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Girls Basketball: East Allegheny tries to refocus after suffering first loss

Written by Brad Everett on .

East Allegheny was just two wins away from becoming the seventh team since 2000 to win a WPIAL girls championship with an undefeated record.

One heartbreaking loss later, the Wildcats will turn their attention from the WPIAL playoffs to the PIAA tournament.

East Allegheny (23-1) was dealt its first loss of the season when it was defeated by Neshannock, 34-33, in the WPIAL Class 3A semifinals. East Allegheny held a 33-32 lead late in the game, but Isabella Burrelli made two free throws with 18 seconds left to provide Neshannock with the winning points. East Allegheny star Amani Johnson, the WPIAL scoring leader, scored a game-high 23 points, eight below her average. Only two other East Allegheny players scored. Neshannock lost to Bishop Canevin, 65-36, in the championship.

East Allegheny begins the PIAA playoffs Saturday against Tyrone, the District 6 runner-up. Tip is set for 4 p.m. at Altoona. Tyrone lost to West Shamokin, 58-42, in the district championship.

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Girls Basketball: East Allegheny finishes regular season perfect

Written by Brad Everett on .

With a few starters back from a team that reached the WPIAL playoffs a year ago, East Allegheny knew it had a chance to be pretty good this season.

But this good?

East Allegheny wasn't just good during the regular season. It was perfect. At 22-0, the Wildcats will enter the postseason as the WPIAL's only undefeated team. They are just the second WPIAL team in the last three years to not lose a game during the regular season.

It's already been a big season for East Allegheny, which not only went undefeated during the regular season for the first time, but also won its first section championship since 2000. The Wildcats claimed the Class 3A Section 2 title with a 12-0 record.

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Girls Basketball: East Allegheny star has become a prolific basketball scorer

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White profiles East Allegheny basketball standout Amani Johnson.

2017 0127 EastAllegheny GBasketball(Photo: East Allegheny's Amani Johnson drives past Charleroi's Aislyn Lee in the first half at Charleroi. Basketball is just one sport this junior excels in. Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

"A bowl, a spoon and ice cream. Introducing three parts of Amani Johnson's nightly routine.

"I eat ice cream every night," she said. "I have to have it. I'll eat the same kind for a while, and then I move on and have a different kind."

For Johnson, her ice cream habit imitates her sports life.

Johnson is a junior at East Allegheny High School who craves sports. They are part of her yearly routine. She'll play one for a while and jump to another, and another, and another. It's like her own personal game of Four Square."

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Girls Basketball: East Allegheny’s Johnson reaches milestone

Written by Brad Everett on .

How good of a career has Amani Johnson had?

Well, it's taken her just a little over two seasons to surpass 1,000 career points.

Johnson was 38 points shy of the milestone entering last Thursday's game at South Side Beaver. No problem, she went out and scored 41 to give her 1,003 career points.

It was yet another big performance from Johnson, a 5-foot-5 junior guard guard who leads the WPIAL with 33.1 points per game. Johnson has scored at least 28 points in every game. She's had scoring outputs of 28, 35, 28, 35, 32 and 41 points.

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Girls Basketball: East Allegheny races to 3-0 start

Written by Brad Everett on .

East Allegheny ended a six-year playoff drought last season.

So far this season, the Wildcats have the look of a team that could get to the postseason once again.

East Allegheny, which went 14-9 last season, is off to a 3-0 start and the Wildcats have won those games convincingly, claiming each by double digits. They opened with two wins in the Serra Catholic tournament, beating Allderdice, 56-38, before thumping Propel Andrew Street, 72-13. The Wildcats played their home opener against Class 5A McKeesport last Wednesday, and topped the Tigers, 51-38.

Coach Mike Osiecki's team has been getting it done offensively and defensively, ranking second in 3A in scoring offense and defense. East Allegheny is scoring 59.7 points per game and giving up 29.7 a game.