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Unbeaten Monessen to take on BVA tonight

| Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006

The Monessen High School girls' basketball team enters its invitational tournament tonight as the lone unbeaten remaining in the WPIAL Class A ranks.

Coach Major Corley's Lady Greyhounds will be going after their ninth victory at 7:30 p.m. against Class AAA Belle Vernon Area (1-8).

Monessen is off to its best start since starting out 12-0 in the 1999-2000 campaign.

Coached for the first year by Tim Keefer, the Lady Leps have lost seven-in-a-row after beating Carrick, 54-49, in the consolation game of the season-opening Brentwood tourney.

BVA opened the season with a 53-15 loss to Avonworth, which is 8-1 and considered one of the Class A favorites to dethrone defending WPIAL champion Monessen.

The first game at 6 p.m. matches Charleroi (4-5) against Latrobe (5-3).

Coached by former Monessen assistant Nick Mahalko, Charleroi will be trying to snap a two-game losing skid.

Latrobe, a Class AAAA school, is riding a four-game winning streak.

In another tourney starting today, host Elizabeth Forward (7-3) faces Laurel Highlands (1-7) at 8 p.m. in the Betsy Invitational.

Norwin (6-2) plays Mckeesport (3-6) in the first game at 6:30 p.m.

Elsewhere, Ringgold won the consolation game in the Furrie Classic at Gateway with a 52-30 romp over Thomas Jefferson.

The Lady Rams (6-4) broke open 25-18 game by outscoring the Lady Jaguars, 18-3, in the third quarter.

Freshman Alina Selby topped Ringgold with 16 points, all in the opening 24 minutes.

Emily Schartner added nine as coach Joe Ravasio cleared his bench in the fourth quarter.

Harrisburg dropped Gateway, 51-30, in the title game.

Host Bentworth (8-2) faces Mapletown (4-4) in the 8 p.m. championship game after contrasting victories.

Bentworth routed California, 70-28, for its fifth straight win with Brittany Speed (12), Chelsea Myers (11) and Samantha Ritzer (10) combining for 33 points.

Rose Hiles' 11 points were high for California (0-9).

Mapletown rallied in the fourth quarter to shade Frazier, 50-46.

The Lady Maples avenged an earlier 53-31 defeat by outscoring the lady Commodores, 20-12, in the last eight minutes to erase a 34-30 deficit.

Brittany Buckhalter led Mapletown with 22 points.

Meghan Leary looked best for Frazier (4-5) with 19 points.

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