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Buzzer-beater lifts Quad-A girls all-stars

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

When Gateway's Jada Epps and Plum's Krista Pietropola joined forces with other top senior players from WPIAL Quad-A at the Roundball Classic on April 12, their game went down to the wire against a group of stars from WPIAL Class AAA and District 10.

Quad-A was able to hold on for the victory at Geneva College.

Last Saturday, Epps and Pietropola were in a same situation as their Quad-A squad was in a tight tussle with Class AAA at the 19th annual Hoops For A Cure all-star event at Chartiers Valley High School.

Quad-A led by four at halftime, but the AAA team rallied and held a one-point advantage in the final seconds.

That's when an inbounds play from Epps to Mt. Lebanon's Christine Ehland led to the winning layup at the buzzer and a 66-65 final.

“It was an amazing game,” said Epps, who recently committed to play basketball at Bethany College.

“The AAA team was determined to beat us, but we were able to pull it out in the end.”

Pietropola said she was excited to be a part of another winning effort, despite not having what she considered her best game.

“It was such a fun game, and it was awesome to be on the winning side of a buzzer-beater like that,” Pietropola said.

“I was more of a passer than a shooter in the game and wasn't in the flow of the game the way I normally am. Even though I had a bad game, the other players picked it up, and we got the job done.”

Despite her tough assessment of her performance on Saturday, the all-star basketball season was a winning one for Pietropola, a Youngstown State recruit.

She started the run with an East-MVP performance in helping her team win at the annual Cager Classic game in March.

She finished that game with a game-high 17 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

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

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