Latrobe girls stun Penn Hills on White’s game-winner
Senior guard Kayla White hadn’t scored a point until the end in Latrobe’s game Thursday.
But with 6.9 seconds left, it was White who hit the winning shot as Latrobe stunned Penn Hills, 57-56, in a WPIAL Class 5A, Section 3 game.
Penn Hills had one last shot at the win, but Adia Brisker’s floater in the lane bounced off the rim sending the Wildcat players into a celebration.
The loss knocked Penn Hills (12-5, 8-2) out of a first-place tie with Oakland Catholic and improved Latrobe’s playoff chances.
After Brisker, who scored 11 of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, gave Penn Hills a 56-55 lead by making two free throws for 15.9 seconds left, Latrobe coach Mark Burkhardt sent up the winning play.
Point guard Beth Havrilla, who handled Penn Hills’ pressure all game, drove into the lane with three options.
“I first looked for Carly (Augustine) in the corner, but she was covered,” Havrilla said. “Then I looked to drive, but I was cut off. Then I saw Kayla on my right, and she was open.”
Despite two Penn Hills players trying to stop her, White put in the layup.
“This was a huge win,” Havrilla said. “It puts us up in the section. We knew they’d be tough, but we were prepared for them this time.”
Burkhardt added: “Playing Oakland Catholic earlier in the week prepared us for this one. We learned from that game and we were able to keep our composure and poise and were able to handle their pressure.”
Penn Hills jumped to an 8-1 lead, mainly using its speed to get easy layups.
But Latrobe (10-4, 6-4) tightened up its defense, forcing eight turnovers, and went on a 15-0 run to grab a 16-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“Giving up 57 (points) is very unacceptable,” Penn Hills coach Rob Cash said. “Give up easy shots, unacceptable. I don’t think we’ve ever given up a 15-0 (run) since I’ve been coaching. We didn’t come ready to play.”
But Ariana Dunson got hot in the second quarter. She hit four 3-points and finished with 14 points in the quarter as Penn Hills cruised to a 31-25 halftime lead.
Dunson finished with 19 points.
In the third quarter, it was Latrobe’s turn to get hot. The Wildcats, behind Augustine’s eight points, reclaimed the lead, 42-41, heading into the final quarter.
That’s when White stepped up.
“The ironic thing, Kayla hadn’t been feeling well, so we tried to spell her,” Burkhardt said. “We knew Rachel (Ridilla) would be taken away, so we decided to go opposite side and Beth did a fantastic job finding Kayla.
“This win really helps us in the playoffs for the third and fourth spot. It solidifies us.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can
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