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5 Takeaways: Pitt Withstands Wake Forest’s Changes in Essential Win



PITTSBURGH — Regardless of a valiant comeback effort from Wake Forest on Wednesday night time, Pitt overcame some expensive errors and escaped with the win to enhance to 14-7 (7-3 ACC).

Wake Forest, who got here in with a 14-6 (6-3 ACC) file, fought via Pitt’s laborious capturing and stored up with the Panthers by scoring 34 factors within the paint and hitting some well timed jumpers. On the defensive finish, Steve Forbes threw totally different seems to be at Pitt all recreation, together with a 1-3-1 protection that triggered some confusion on Pitt’s finish early on.

“The 1-3-1 acquired us a bit bit off-balance,” Pitt head coach Jeff Capel stated. “I believed we had been in a extremely good rhythm, they usually went to that. It acquired us a bit off steadiness.”

Hinson, Elliott Lead Three-Level Barrage as Pitt Survives Wake Forest, Wins 81-79

“We will’t come out and defend like that within the first half,” Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes stated. “That’s on me. I simply don’t suppose we performed laborious sufficient. They did a extremely good job of getting the ball fast out of the ball display and getting throughout the midline. We had been doing a poor job — our guards did a extremely poor job — of guarding the tag, tagging the curler, and getting again out. You’ve acquired to do each. Both we weren’t there, or we had been there, they usually drove round us.”

Nevertheless, Pitt overcame the suffocating protection and managed to seek out open seems to be within the wings and the corners with penetration from its guards and environment friendly ball motion. Greg Elliott and Blake Hinson had been sizzling from the beginning, and even when the Deacons switched to the zone, they continued to seek out open seems to be and knock them down.

“However even in that, at occasions, we acquired actually beauty in it,” Capel continued concerning the 1-3-1. “At occasions, we had some wide-open threes that we simply missed. I believed after we penetrated the zone and we didn’t simply stand out, I believed we did an excellent job of attacking it.”

Capel additionally stated after the sport that Wednesday night time’s efficiency was “most likely” the most effective ball motion he has seen from his group.

“We moved it rather well after we performed at Northwestern,” he added. “That is by far the most effective we’ve shot the ball in right here [Petersen Events Center], and we wanted each one among them.”


Capel and his group have preached all of it yr: get power behind the ball, and good issues will comply with.

The group dished out a powerful 22 assists, tying its season excessive. Eight totally different gamers scored for the Panthers, led by Hinson’s 24 and Elliott’s 18. Federiko Federiko solely took one shot: a large layup off an offensive rebound within the closing minute to provide the Panthers the lead.

Total, Nelly Cummings and Jamarius Burton did a superb job of not forcing something offensively regardless of some turnovers from every of them. The 2 guards arrange their teammates nicely all night time, combining for 15 assists between the 2 of them.

Pittsburgh Panthers guard Jamarius Burton (11) January 25, 2023 David Hague/PSN


The Panthers moved the ball across the perimeter with power on Wednesday night time. When possessions appeared useless, the guards would drive and kick. Easy. Not straightforward, however easy. The penetration of the group’s guards drew Deacon defenders inside, particularly after they had been of their 1-3-1 zone, and allowed for open threes from the sharp shooters of the night time.

The end result? A program file in three pointers made with 18, in addition to a tied program file by Hinson himself for particular person threes made with 8.

“The ball can transfer,” Hinson stated after the win. “We discover the most effective shot. It doesn’t all the time gotta be a layup, and we’re expert sufficient to make these photographs. Thank God they went in, and we put the work in to make these photographs.”

Along with Hinson and Elliott, Nelly Cummings additionally hit three threes on the night time after struggling to see the ball undergo the basket in latest video games.


It’s not straightforward to return off the bench in a high-intensity school hoops matchup, however Pitt’s reserves every appeared to contribute in their very own respective methods in Wednesday night time’s victory over the Demon Deacons.

The 2 groups tied within the bench factors class of the stat sheet, with every group’s reserves scoring 20 factors. With a beginning 5 like Pitt’s that believes it could go up towards any 5 within the league, bench manufacturing at that stage goes to be a large enhance all through your entire season.

Nike Sibande, the group’s sixth man, hit three of his eight photographs and all 4 of his free throws to complete with 11 factors. As well as, he grabbed 4 massive rebounds, dished out two assists, and grabbed a steal.

Nate Santos, who has struggled to shoot the ball however has made an influence on the glass and in different aspects of the sport, got here in for 3 minutes. In that span, he went 1 for 3 from the sector, throwing down a two-handed dunk after his baseline reduce was rewarded with a dish from Jamarius Burton.

