After back-to-back losses against highly acclaimed out-of-state foes at the She Got Game Classic in Washington, longtime North Catholic girls basketball coach Molly Rottmann wasn’t worried.

In fact, she saw exactly what she needed to see from her team before the Trojanettes returned home to open up section play against Highlands.

“We played some really good teams down there,” Rottmann said about the D.C. tournament. “Obviously, to come home with two wins would be better. But when people asked me about it, I said it was a great trip. … King’s Fork [of Virginia] was a [Class] 4A state champion. They had some really good players, and I thought we competed.

“To me, long term, it’s going to help us more in the long run.”

Playing in front of a home crowd for the first time this season, North Catholic (4-2, 1-0) snapped its two-game skid Thursday night with a 61-33 win against the Golden Rams (2-3, 0-1). The Trojanettes only held a slim 9-8 lead after the first quarter, but they soon blew open the game by outscoring Highlands, 19-7, in each of the next two periods.

Alayna Rocco led four players in double figures for North Catholic with a game-high 15 points. Dacia Lewandowski and Anna Waskiewicz finished with 14 apiece, while Tori Drevna added 11 for the Trojanettes.

“Getting back on track, first section game — obviously that’s what we want to be preparing for, so it was good,” Rottmann said.

Quaker Valley’s Maria Helkowski, left, battles for a rebound with Cate Sauer of Shady Side Academy Thursday night at Quaker Valley. Looking on is Quaker Valley’s Shannon Von Kaenel. (Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Norwin nips South Fayette in battle of unbeatens

Star senior Maddie Webber stayed hot with a 26-point performance for the Lions (4-1), but the Knights’ stingy defense limited her teammates to only 14 points as Norwin (5-0) escaped with a 43-40 home win against the defending Class 5A champs. Lauren Palangio led the Knights with 15 while Kendall Berger chipped in with 13.

Peters Township girls battle past Bethel Park

Each team had three players score in double figures, but Gemma Walker made the difference with a game-high 27 points for the Indians (5-1) in a 79-71 win. Brianna Morreale added 21 and Natalie Wetzel finished with 18 for Peters Township. Mary Boff led the Black Hawks (0-5) with 21 points.

Pine-Richland girls topple Trinity

Madison Zavasky scored a team-high 14 points, leading three players in double figures for the Rams (3-2) in a 47-39 win against Trinity. Freshman Ruby Morgan led all scorers with 16 points for the Hillers (3-2).

Oakland Catholic outlasts Latrobe

In the opening game of section play between two teams with high hopes, Alexa Washington had a game-high 15 points to lead the Eagles (4-2, 1-0) to a 59-39 win against the Wildcats (4-3, 0-1).

Bishop Canevin girls slip past Seton LaSalle

Mallory Daly kept up her torrid scoring pace with a 32-point effort for the Rebels (2-2), but the Crusaders rallied for a 51-50 win after trailing by nine entering the fourth quarter. Ashley Lippold had a team-high 19 points while Amber Cross added 13 for Bishop Canevin (2-4).

Mars girls storm back to beat Kiski Area

After trailing by eight points entering the fourth quarter, the Planets (4-1) raced back to earn a 44-39 comeback win against the Cavaliers (2-4). Olivia Donnelly led the way for Mars with 17 points, while Lexi Colaianni led all scorers with 19 points for Kiski Area.

North Catholic boys roll past Ambridge

Max Hurray converted four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 24 points for North Catholic (3-1, 1-0), and Andrew Maddalon contributed 19 for the Trojans in a 75-48 home win to open up section play against the Bridgers (2-4, 0-1).

Three stars

*** — Payton Collins matched Canon-McMillan’s entire scoring output by herself, finishing with 28 points for Mt. Lebanon (3-2) in a 53-28 win against the Big Macs (1-5).

** — Tasso Sfanos is emerging as one of the area’s best guards, and he proved it again with a 34-pount outburst to lead Mars (5-0) to an 80-63 road win at Kiski Area (2-5).

* — Another day, another appearance on “Three stars” for Freedom’s Shaye Bailey. Also a track and soccer standout, this multi-talented junior continued to solidify her status as one of the top all-around athletes in the area with 35 points for the Bulldogs (6-0) in a 77-41 win against South Side Beaver (4-2).

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at