North Catholic didn’t want to suffer a rocky first game of the season Friday, so the Trojanettes turned to a Rocco to help give them an impressive opening win.

In a showdown of girls teams that played for WPIAL titles last season, star senior Alayna Rocco scored a game-high 19 points to lead North Catholic to a 56-44 win against Upper St. Clair in the North Allegheny Tournament.

Rocco, a Harvard recruit and first-team all-state pick last season, scored nine points in the first half and 10 in the second half for the defending WPIAL Class 4A champions. She made three 3-pointers in the game. Rocco outdueled Upper St. Clair standout junior Rylee Kalocay, who paced the Panthers with 16 points. 

“She was really good,” North Catholic coach Molly Rottmann said of Rocco. “She is very unselfish. Sometimes she’ll go looking with the idea of a pass. And I’m like, ‘You have to look to score and then pass,’ and I thought she just did a great job of that this evening. She just has so many weapons. Different moves, outside shot, inside. She did a great job tonight, and when she was guarding Kalocay, she played her perfectly.”

Upper St. Clair, a WPIAL finalist in Class 6A last season, was outstanding on the offensive boards, particularly in the first half when the Panthers would often get at least two or three shots on possessions. The problem was that the Panthers struggled mightily shooting the ball. They began the first quarter 1 of 11 from the field and started the second quarter 1 of 9. Overall, the Panthers were 14 of 56 (25%).

Meanwhile, North Catholic was 20 of 36 (55%) from the field. After Ava Walker made two free throws to give North Catholic a 4-2 lead, the Trojanettes never trailed the rest of the way. North Catholic held a 48-38 lead early in the fourth quarter before Ryan Prunzik connected on a pair of 3-pointers to cut the Upper St. Clair deficit to four. However, that turned out to be Upper St. Clair’s final points, as the Panthers were shut out the final 4:25 of the game.

Sarah Loughry added 12 points and Walker 10 for North Catholic. Freshman guard Brady Wehner got the start for the Trojanettes. Her brother, Payton, is the star quarterback for Central Catholic. Wehner scored three points.

“We have the core of Ava, Alayna and Sarah back, but all the others are new moving pieces,” Rottmann said. “It takes a little bit of time. I told them it was a big win for a variety of reasons.”

Ryan Prunzik and Meredith Huzjak scored nine points apiece for Upper St. Clair, and Grace Howell chipped in eight.

Other girls games

• Also at North Allegheny, sophomore Olivia Gribble scored a game-high 22 points to lead Class 2A Greensburg Central Catholic to a 49-39 win against defending WPIAL and PIAA Class 1A champion Union. Greensburg trailed, 25-21, at the half before using a 12-0 run at the start of the third quarter to seize control. The run was highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Avery Davis, who finished with 13 points. Union was led by Kelly Cleaver’s 13 points.

• Caroline Henderson made three 3-pointers among her team-high 14 points to help North Allegheny hold off Altoona, 48-46, in the North Allegheny Tournament. Kellie McConnell added 13 points for the Tigers, last season’s WPIAL Class 6A champions.

Montour senior Jordyn Wolfe had a night to remember, as she knocked down nine 3-pointers among her game-high 29 points to help the Spartans roll to a 66-36 win against Rochester in the Montour Tournament. Wolfe made two 3’s in the first quarter, four in the second and three in the third.

• Two-time defending WPIAL Class 5A champion South Fayette traveled to West Virginia and came home with a 68-66 win against Wheeling Park in the Wheeling Park Tournament. Haylie Lamonde (16 points) led a group of five South Fayette players in double-figures. Alexis Bordas, last season’s Gatorade Player of the Year in West Virginia, led Wheeling Park with 24 points.

• Also in the Wheeling Park Tournament, WPIAL Class 6A title favorite Norwin ran to a 66-27 win against Cameron, West Virginia. Bella Furno led the Knights with 15 points while Ava Christopher had 12 and Lauren Palangio and Kendall Berger 10 each.

Blackhawk, last season’s PIAA Class 4A runner-up, throttled Mount Pleasant, 72-14, in the Greensburg Salem Tournament. The Cougars led, 31-0, after one quarter and 49-1 at the half. Alena Fusetti led Blackhawk with 19 points and Piper Romigh chipped in 10.

• Four players scored in double-figures for Peters Township, which topped Thomas Jefferson, 56-35, in the Baldwin/Peters Township Tournament. Natalie Wetzel and Peri Cendroski scored 12 points apiece for the Indians. Daniela Radulovich added 11 points and Gemma Walker 10.

• Ella Cupka scored 23 points and Ava Shazer had 12 to pace Chartiers Valley in a 51-42 triumph against Elizabeth Forward in the Keystone Oaks Tournament. The Colts outscored Elizabeth Forward, 18-1, in the second quarter.