Pittsburgh Panthers ahead Guillermo Diaz Graham (25) January 25, 2023 David Hague/PSN

Guillermo Diaz-Graham, the group’s first ahead off the bench as of late, contributed 5 factors and grabbed two offensive boards within the win. His twin, Jorge, got here off the bench as nicely, taking part in 4 minutes, hitting each of his free-throw tries, blocking a shot, and drawing a charging foul.

“We want these guys, and we want their power,” Capel stated concerning the group’s bench items. “That essentially could not imply scoring, however I believed they did some good issues defensively. Clearly, all of them scored. I believed Jorge got here out, gave us some actually massive minutes. Took a big-time cost. We want everybody. We want everybody to return in and provides nice power after they come within the recreation, and people guys did that.”


With the win, Pitt moved to 7-3 in ACC play.

Earlier than Wednesday, Pitt was nonetheless within the dialog for an NCAA Match berth in keeping with most bracketologists. Nevertheless, with potential back-to-back wins over Wake Forest and No. 20 Miami, the Panthers can cement themselves into that dialog heading into their recreation at North Carolina on Feb. 1.

The Panthers are at the moment tied for third place within the convention with the Hurricanes (16-4 general) and the Tar Heels (15-6 general).

Saturday’s recreation towards No. 20 Miami will tip off at 4 p.m. on ESPNU dwell from the Petersen Occasions Heart.


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Kylie Fruehstorfer Leads Union to 52-35 Championship Win Over Aquinas



Kylie Fruehstorfer had 20 factors as Union defeated Aquinas, 52-35, to win the 2023 Ladies 1A WPIAL Championship. Union used a powerful fourth quarter to show a tie sport into a snug victory.

Union scored first on foul pictures from Kylie Fruehstorfer and Kelly Cleaver making it 3-0 as each staff’s defenses induced issues for his or her opposition’s offense. The primary basket from the ground didn’t happen till in regards to the four-minute mark by Aquinas’s Victoria Taylor, making it 3-2.

That began to open issues up as Union’s No. 3 hit a three-pointer from the appropriate facet to increase their lead 6-2. A basket from Tess Duer made it 6-4 and that’s the place the rating remained to finish the quarter.

Union began off the scoring within the second to go up 8-4 earlier than the staff’s began buying and selling three-pointers with Aquinas’s Ellie Junker hitting a pair to chop the result in one at 11-10.

Junker hit a layup with about 3:30 left within the first half to provide Aquinas their first lead of the sport at 12-11 and adopted that up with one other three-pointer about two minutes later. It was an 11-3 run for Aquinas, with Junker having scored all 11 of her staff’s factors.

Each groups did discover success taking pictures within the half’s final minute and, impulsively, after trailing for many of the sport Aquinas went into halftime up barely, 17-16.

It took Union three-minutes to attain their first level of the second half as Aquinas prolonged their result in 20-16. When Union did rating although, first on a foul shot, they adopted it up instantly with a Kylie Fruehstorfer three-pointer to tie issues up 20-20.

Aquinas scored once more, however a three-pointer from Kylie Fruehstorfer gave them a 23-22 and compelled an Aquinas timeout. The timeout led to a three-pointer by Duer, and Aquinas had the lead again at 25-22 with lower than three-minutes to go within the third quarter.

Union tied issues up at 25-25 as the 2 groups began to commerce pictures. They’d go into the ultimate quarter with the rating tied at 29-29.

A 3-pointer by Kylie Fruehstorfer gave Union a 32-29 result in instantly begin the fourth quarter. A 3-point play off coast-to-coast basket and foul shot by Cleaver gave Union a six-point lead at 35-29, the most important of the sport at that time.

These performs additionally began a 10-0 run in only a two-minute span that ended when Aquinas hit a pair of free throws to chop the result in eight, 39-31, with a hair underneath 5 minutes left within the sport.

Union didn’t let up within the sport’s final 5 minutes and outscored Aquinas 23-6 within the fourth quarter en path to their 52-35 championship victory.

Kylie Fruehstofer completed as the sport’s main scorer with 20 factors and her sister Kayla contributed six factors, six rebounds on the evening. Union’s Zoe Lepri completed with a double-double with 10 factors and 10 rebounds whereas Cleaver got here shut to at least one with 14 factors and 9 rebounds but in addition added six assists and three block pictures within the sport.

Duer (15) and Junker (14) led Aquinas in scoring whereas Violet Johnson led the staff in rebounds with eight. Johnson additionally had a pair of blocks.

