Lamire Redman was held scoreless in Penn Hills’ first-round playoff game.

In the quarterfinals, it was more of the same, as Redman failed to register a point.

But for the unheralded junior, it turned out that the third time, or in this case, third game, was a charm.

“We talked about it, ‘When your time comes, you’ve got to be efficient. You have to do your part,’” Penn Hills coach Chris Giles said. “And tonight was his part by making an open shot.”

In a heavyweight fight between teams with red in their uniforms, a kid with red in his name hit some of the game’s biggest shots Saturday. Redman sparked the offense and No. 2 Penn Hills played terrific defense against North Hills star Royce Parham on its way to a 67-51 win against No. 3 North Hills in a WPIAL Class 5A semifinal at Peters Township.

Penn Hills (20-3) advances to next Thursday’s championship to face No. 1 Peters Township (22-3). It will be the first appearance in the final for Penn Hills since winning its fifth title in 2018. North Hills (19-6), last year’s Class 6A runner-up, was attempting to reach the final for the second year in a row.

It was an outstanding offensive performance from Penn Hills, which shot 57% from the field (27 of 47) and outscored North Hills, 24-11, in the second quarter to take a 36-21 halftime lead. But you knew North Hills wasn’t going away easily, especially when you take into account its multiple big comebacks this season and the fact that they have Parham, a 6-foot-8 junior forward and one of the top players in the state.

Freshman Eric James opened the third quarter by making two free throws and Jayden Thomas followed with a 3-pointer to slice the Penn Hills lead to 36-26. But up stepped Redman, who knocked down the second of his five 3-pointers to stretch the lead back to 13.

“As soon as I caught it, it felt good when I released it, so I knew it was good,” said Redman.

But Redman wasn’t done. He connected on two more 3-pointers in a quarter that saw him score 11 of his team’s 13 points. Penn Hills outscored North Hills, 13-12, in the quarter to extend its lead to 49-33 heading into the fourth. North Hills once again cut its deficit to 10 points early in the fourth, but Redman came up big again with yet another 3-pointer. Penn Hills went on to lead by as many as 16 points in that final quarter.

“We had it at 10, and when he hit that 3, I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” said North Hills coach Buzz Gabos.

Redman, a 6-foot guard, was an unlikely star on this day. Redman, who attended Central Catholic his sophomore year, didn’t score in either of Penn Hills’ first two playoff games. He didn’t even attempt a shot against Mars in the quarterfinals. But against North Hills, Redman was 6 of 9 from the field with five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.

“I’ve just been staying patient and letting the game come to me,” Redman said.

Standout senior Daemar Kelly also scored 17 points for Penn Hills while adding 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Michai Oliver added 10 points and Noah Barren and Julian Dugger chipped in eight apiece.

Another big storyline in this game was the tremendous job Penn Hills did defensively against Parham, who came in averaging 29 points per game. Parham attempted only seven shots in the game, finishing 5 of 7 from the field with 15 points. He added 7 rebounds and 4 steals.

“Seven shots for him should be a quarter and a half maybe,” Gabos said.

Added Giles, “That’s a hell of a player. He’s 6-8. He’s athletic. He has great touch around the basket. He has great footwork. Our game plan was pretty much what he’s seen the entire year. Help, arrive on the catch, play him solid, don’t foul him, wall up and play good defense.”

James, the hero of North Hills’ quarterfinal win against Fox Chapel, also scored 15 points for the Indians and Zach Pollaro added four 3-pointers and 14 points. North Hills shot 35% from the field (14 of 40) and was held to its third-lowest point total of the season. The Indians will begin PIAA playoff qualification this upcoming week.

Meanwhile, Penn Hills will play for a WPIAL title five nights from now. If this team plays like it did Saturday, the Indians very well might leave Pitt’s Petersen Events Center with a championship trophy in hand.

“They’re a handful,” Gabos said. “They’ve got it at all levels. They can do a little bit of everything. I think the size, the physicality got into us a little bit and made it very difficult.”

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

Brad Everett

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