Playing in front of a packed house on senior night, the Moon Tigers roared back from a double-digit deficit and dominated the final quarter Thursday night on their way to a 66-53 come-from-behind win against Lincoln Park. Maria Depner led all scorers with 24 points and Jaedin Griggs finished with 16 in the upset win, which kept Moon’s postseason hopes alive while handing the Leopards their first loss this season.

“Just to be down at halftime the way they were and to find the resilience within each other — as we were going through the second half, calling timeouts, you could see it in their eyes,” Moon coach Mark Pompeo said. “They were getting more and more determined, and I’m just so happy for them.”

Depner, a 5-10 sophomore forward, came up clutch time and time again at the free-throw line for the Tigers in the fourth quarter. As Moon’s relentless full-court press turned up the intensity and forced Lincoln Park into several turnovers, the Tigers kept it calm and collected on offense while scoring 33 points in the final quarter.

“It was [Depner’s] night. She was on tonight,” Pompeo said. “The one thing we try to focus in since the beginning of the season, and we’re not going to stop now — we’re in a one-game-at-a-time mentality. … When we regroup Saturday and get into practice, the only team that matters is West Allegheny.”

Making Moon’s win even more impressive is the fact that the Tigers didn’t win a single game in the loaded Class 5A Section 4 a season ago. Now, Moon has three wins in the section with two games to play, and the Tigers still have an outside chance to reach the postseason after this shocking victory.

“It’s a grueling section, for sure. There’s a lot of talent in the section. A lot of great players and a lot of great coaches,” Pompeo said. “Luckily, I have a group of girls who are willing to put the work in, and we went from 7-14 [overall] last year to 13-7 [overall] this year.

“These girls who are graduating, seven of them, they get to remember that evening for the rest of their lives. And getting that win, I think they will.”

Mount Pleasant’s Morgan Gesinski dribbles past the Shady Side Academy defense Thursday at Shady Side Academy. Shady Side Academy won, 52-21. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Other girls games

• London Creach scored a game-high 21 points and Alayla Bivens added 10 for Oakland Catholic (20-0, 11-0), which shut out Penn-Trafford (13-7, 6-4) for the entire first quarter en route to a 67-30 home win in Class 5A Section 3. The Eagles now are one of only two undefeated teams remaining in the WPIAL, along with Peters Township.

• Surging Upper St. Clair (11-9, 5-5) took a major step toward securing a postseason berth, traveling to Chartiers Valley and outlasting the Colts for a 53-47 win in Class 6A Section 2. Meredith Huzjak paced the Panthers with 20 points to go with 14 from Ryan Prunzik. Lilah Turnbull finished with 20 points for Chartiers Valley (14-4, 7-3).

• After falling behind by 10 points after the first quarter, Indiana (14-5, 9-1) rallied for a 57-51 home win against Franklin Regional to keep pace with Plum for the top spot in Class 5A Section 1. Bella Antonacci led the way with a game-high 27 points to go with 17 from Julia Antonacci, while Avery Musto finished with a team-high 16 points for the Panthers (6-14, 5-6).

• Fighting for a playoff spot in the loaded Class 5A Section 4 gauntlet, defending WPIAL Class 5A champion South Fayette (11-7, 5-3) secured a much-needed 45-33 win over visiting Montour behind a 15-point outing from Erica Hall and 10 from Haylie Lamonde. Jordyn Wolfe led all scorers with 17 points for the Spartans (8-9, 3-4).

• Ruby Morgan knocked down six 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 22 points for Trinity (14-5, 6-2), propelling the Hillers to a 44-37 victory at West Allegheny in Class 5A Section 4. Freshman Alexis Santucci led the way for the Indians (6-12, 0-8) with 21 points.

• Rebecca Goetz scored a game-high 21 points and Greta O’Brien finished with 19 for defending WPIAL Class 3A champion Avonworth (16-1, 8-0), which picked up its 10th consecutive victory with a 65-34 triumph at Keystone Oaks in Class 3A Section 2. Bailey Rieg tallied a team-leading 18 points for the Golden Eagles (13-5, 4-4).

• Rachael Manfredo scored a team-leading 15 points for McKeesport and Brooke Evans chipped in 12 for the Tigers (16-2, 8-1), who rolled to a 61-37 win over visiting Thomas Jefferson in Class 5A Section 3. Laekyn Flinn scored a game-high 17 points for the Jaguars (7-12, 4-6).

• Madison Zavasky (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Maren Iski (10 points, 15 rebounds) each registered double-doubles for host Pine-Richland (6-11, 4-4) in a 54-44 victory against Seneca Valley in Class 6A Section 1. The Rams broke open a tie score at halftime by outscoring the Raiders, 22-2, in a lopsided third quarter. Natalie Hambly led all players with 18 points for Seneca Valley (12-7, 4-4).

• Fort Cherry moved into first place in Class 2A Section 2, avenging a 17-point loss at Burgettstown Jan. 8 with a 39-25 home win against the Blue Devils. Raney Staub and Bella Bianchini led all scorers with 11 points apiece for the Rangers (15-4, 7-1), who now have won seven consecutive games. Carlee Pennington scored a team-leading 10 points for Burgettstown (10-9, 6-1).

• Serra Catholic (15-4, 8-2) swept the season series against Clairton with a 72-53 home win in Class 2A Section 3, as Abby Genes led a trio of double-digit scorers with 22 points for the Eagles. Cate Clarke contributed 18 and Bri Battles added 11 in the win. The WPIAL’s leading scorer, Iyanna Wade, finished with a game-high 35 points for the Bears (15-3, 7-3).