Each groups seasons will proceed within the PIAA state playoffs with their match-ups but to be decided.

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Protection Powers Avonworth to Class 3A Ladies’ Title



After upsetting the No. 1 seed within the WPIAL 3A Ladies’ match, No. 4 Avonworth had the championship inside attain. All that stood in its manner was the highest staff from the opposite aspect of the bracket, the Laurel Spartans.

Fueled by its stout protection – the very best in 3A – Avonworth closed out a 48-40 victory to assert its first WPIAL title since 2005.


Junior Rebecca Goetz and sophomore Greta O’Brien went to work for the Antelopes to assist seal the win and expertise that championship feeling.

“It feels loopy,” O’Brien mentioned. “We’ve been working actually onerous, so it’s actually thrilling.”

“I’m nonetheless wrapping my head round it, it’s loopy,” Goetz added.

Avonworth’s (19-5) championship season began sluggish, however first-year head coach Nick Dizon guided the Antelopes to 12 straight victories to shut out the title run. 

“When the job opened, I used to be actually excited to have the possibility to get it,” Dizon mentioned. “Once I obtained it, I noticed the grit and competitiveness and the need to need to win. Over the course of the yr, issues began to point out and it made me assume we actually have a shot at this.”

Dizon’s defensive philosophy was placed on show as Avonworth (19-5) annoyed a high-scoring Laurel (24-2) within the championship tilt.

“In case you play protection, you’ve got an opportunity to win each recreation,” Dizon mentioned. “Even should you don’t have a terrific capturing evening, we put together scouting experiences and the ladies know them just like the again of their hand. We all know protection typically comes all the way down to the little issues and our women take delight in that.”

The defensive preparation paid off because the Lopes made it troublesome for Laurel to get something going The Spartans struggled to penetrate within the first half together with Avonworth forcing a number of turnovers. 

“They had been very aggressive,” mentioned Laurel head coach Jim Marcantino. “We did a very good job in spurts shifting it, however we had hassle in sure matchups.”

Because the protection swarmed Laurel, on the opposite finish, the offense put collectively two runs to propel the Lopes to a halftime lead. An 11-0 run spanned the again half of the primary quarter into the primary jiffy of the second quarter. 

Laurel made some changes within the locker room and got here out within the second half wanting just like the offensive staff Laurel noticed within the semifinals.


Johnna Hill was instrumental within the Spartan comeback with 4 fast factors within the opening minutes of the second half. Then, Danielle Pontius buried an open three to tie the sport. Laurel would ultimately take its first lead for the reason that first three minutes of the sport. Nevertheless, Avonworth would shortly take the sport again into its palms and wouldn’t look again.

“We knew they had been a 3rd quarter staff,” Goetz mentioned about Laurel. “We anticipated that and had that in our head. We knew that we’re additionally a 3rd quarter staff and we get plenty of power within the third quarter, so we simply stored going.”

Heading down the stretch, Goetz and O’Brien turned it on for the Antelopes. After solely 4 factors late within the first half, O’Brien discovered her rhythm by including 4 factors late within the third quarter, together with a deceiving move pretend that led to an open look on a drive. 

“I simply stored pushing,” O’Brien mentioned. “I used to be engaged on different issues that may assist contribute to the staff.”

O’Brien completed with 10 factors and added seven rebounds, together with two assists and a steal within the championship clinching effort. Goetz led the Lopes with 13 factors and 10 rebounds.

With the offense arising clutch, particularly down the stretch for Avonworth, all of it got here with no made three-pointer, one thing that’s not unfamiliar to the Lopes.

“Generally we shoot it nicely, and a few days we wrestle and it’s one thing we’re going to attempt to work on,” Dizon. “That goes again to the purpose about protection. If we defend, we all the time have an opportunity to win.”

With out the three ball, Avonworth discovered success scoring within the paint. The Lopes had been 34.8% from the ground.

Because the offense clicked when it mattered, the protection continued to work towards Laurel’s prime gamers. The Antelopes additionally held Regan Atkins to eight factors as she averaged 15.9 factors per recreation on the season.

“We knew we needed to keep watch over her and [Hill],” O’Brien mentioned. “We needed to know the place they had been on the court docket in any respect time.”

Hill led all scorers with 16 within the shedding effort.

Now, each Avonworth and Laurel will head to the PIAA State match. The Antelopes will face the No. 6 staff from District 6 whereas Laurel will tackle the No. 3 staff from District 10.

“We’re pleased proper now and they need to be pleased and happy with themselves,” Dizon mentioned. “On the proper time, we are going to get able to give attention to states.”

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