Hampton girls basketball coach Tony Howard said his team primarily has been focused on just qualifying for the postseason.
But after a big win Monday, the Talbots remain in the hunt for a section title as well.
Hampton had revenge on its mind Monday, and the Talbots bounced back from a home loss to Mars a month ago by defeating the host Planets, 58-53, in Class 5A Section 2.
Hampton was an underdog at Mars, but the Talbots got a big game from a Kat. Junior guard Kat Milon finished with a team-high 17 points. Meghan Murray added 16 and Claire Rodgers 14 for the Talbots (12-5, 6-2), who won for the seventh time in eight games and moved within a half-game of Mars (12-3, 6-1) in the section standings. Fox Chapel also is 6-2.
“It was a big win,” said Howard, whose team lost to Mars, 56-55, Dec. 19. “We’re trying to make sure we’re piecing together enough wins to get into the playoffs. The girls came in extra motivated after they let one slip away at home. We went in with the mindset that we need some wins to get into the playoffs. Hopefully this is a springboard for us.”
Sterling Thomson helped spring Hampton to the win. Howard said Thomson converted a go-ahead 3-pointer with just under three minutes left in the game that put the Talbots ahead for good. Murray, the team’s leading scorer, played most of the fourth quarter with four fouls.
Mars was led by Annalyn Isaacs, who scored 18 points. Lauren Atwell added 13 and Vita Vargo 10. The Planets had won six games in a row and 10 of their past 11.
Other girls games
• Shenango (13-4, 7-1) moved into a first-place tie with Freedom (12-3, 7-1) in Class 2A Section 1 after defeating the visiting Bulldogs, 62-57. Janie Natale had 25 points for Shenango, which outscored Freedom, 19-4, in the second quarter. Shaye Bailey paced Freedom with 27 points and Julz Mohrbacher had 20.
• Sarah Scott’s 14 points lifted Lincoln Park (14-2) to a 53-50 non-section win against visiting Quaker Valley (11-6). J’La Kizart added 11 points for the Leopards, while Mimi Thiero led Quaker Valley with 14.
• Mallory Daly collected a game-high 27 points as Seton LaSalle (10-6) rolled to a surprising 72-45 win against visiting Shady Side Academy (13-2) in a non-section game. Addie Lonergan chipped in 20 points for Seton LaSalle and Kyliegh Donnelly had 18.
• In a battle of Class 5A section leaders, South Fayette (15-2) hit the road and handed Indiana (11-5) an 81-47 defeat. Four players scored in double figures for South Fayette: Maddie Webber had 20, Ava Leroux 16, Lainey Yater 15 and Erica Hall 14. Bella Antonacci led Indiana with 16 points.
• Baldwin (7-10, 3-5) avenged a loss from earlier this season by capturing a 52-49 win at Peters Township (9-7, 3-4) in Class 6A Section 2. For Baldwin, Kathleen Lucarelli scored 15 points and Gianna Schoeb had 12. Natalie Wetzel led Peters Township with 23 points.
• Raney Staub’s 17 points vaulted Fort Cherry (11-6) to its fourth win a row by winning at West Greene (9-6), 40-30, in a non-section game. West Greene got 11 points from Kasie Meek and 10 from Lexi Six.
• Greensburg Central Catholic (15-2, 8-0) captured its seventh consecutive win courtesy of an 87-39 triumph at Steel Valley (0-15, 0-8) in Class 2A Section 3. Mya Morgan led the Centurions with 24 points and Erica Gribble added 17 points and 10 assists. Ava Caiarelli scored 17 points for Steel Valley.
• South Allegheny (14-1) rebounded from its first loss by picking up an impressive 59-55 home win against Mars (10-4) in non-section action. Bryce Epps, the school’s all-time leading scorer, led South Allegheny with 25 points and Mike Michalski added 21. Tasso Sfanos connected on five 3-pointers among his 17 points for Mars, which was outscored, 11-6, in the fourth quarter.
• Isaiah Aeschbacher scored 23 points and Beaver Falls (7-7) continued to surge via a 79-52 non-section win against visiting Rochester (6-9). Jaren Brickner added 17 points for the Tigers, who have won four of their past five games. Jerome Mullins scored 24 points for Rochester.
• In City League play, first-place Allderdice (16-3, 8-0) kept its perfect record in league play intact after a 70-38 win at Westinghouse (0-11, 0-7). Ethan Anish (17 points) and Major Rainey (13 points) were among four players scoring in double figures for the Dragons, who scored 47 points in the first half. Davon Jones paced Westinghouse with 13 points.
*** — Raegan Kadlecik, Montour. Kadlecik scored 19 points, including the 1,000th of her career, in Montour’s 68-56 loss to visiting Pine-Richland.
** — Ava Walker, North Catholic. Walker’s 21 points helped North Catholic remain red hot after a 59-40 win against Freeport. The Trojanettes have won seven consecutive games.
* — Libby Eannarino, Sewickley Academy. It came in a losing effort, but Eannarino connected on five 3-pointers and finished with 30 points in a 60-53 loss to Rochester.
Hot from deep
Players with 3 or more 3-pointers: Tasso Sfanos, Mars, 5; Libby Eannarino, Sewickley Academy, 5; Julian Cordice, Cornell, 4; Austin Campbell, Mars, 4; Jerome Mullins, Rochester, 4; Bella Antonacci, Indiana, 3; Halena Hill, Oakland Catholic, 3; Aleaya Mercier, Rochester, 3; Rinnie Jardini, Sewickley Academy, 3.
Allderdice 70, Westinghouse 38
Beaver Falls 79, Rochester 52
Monessen 45, Brownsville 43
Riverside 55, Cornell 44
South Allegheny 59, Mars 55
Southmoreland 76, Ligonier Valley 55
Armstrong 62, North Hills 27
Baldwin 52, Peters Township 49
Chartiers Valley 66, Canon-McMillan 50
Derry 69, Valley 36
Eden Christian 63, Sto-Rox 33
Fort Cherry 40, West Greene 30
Fox Chapel 61, New Castle 24
Greensburg Central Catholic 87, Steel Valley 39
Hampton 58, Mars 53
Knoch 49, Highlands 38
Lincoln Park 53, Quaker Valley 50
Moon 47, Central Valley 43
Mt. Lebanon 45, Bethel Park 32
North Catholic 59, Freeport 40
Oakland Catholic 62, Connellsville 15
Pine-Richland 68, Montour 56
Plum 38, Franklin Regional 35
Rochester 60, Sewickley Academy 53
Seton LaSalle 72, Shady Side Academy 45
Shenango 62, Freedom 57
South Fayette 81, Indiana 47
South Park 62, Mount Pleasant 46
Union 56, Riverside 17
Upper St. Clair 56, Norwin 45