• Emma Paul knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 21 points to vault Armstrong to a 54-24 win against Knoch in the Armstrong Tournament. Teammate Kyla Fitzgerald added 12 points and Sarai Weaver had 10.

Boys games

• Pitt recruit Brandin “Beebah” Cummings scored 27 points and Meleek Thomas had 15 to lead defending PIAA Class 4A champion Lincoln Park to a 69-38 win against Philadelphia Catholic League foe Devon Prep at Geneva College. Cummings made four 3-pointers, and Thomas had three.

• Logan Golle’s 18 points enabled defending City League champion Allderdice to grab a 59-51 win against visiting Montour. The Dragons also got 13 points from Major Rainey and 11 from Jack Segall. Jake Wolfe and Kaleb Platz led Montour with 15 points apiece.

• Defending WPIAL Class 3A champion Deer Lakes was taken to the wire by Armstrong before pulling out a 56-53 win in the Armstrong Tournament. Collin Rodgers accounted for half of Deer Lakes’ points as he finished with 28. Ben Bartolovic and Ian Olsen each scored 13 points for Armstrong.

Gateway worked overtime to defeat Fox Chapel, 51-43, in the Upper St. Clair Tournament. After the score was tied, 35-35, at the end of regulation, Gateway outscored Fox Chapel, 16-8, in overtime to claim the win. Bryson Pavlik led Gateway with 15 points, while Jefferson Moorefield-Brown paced Fox Chapel with 11.

• Tyler Robbins, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, pumped in 18 points to propel Upper St. Clair to an 85-53 win against Ambridge in the Upper St. Clair Tournament. Christian Ito chipped in 12 points for the Panthers, while Peja Strobl, Julian Dahlem and Ryan Robbins had 10 apiece.

• Nate Richards scored 16 points to lead Baldwin to a 55-33 win against Altoona in the Baldwin/Peters Township Tournament. Nate Wesling added 15 points for the Highlanders, who held Altoona to two points in the first quarter and held a 30-11 halftime advantage.

• Also in the Baldwin/Peters Township Tournament, Jayden Davis dropped in 29 points to push Chartiers Valley over Peters Township, 61-59. Chartiers Valley led, 35-24, at the half. Jack Dunbar scored 17 points for Peters Township, last season’s WPIAL Class 5A runner-up.

• Despite Joseph Roth’s 23 points and 13 rebounds, Ellwood City was edged by Hickory, 42-41, at Geneva College. Hickory, which got 17 points from Rylan Dye, outscored Ellwood City, 14-11, in the final quarter.

• Peter Kramer’s 27 points propelled Hampton to a 67-40 win against Seneca Valley in the North Hills Tournament. A Lehigh recruit, Kramer drained four 3-pointers in the game and scored nine of his points in the first quarter when Hampton jumped to a 26-5 lead. Teammate Alex Nyilas scored 15 points, all of them coming on five 3-pointers.

• Brandon London’s double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds helped Shaler roll to a 79-59 win against Bethel Park in the Shaler Tournament. Keegan Smetanka added 19 points for the Titans, who held a 48-31 lead at the half.

• Brady Mayo put up 27 points while leading Beaver to a 71-50 win against Plum in the Brentwood Tournament. Mayo connected on three 3-pointers and was 8 of 8 from the free-throw line. Beaver was 17 of 19 at the line overall.

• Brothers Aaron and Stanford Webb combined for nine 3-pointers in Indiana’s 65-45 win against Marion Center in the Indiana Tournament. Aaron, a freshman, made five 3-pointers and scored 23 points, while Stanford, a junior, connected on four 3-pointers among his 19 points.

Franklin Regional raced to a 28-5 first-quarter lead and never looked back on its way to a 63-35 win against Connellsville in the Hempfield Tournament. Colin Masten scored nine of his game-high 15 points in the first quarter for the Panthers.

Seton LaSalle rallied back from a halftime deficit to defeat Jeannette, 56-49, in the Norwin Tournament. Patrick Weldon (18 points) paced a group of four Seton LaSalle players scoring in double-figures. Kymone Brown scored 22 for Jeannette, which led, 25-23, at the half.

• Ryan Ceh scored 21 points and Austin Campbell added 20 to push Mars to a 74-68 win against Franklin in the Sharon Tournament. Remi Black added 15 points and Ryan Navetta 14 for the Planets, who outscored Franklin, 16-11, in the final quarter.

• John Wilkins scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in helping Neighborhood Academy beat Propel Andrew Street, 65-15, in the Neighborhood Academy Tournament. Teammate Courtney Wallace also scored 19.

Three stars

** — Nate Papuga, Derry. Papuga poured in 37 points, including the winning basket with 7.8 seconds left, to propel Derry to a 56-55 victory against Laurel Highlands in the Yough Tournament.

