High School Basketball
North Allegheny Girls Roll Past Manheim Twp. in First Round of States
WEXFORD — After claiming the WPIAL 6A championship against Upper St. Clair in dominating fashion, the North Allegheny Tigers turned its attention towards the PIAA State Tournament and the Manheim Township Blue Streaks.
The Blue Streaks, from just outside of Lancaster, made the 250-mile trek to Wexford as the 7th seed out of District 3. After a slow start, North Allegheny rolled past the Blue Streaks with ease, 76-53.
With the win, North Allegheny begins its march towards the state championship after winning the 6A tournament in 2021.
As always, the Tigers turned to its reliable scorers once again after a sloppy start. Jasmine Timmerson – who posted a career-high 30 points in the WPIAL title game – along with Kellie McConnell propelled the Tigers with 18 apiece.
Turnovers plagued both North Allegheny (21-5) and Manheim Twp. (17-11) in the first quarter as the Tigers held just a one-point edge after eight minutes of play. It took until the last minute of the opening quarter for the Pitt commit to get onto the board, but from there Timmerson was automatic, including three triples. The Tigers held just a one-point edge after eight minutes of play.
With Timmerson starting to get hot, Ava Byrne attempted to match her pace. The Blue Streaks’ leading sorcerer (14.3 ppg) tried to keep up with the high-scoring Tigers as she buried a big three to pull the game within four in the second quarter.
However, North Allegheny turned on the jets and ended the first half on a 14-3 run. Kickstarting that run to end the half was senior Eva Pernatt who came off the bench to add six points in the win, all coming in the second quarter. Pernatt was a valuable option in the paint amidst that run, along with some solid post defense.
The Tigers continued its big run as they outscored the Blue Streaks 11-4. While McConnell was held to three points in the first half, the junior turned it on with six points in the third quarter.
Manheim Twp. looked to stay in the game as it turned towards the three ball. Byrne, Brooke Weaver, Nia Mountis and Sarah Kraus all cashed in for the Blue Streaks, but the lead was too steep. North Allegheny responded to those triples with its own as the Tigers knocked down 13 from beyond the arc.
Byrne did all she could as she finished with 18 points, but the Blue Streaks season came to an end. Kraus posted 13 points along with 12 from Julia Goebig.
Alongside Timmerson and McConnell’s team-high 18 points, Lydia Betz added 15 as well as 11 from Caroline Henderson.
North Allegheny will continue its ride in the state playoffs as the Tigers advance to the second round to face WPIAL foe, Mt Lebanon. The Blue Devils took down Altoona, 58-50.