All-time WPIAL girls basketball championship games No. 3: 2008 Mount Alvernia beats Monessen in double OT
The TribLive High School Sports Network will be counting down the Top 10 boys and girls WPIAL basketball championship games leading up to the 2018 title games March 1-3 at the Petersen Events Center.
TRIBHSSN is the exclusive audio and video home for all 12 WPIAL championship games, which will be broadcasted and video streamed live at TribHSSN.triblive.com.
Here is the eighth installment of a 10-part series ranking the top WPIAL girls basketball championship games in district history.
No. 3: 2008 — WPIAL Class A finals: Mount Alvernia 74, Monessen 68 (2OT)
In a span of three decades starting in 1979, tiny Mount Alvernia High School, an all-girls school located in Millville, became a giant in WPIAL Class A girls basketball. The Lions reached the Class A district title game nine times and captured gold in six of them, including 1980, 1981, 1983, 1997 and 1998. Their final title came in 2008, just two years before the school’s doors closed for good in the second-longest girls basketball championship game in WPIAL history.
Mount Alvernia entered the finals with a modest record of 16-8 and having not won a title in 10 years. Meanwhile, Monessen was a perfect 26-0 and had a golden groove going of winning “even” championships every two years after capturing WPIAL crowns in 2004 and 2006.
The game was close throughout with 12 ties and neither team building more than an eight-point advantage. The advantage was held by Monessen in the second half and again in the first overtime. Mount Alvernia never led from the first half until the second overtime.
Greyhounds coach Major Corley later lamented his team had plenty of chances in regulation and the first overtime to seal the deal on another title, but could not land the finishing blow.
Trailing by two points, the Lions’ Renee Brown hit a pair of free throws with six seconds left to tie the game. The Greyhounds could not beat the buzzer and the game went beyond regulation. When the two teams were still deadlocked after the first overtime, this became the first WPIAL girls title game to head to a second extra quarter. Finally, Mount Alvernia pulled away in the second overtime thanks to Brown, who had a game-high 34 points and also had 11 rebounds. Playing with a badly sprained ankle, Lisa Kaczynski scored 19 points and Kat Owunna had 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Lions.
Christina Chukwuedo led Monessen with 22 points and Samone Stepoli had 16 points and 13 rebounds. It was the ninth and final title game for Corley, who stepped down after the 2009 season after 23 years on the job.
Don Rebel is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at [email protected].