** — Joey Coyle, Quaker Valley. Coyle, a senior guard, pumped in 30 points in Quaker Valley’s 54-46 win against Sewickley Academy in the Carlynton Tournament. Coyle scored 17 points in the first half and went 12 of 16 from the free-throw line.

* — Adriana Allison, Jeannette. Allison didn’t provide Jeannette with all of its scoring, but she was close. Allison scored 26 points in Jeannette’s 56-28 loss to Aquinas Academy in the Aquinas Academy Tournament. 

Hot from deep

Players with 3 or more 3-pointers: Jordyn Wolfe, Montour, 9; Emma Paul, Armstrong, 5; Addison Musto, Franklin Regional, 5; Alex Nyilas, Hampton, 5; Aaron Webb, Indiana, 5; Terek Crosby, Yough, 5; Lanie Witt, Altoona, 4; Alexis Henderson, Forest Hills, 4; Addison Schirato, Forest Hills, 4; Peter Kramer, Hampton, 4; Bella Antonacci, Indiana, 4; Stanford Webb, Indiana, 4; Brandin Cummings, Lincoln Park, 4; Jaedin Griggs, Moon, 4; David Kwiat, Neshannock, 4; Julian Vizzoca, Shaler, 4; Jack Segall, Allderdice, 3; Brady Mayo, Beaver, 3; Lanie Brogdon, Eden Christian, 3; Avery Davis, Greensburg Central Catholic, 3; Erica Gribble, Greensburg Central Catholic, 3; Rhaki Lum, Lincoln Park, 3; Meleek Thomas, Lincoln Park, 3; Payton Collins, Mt. Lebanon, 3; Caroline Henderson, North Allegheny, 3; Alayna Rocco, North Catholic, 3; Melanie Oliver, Penn Hills, 3; Bella Cameron, Union, 3; Ryan Prunzik, Upper St. Clair, 3.

Boys scores

Allderdice 59, Montour 51

Aquinas Academy 88, Cheswick Christian 65

Avonworth 55, West Shamokin 32

Baldwin 55, Altoona 33

Beaver 71, Plum 50

Beaver County Christian 58, Trinity Christian 43

Brentwood 54, Carrick 42

Burrell 52, East Allegheny 44

Canon-McMillan 53, Washington 52

Carlynton 46, New Brighton 43

Carmichaels 49, Mapletown 41

Chartiers Valley 61, Peters Township 59

Deer Lakes 56, Armstrong 53

Derry 56, Laurel Highlands 55

Franklin Regional 63, Connellsville 35

Gateway 51, Fox Chapel 43 (OT)

Hampton 67, Seneca Valley 40

Hickory 42, Ellwood City 41

Hopewell 64, Freedom 35

Indiana 65, Marion Center 45

Lincoln Park 69, Devon Prep 38

Mars 74, Franklin 68

Mercyhurst Prep 63, Neshannock 53

North Hills 81, Perry 23

OLSH 48, Albert Gallatin 42

Quaker Valley 54, Sewickley Academy 46

Ringgold 55, Charleroi 53

Rochester 48, Central Valley 46

Seton LaSalle 56, Jeannette 49

Shaler 79, Bethel Park 59

South Allegheny 66, Serra Catholic 48

Thomas Jefferson 77, Elizabeth Forward 51

Upper St. Clair 85, Ambridge 53

West Allegheny 56, Jefferson-Morgan 26

Yough 59, Summit Academy 26

Girls scores

Aquinas Academy 56, Jeannette 28

Armstrong 54, Knoch 24

Baldwin 50, Pine-Richland 28

Carlynton 27, Propel Braddock Hills 13

Charleroi 54, Derry 45

Chartiers Valley 51, Elizabeth Forward 42

Cheswick Christian 30, Neighborhod Academy 11

Eden Christian 50, Hopewell 45

Ellis School 36, West Greene 25

Forest Hills 53, Indiana 45

Fort Cherry 44, Bishop Canevin 37

Greensburg C.C. 49, Union 39

Hempfield 62, Franklin Regional 55

Kiski Area 55, Butler 47

Leechburg 42, Nazareth Prep 12

Lincoln Park 61, Hampton 51

Mapletown 32, Avella 30

Mars 66, Laurel 20

McGuffey 41, Burgettstown 33

Monessen 41, Brashear 7

Montour 66, Rochester 36

Moon 48, Canon-McMillan 41

Neighborhood Academy 65, Propel Andrew Street 15

Neshannock 45, General McLane 39

North Allegheny 48, Altoona 46

North Catholic 56, Upper St. Clair 44

North Hills 78, Ellwood City 43

Peters Township 56, Thomas Jefferson 35

Plum 67, Freeport 43

Riverside 33, New Castle 30

Riverview 52, Northgate 15

Serra Catholic 64, Ambridge 16

South Allegheny 49, Trinity Christian 37

South Fayette 68, Wheeling Park, W.Va. 66

South Park 45, Washington 41

Waynesburg 54, Geibel 32

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