Allen, Cowher lead East to victory
Charel Allen and Meagan Cowher had been teammates on the Western Pa. Bruins AAU team since they were 11 years old. They wanted their last time on the same team to be a victorious one.
Monessen's Allen scored a game-high 18 points and Fox Chapel's Cowher added 17 to lead the East All-Stars to a 73-68 comeback victory over the West Saturday in the Pittsburgh Hoops World Classic at Petersen Events Center.
This was the first year the Girls Roundball Classic joined forces with the Hoops Classic, having a quadruple-header at Pitt's 12,508-seat arena.
"It was a fun game, especially having the opportunity to play before some people who might have never watched girls basketball," said Hempfield coach Gene Brisbane, who coached the East All-Stars. "I think this is a great day of basketball, especially to have it at Petersen Events Center. I don't know if there's a better deal for five dollars."
Allen, a Notre Dame recruit, and Cowher, who is headed to Princeton, combined to score 25 of the East's 40 second-half points and came up with numerous big plays. Allen was named the East's MVP.
"It was nice, our final time to play together," Cowher said. "You always want to win, even in an all-star game like this."
They were two of eight former Bruins players in the game who are going their separate ways: Chartiers Valley's Lauren Revesz (Ohio), Uniontown's Jocelyn Chandler (Duquesne) and Serra Catholic's Michelle Manfredi (Niagara). North Allegheny's Molly Friel is undecided.
Greensburg Central Catholic's Monica Mull scored 13 points and was named West MVP, and Revesz added 12 for the West, which had a 66-56 lead with four minutes remaining before the East's rally.
"I really didn't think we were going to lose," Allen said. "Even though we were down a lot, we have all-stars on our team, so I knew we'd come back."
Hempfield's Shannon Wanichko made a 3-pointer and Allen added a three-point play to cut the West lead to 66-62. That's when Cowher got hot. She sandwiched three free throws around an Allen steal to make it 66-65. Wanichko scored on a tip-in for the lead, then Cowher scored and stole the inbounds pass. She was fouled and made both shots. Greensburg Salem's Laura Klimchok added two more free throws for the deciding points.
"She played very aggressively," Brisbane said of Cowher. "We had some big plays by Meagan, Laura Klimchok, Shannon Wanichko and Charel Allen. That's a nice group of athletes."
North 89, South 81
Ashley Wise of WPIAL Class AAAA champion New Castle scored a game-high 23 points to lead the North All-Stars to victory in the highest-scoring game in the history of the girls' Hoops Classic.
Wise made 9 of 14 shots from the field and was 5 of 5 from the free-throw line to win MVP honors. North Catholic's Sarah Miller made four 3-pointers and added 12 points for the North.
Clairton's Jeanette Meacham scored 19 points to earn MVP honors for the South. Penn-Trafford's Autumn Himes added 12 points, Penn Hills' Marquia Price scored 11 and South Fayette's Lauren Uranker added 10 for the South.