged 15.8 points, a close second to Pietropola's 15.9 a contest.

A double-figure scorer in all nine games, she made her mark inside with a team-best 53 field goals.

A complete game, Zezza said, is important, especially in the rigors of section play.

“I know points win games, but I also have to remember that good defense goes a long way,” Zezza said.

“I want to make sure I am playing both ends of the court at my best.”

Plum started its season 0-2 with losses to Penn-Trafford and Norwin, and the Mustangs hope to keep their current strong play going.

The Mustangs were scheduled to meet Pine-Richland in a nonsection game Wednesday, but that game has been postponed to a date yet to be determined.

“It was a rough start, but we've really come together,” Zezza said.

“We like to play in big games, and there are a lot of big games in section. We're really playing as a team, and everyone is contributing.”

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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