• Carla Brown led all scorers with 15 points and Aunesty Johnson added 11 as Aliquippa (17-1, 11-0) stretched its winning streak to 11 games in a row and clinched the Class 2A Section 1 title with a 42-39 victory at Rochester (11-7, 7-3). Aleaya Mercier led the Rams with 13 points while Avah Williams tacked on 11.

• Neah Ewing finished with a game-high 15 points and Karlee Buterbaugh chipped in 10 for Knoch (11-8, 6-4), which clinched a playoff berth with a 43-33 win over visiting Greensburg Salem in Class 4A Section 1. Kaitlyn Mankins paced the Golden Lions (14-6, 6-4) with 12 points along with 11 from Ashlan Price.

• Skylar Gates scored a game-high 20 points and Zariah Reed contributed 11 for Brownsville (11-8, 4-4), which picked up a pivotal 44-37 win at McGuffey in Class 3A Section 4. Madison Gaso finished with a team-leading 19 points for the Highlanders (13-6, 3-5).

Mount Pleasant’s Morgan Gesinski and Shady Side Academy’s Cameron Capel fight for possession of a ball Thursday at Shady Side Academy. Shady Side Academy won, 52-21. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Boys games

• Nobody reached double figures for Gateway (13-5, 6-2) in a game when Alec Dunsmore led the team with only 8 points, but the Gators defense got the job done to secure a 37-36 overtime victory at Kiski Area in Class 5A Section 3. Isaiah Gonzalez tallied a game-high 11 points for the Cavaliers (12-7, 3-5).

• Courtney Wallace (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Shamar Simpson (12 points, 12 rebounds) each posted double-doubles for Neighborhood Academy (14-4, 6-1) in a 63-34 win against visiting Hillel Academy (7-6, 2-5) in Class 1A Section 3.

Three stars

*** — Kallie Kristian, Ellis School. Kristian drained six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 24 points for Ellis School in a 58-29 win at Steel Valley in Class 2A Section 3.

** — Mallory Daly, Seton LaSalle. The fifth-leading scorer in the WPIAL with an average of 23.3 points per game, Daly added to her prolific pace with a game-high 35 points in a 62-26 win at South Allegheny in Class 3A Section 2.

* — Natalie Wetzel, Peters Township. The heralded 6-3 junior scored a game-high 23 points and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career, helping the Indians remain undefeated with a 57-42 win at Mt. Lebanon in Class 6A Section 2.

Hot from deep

Players with 3 or more 3-pointers: Kallie Kristian, Ellis School, 6; Ruby Morgan, Trinity, 6; Avery Musto, Franklin Regional, 5; Julia Antonacci, Indiana, 4; Payton Collins, Mt. Lebanon, 3; Ellie Junker, Aquinas Academy, 3; Emma Obersteiner, Avonworth, 3.

Mount Pleasant’s Morgan Gesinski dribbles past Shady Side Academy’s Maggie Spell Thursday at Shady Side Academy in Fox Chapel. Shady Side Academy won, 52-21. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Boys scores

Gateway 37, Kiski Area 36 (OT)

Neighborhood Academy 63, Hillel Academy 34

Girls scores

Aliquippa 42, Rochester 39

Apollo-Ridge 45, Deer Lakes 34

Avella 40, Jefferson-Morgan 39

Avonworth 65, Keystone Oaks 34

Beaver Falls 61, Laurel 31

Bishop Canevin 37, Eden Christian 23

Blackhawk 73, Ambridge 13

Brentwood 35, Carlynton 15

Brownsville 44, McGuffey 36

Burrell 59, Ligonier Valley 28

California 52, Bentworth 31

Central Valley 51, Beaver 50 (OT)

Chartiers-Houston 73, Frazier 20

Ellis School 58, Steel Valley 29

Fort Cherry 39, Burgettstown 25

Geibel Catholic 43, Mapletown 27

Highlands 64, Derry 24

Indiana 57, Franklin Regional 51

Karns City 42, Aquinas Academy 37

Knoch 43, Greensburg Salem 33

Latrobe 60, Albert Gallatin 41

Laurel Highlands 52, Belle Vernon 35

Leechburg 52, Hillel Academy 21

Mars 41, Shaler 38

McKeesport 61, Thomas Jefferson 37

Mohawk 56, Ellwood City 50

Monessen 45, West Greene 39

Moon 66, Lincoln Park 53

Neshannock 59, Riverside 20

North Catholic 65, Valley 11

North Hills 55, New Castle 21

Norwin 49, Hempfield 31

Oakland Catholic 67, Penn-Trafford 30

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 78, East Allegheny 11

Peters Township 57, Mt. Lebanon 42

Pine-Richland 54, Seneca Valley 44

Propel Braddock Hills 30, Carrick 25

Quaker Valley 46, Hopewell 33

Serra Catholic 72, Clairton 53

Seton LaSalle 62, South Allegheny 26

Sewickley Academy 52, New Brighton 6

Shady Side Academy 52, Mount Pleasant 21

South Fayette 45, Montour 33

South Park 61, Charleroi 30

South Side 47, Shenango 33

Trinity 44, West Allegheny 37

Uniontown 61, Ringgold 41

Upper St. Clair 53, Chartiers Valley 47

Washington 32, Carmichaels 23

Waynesburg 49, Yough 19

West Mifflin 52, Southmoreland 24

Winchester Thurston 50, Springdale 19

Woodland Hills 53, Kiski Area 37

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