Monday, July 28, 2014

Lewis leads WVC trio on Class 3A All-State squad

April 04. 2014 11:04PM
By Philip Cmor For the Associated Press

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ALTOONA — Teams from the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.

Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.

The teams and award winners were selected through a poll of statewide media.

The Wyoming Valley Conference was prominent on the Class 3A team. Holy Redeemer forward Alexis Lewis, the leading scorer among big school honorees at 27.0 ppg, was named a first teamer. Meyers’ Quieterriua Gross, a senior scoring 22.3 ppg, earned a spot on the second team, and Maddie Ritsick, a sophomore from Crestwood, rode her 18.7 ppg average to a spot on the state’s third team.

Fox Chapel’s Erin Mathias was voted player of the year in Class 4A in a tight race with Cardinal O’Hara’s Aminah “Mia” Farmer and Spring-Ford’s Sammy Stipa, while Blackhawk junior Chassidy Omogrosso received the honor in Class 3A over fellow underclassmen Kalista Walters of Bethlehem Catholic and Lewis. Seton-LaSalle’s Naje Gibson and Vincentian’s Brenna Wise had a much more comfortable margin of victory in Class 2A and Class A, respectively.

Neumann-Goretti and Seton-LaSalle were heavily represented on the all-state team, garnering three selections apiece. Gibson, who is making her fourth straight appearance on the Class 2A team, is joined by high school teammate and fellow Pitt recruit Cassidy Walsh this time as she makes the first team for the third year in a row. Yacine Diop, who pulled down 23 rebounds in the Lady Rebels’ 58-50 state championship game victory, made the second team.

Neumann-Goretti placed junior guards Ciana Cryor and Sianna Martin on the first team and senior forward Ella Awojobo on the second.

Six of the seven Class 2A first-team picks are juniors. The group is rounded out by Pepperdine recruit Sydney Bordonaro of PIAA semifinalist Burrell and two elite scorers: McGuffey guard Sammie Weiss averaged 23.4 points per game, while Salisbury Township forward Meagan Eripret, who has committed to Lehigh, scored at a 22.5 clip.

Mathias and Stipa both are repeat selections to the Class 4A first team. A Duke recruit, Mathias led Fox Chapel to the second round of the state tournament and recently was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state. Stipa is a three-team all-state selection who powered Spring-Ford to state final appearances as a junior and a senior.

Mount St. Joseph’s Alex Louin, a Villanova signee, moves from the second team last year up to the first team, while Farmer, who is on her way to George Washington, takes two steps up from the 2013 Class 4A third team. Three underclassmen join them to round out the first team: Central Bucks West junior Nicole Munger, Cumberland Valley sophomore Kelly Jekot and Pocono Mountain West junior Jackie Benitez. Munger already has committed to Michigan.

Omogrosso spearheaded Blackhawk’s run to 28-2 season by averaging 21.6 points per game. Her offensive potential typifies an explosive Class 3A first team. Lewis poured in 27.0 points, while Walters already has more than 1,600 points in her career and scored 42 to help beat Allentown Central Catholic in the District 11 championship game, and West Perry’s Megan Smith tallied more than 24 points per outing in the playoffs. Nikki Arbanas, who powered District 10 champion Hickory to a 27-1 record, just missed averaging 20 points per game.

Tricia Byrne of PIAA quarterfinalist Scranton Prep and Alyssa Monaghan of Bonner-Prendergast complete the Class 3A first team — Monaghan was on the second team last year and Byrne the third.

This is the third time for Wise, a junior, to make the Class A team and is her second time on the first team. Wise collected 59 points and 21 rebounds in the PIAA semifinals and championship game.

Fairfield recruit Macey Hollenshead of Southern Fulton and Meghan Trenholm of St. John Neumann move up from the second team to the first. St. John’s recruit Tamesha Alexander of Shipley, along with Old Forge’s Lauren Carey and Bucktail’s Maria Morgan, were 2013 third team honorees who moved to the top team.

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