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West Mifflin girls ease past Indiana to reach quarterfinals

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 11:02 p.m.

While West Mifflin was wondering what all the fuss was about, Indiana coach David Woodall had the answer.

“We could play that team 10 times, and we're not going to beat them once,” he said.

Ciara Patterson scored 25 points, and surging West Mifflin routed fifth-seeded Indiana, 63-39, in a WPIAL Class AAA girls basketball first-round game Wednesday night at Fox Chapel.

Taylor Thomas added 16 for West Mifflin (17-5), which won its sixth consecutive game and advanced to the quarterfinals Saturday against Section 4 rival Ringgold.

Indiana (18-5), which went 11-1 in Section 3 to tie Mt. Pleasant for first place, closed the season on a two-game skid.

“I had only seen them on tape before tonight,” West Mifflin coach Scott Stephenson said. “I was a little worried about them, but I do know that we're a very athletic team. No disrespect to them, but if we play well for four quarters, like we did tonight, we can be a tough out.”

Patterson, a 5-foot-7 senior guard who is committed to Wright State, took a matter-of-fact approach after the game.

“We go by a saying, ‘Holding the rope,' ” Patterson said. “It means that we're playing together as one. Coach is always telling us he wants us to push the ball and make good passes. That's what we do, and we look for our shots, and we hit the boards.”

Patterson found many shots to her liking, particularly in the second quarter, when she scored 12 points to help West Mifflin finish the half on a 10-0 run that produced a 42-19 lead.

And it wasn't just all scoring for Patterson, who hit three 3-pointers among her 11 field goals.

“She's one of the best passing guards I've seen — boys or girls,” Stephenson said. “It's like she's got eyes in the back of her head.”

Patterson and the Titans continued to pull away in the third quarter, taking a 55-27 lead into the fourth. The Titans' biggest advantage was 30 points in the fourth before Stephenson cleared his bench.

Lucy Dujdos led Indiana with 12 points. Kaitlyn Hoff added 10.

“We know we are in a weaker section,” Woodall said. “West Mifflin plays in a stronger section, for sure. That section may be stronger than (Section 2) with Blackhawk and Hopewell.”

Perhaps Woodall is on to something. Ringgold, which finished the regular season two games behind third-place West Mifflin in the Section 4 standings, upset Hopewell, 37-30, to advance to the quarterfinals after Hopewell had finished second to top-ranked Blackhawk in Section 2.

West Mifflin and Ringgold split their two regular-season games, both teams winning on the other's home court.

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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