Alle-Kiski Valley roundup: St. Joseph ends long losing streak to North Catholic
Few programs thumped the St. Joseph girls basketball team more during the past several years than North Catholic, which arrived in Class A in 2006 after a lengthy run of success in Class AAA.
At long last, St. Joseph has shifted the balance of power.
The Spartans claimed a win in the series for the first time since North Catholic's arrival in Class A as they scored a season high to beat the Trojans, 80-66, on Monday night. St. Joseph (15-4, 8-3) never came within 20 points of North Catholic during 15 of the teams' previous 16 meetings, and then the Spartans dropped a 52-50 nailbiter Jan. 9.
Mallory Heinle finished with 34 points in the Section 2-A win, while Nikki Mielecki and Lizzy Celko contributed 17 points each for St. Joseph. The three girls also grabbed 10 rebounds apiece.
Sam Breen scored a team-high 21 points for North Catholic, which will conclude its section schedule against section leader Vincentian Academy (17-2, 11-0). St. Joseph will wrap up section play against Trinity Christian (3-12, 1-8).
Valley 49, Knoch 40 — Kaylyn Iacopino scored 19 points, and Lashay Madison added 17 as the Vikings (3-13, 3-9) earned a Section 1-AAA win. Abbie Thrower made four 3-pointers en route to a team-high 14 points for Knoch (2-16, 2-9), and Allie Megahan had 12 points.
Cheswick Christian Academy 24, Portersville Christian 16 — Jacque Willis led Cheswick Christian (10-3, 6-1) with eight points in the Southwest Christian Athletic Conference win, and Nicole Pugliese played a large role in the defensive effort with 4 points, 12 rebounds and three steals.
Carlynton 57, Deer Lakes 32 — Katie Gozzard scored a team-high 11 points for Deer Lakes (6-12), which led 16-13 after the first quarter but struggled in the final three quarters of the nonsection game. Conor Richardson finished with 28 points for Carlynton (16-3).
Hampton 43, Freeport 30 — Macy Smolic went 9 for 12 from the foul line during her 13-point performance and grabbed 12 rebounds for Freeport (9-10) in the Section 1-AAA loss to Hampton (13-7, 10-1).
Aquinas Academy 41, Leechburg 27 — Missy Jones tallied 10 points for Leechburg (1-17), which scored its third-highest point total of the season in the nonsection loss.
Apollo-Ridge 58, West Shamokin 46 — Mitchell Johnston finished with a game-high 16 points to pace a balanced offense for Apollo-Ridge (16-3, 8-2) in the Section 1-AA win. Alex Smith (13 points), Tre Tipton (12) and Duane Brown (10) also reached double-digits for the Vikings, and Zane Clowser made three 3-pointers during a 14-point performance for West Shamokin (14-3, 6-3).
Cheswick Christian Academy 57, Portersville Christian 47 — Four Chargers scored in double figures to help Cheswick Christian (11-8, 6-0) remain undefeated in the Southwest Christian Athletic Conference. Ian Swartz led the way with 15 points, Andy Skledar added 14 and JaJuan and Antoine Malloy had 13 and 11, respectively. Stephan Graham scored 24 points for Portersville.
Mars 60, Highlands 50 — Julian Flenory made three 3s and finished with a team-high 14 points for Highlands (8-13, 3-8), which was eliminated from playoff contention with the Section 1-AAA loss. John Castello had 18 points to lead Mars (12-6, 9-1).
Plum 4, Chartiers Valley 3 — Joe Randazzo tallied three second-period goals and set up the game-winner, which David Stonebraker scored with less than three minutes left in the Class AA contest. Stonebraker also had an assist, and James Borriello made 23 saves in net for Plum (10-5-3). Alex Chabala had 24 saves for Chartiers Valley (10-7).
Westmont Hilltop 4, Deer Lakes 1 — Westmont Hilltop (11-4-2) scored two goals in each of the first two periods to claim a 4-0 lead on the way to a Class A victory over Deer Lakes (7-8). Zachary Luniewski tallied a power-play goal in the third period for the Lancers.
Burrell girls top Mars — Mackenzie Bindas, Dana McAlpine and Darcy Foster each played a role in three first-place finishes for the girls team (8-2) during a 94-63 nonsection win over Mars. Foster and McAlpine claimed two individual victories and one relay win each, while Bindas helped win two relays and claimed the 100-yard backstroke. In the boys meet, an 82-78 loss for the Bucs (8-2), Ben Johnson won the 100 breaststroke for Burrell.