Whatever disappointment the North Allegheny High girls basketball team felt after a semifinal loss in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs has been forgotten as the Tigers made a strong statement in a PIAA Class AAAA first-round 64-39 victory over WPIAL champion Penn-Trafford.
The Tigers, who improved to 23-2, jumped out to a 25-17 halftime lead over the Warriors in a game played this past Friday at Baldwin High School.
Any doubt about the game's outcome evaporated when the Tigers outscored the Warriors 39-22 in the second half.
Devvin LaBarge, a 5-8 junior guard, scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the second half. Eighteen of her points came on six 3-point field goals. Taylor Brennan and Abby Gonzales added 13 and 10 points, respectively. As a team, North Allegheny converted nine 3-point goals.
North Allegheny was nearly perfect from the free-throw line as the Tigers converted 23 of 26 attempts and made 11 of 12 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter as Penn-Trafford was forced to foul. Penn-Trafford, which finished 20-7, was stymied as the Tigers used a number of different defenses to foil the Warriors offensively.
North Allegheny meets District 6 champion State College at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Indiana Area High School. The Little Lady Lions improved to 17-6 with a 51-50 victory over Mt. Lebanon, the No. 5 team from the WPIAL, this past Friday at the Altoona Field House.
The winner of this game meets the winner of another second-round game between WPIAL runner-up Hempfield and the No. 3 team from the WPIAL, Fox Chapel.