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No doubt

North girls claim WPIAL title with dominating win over Blackhawk

PITTSBURGH — Molly Rottmann knew a meeting between her North Catholic girls basketball team and Blackhawk was likely.

Both teams won WPIAL titles last year, the Cougars in Class 4A and North in 3A.

The Trojanettes moved up to 4A this season.

“I started thinking about what teams we could run into in the playoffs,” Rottmann said. “Blackhawk was looming out there and I knew we were going to see them at some point.”

North Catholic players Dacia Lewandowski (12), Ava Walker (24) and Sarah Loughry (2) celebrate with teammates after the Trojanettes defeated Blackhawk, 51-35, in Saturday’s WPIAL Class 4A girls basketball championship game in Pittsburgh. Justin Guido/Butler Eagle

The showdown occurred Saturday in the WPIAL championship game and the Trojanettes prevailed in convincing fashion.

North held the Cougars to just 21 percent shooting from the field (8 of 38) — further slowing Blackhawk’s offense down with 17 turnovers — and the Trojanettes never trailed in a 51-35 decision at Petersen Events Center.

The Cougars (21-4) were averaging nearly 58 points per game coming in, but never dropped the run they needed after trailing 26-17 at halftime.

“We put a lot of emphasis on defense and we excelled because of communication,” said senior guard Dacia Lewandowski, who contributed 10 points. “We prepared and watched a lot of film.”

Alayna Rocco’s trey pushed North’s lead to 44-28 with 5:57 remaining in the game. A 7-0 spurt, beginning with Aubree Hupp’s conventional 3-point play and aided by two North turnovers, brought the Cougars to within 44-35. Rottmann called a timeout with 4:35 left.

“I told the girls they needed to settle down,” she said. “We needed to possess the ball and get good shots.”

The Cougars would not score again and the Trojanettes (22-3) celebrated the 22nd district crown in program history. Rocco led the charge with 14 points and six rebounds.

Blackhawk junior guard Alena Fusetti reached 1,000 career points with a trey early in the second quarter, cutting North’s edge to 15-12. She paced the Cougars with 13 points and seven rebounds, but was held to just a single basket in the second half.

Hupp added 12 points in the loss.

An acute attention to detail always seems to be part of North’s makeup.

“We are motivated in everything we do,” said junior Ava Walker, who scored 13 points and added seven boards Saturday. “Whether it’s a scrimmage or a practice, we’re really into it and that gets us ready for any team we face.”

“It’s the same preparation no matter the opponent and that’s a credit to our players,” Rottmann said.

North Catholic will host Conneaut, the fourth-place team from District 10, Saturday in the first round of the state playoffs.


Anna Waskiewicz 1-7 0-0 2, Alayna Rocco 6-11 0-0 14, Dacia Lewandowski 4-6 2-2 10, Ava Walker 3-7 5-8 13, Tori Drevna 3-8 2-2 8, Sarah Loughry 2-5 0-2 4, Kaitlyn Tavella 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-44 9-14 51.


Kassie Potts 0-7 1-2 1, Alena Fusetti 4-16 4-4 13, Aubree Hupp 3-5 6-7 12, Haley Romigh 1-5 2-2 5, Piper Romigh 0-4 2-4 2, Andrea Kinger 0-0 2-2 2, Ava Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Liz Troup 0-0 0-0 0, Veronica Saliba 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 8-38 17-21 35.

North Catholic 8 18 13 12 — 51

Blackhawk 6 11 8 10 — 35

3-point goals: North Catholic 4 (Rocco 2, Walker 2); Blackhawk 2 (H.Romigh, Fusetti).

Saturday: Conneaut at North Catholic, PIAA first round, time TBD

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