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.