What has been a month of firsts continued Saturday for Armstrong.

A week after playing in their first WPIAL championship, the River Hawks not only played in, but also won, a PIAA playoff game for the first time.

Emma Paul’s 19 points propelled WPIAL runner-up Armstrong to a 44-33 win against District 3 fifth-place finisher Palmyra in a Class 5A first-round game at Armstrong.

Armstrong (22-5) led by five points at the half before using a 15-11 edge in the third quarter to increase its advantage to 34-25.

It was the 17th win in the past 18 games for Armstrong, the only loss coming to South Fayette in the WPIAL championship.

Addi Salus led Palmyra (18-9) with nine points.

Other Class 5A

• WPIAL champion South Fayette (19-8) didn’t allow a point in the second quarter on its way to claiming a 48-20 home win against District 3 eighth-place finisher Red Land (12-15). A finalist a season ago, South Fayette outscored Red Land, 19-0, in the second quarter to take a 33-6 halftime lead. Erica Hall paced the Lions with 14 points and Juliette Leroux added 12.

• Rachael Manfredo scored 16 of her game-high 19 points in the second half to propel WPIAL third-place finisher McKeesport (22-4) to a 61-32 home win against District 3 fourth-place finisher West York (18-9). Maddy Hertzler chipped in with 14 points for the Tigers, who led, 29-9, at the half. The Tigers advanced to the semifinals in 2022 and the quarterfinals a year ago.

• Freshman Mia LeDonne (15 points) led a group of four players scoring in double figures for WPIAL fourth-place finisher Oakland Catholic (25-2), which won at District 3 third-place qualifier Susquehanna Township (23-3), 50-34. A semifinalist a season ago, Oakland Catholic once again played without injured star London Creach, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

• Bella Antonacci’s 16 points helped Indiana (20-7), the seventh-place finisher from the WPIAL, win a PIAA game for the first time since 2011 courtesy of a 33-32 triumph at District 3 champion York Suburban (23-2). Indiana led, 25-17, after three quarters. York Suburban, which had won 16 games in a row, missed a pair of shots in the final seconds.

Class 4A

• WPIAL champion North Catholic (18-7) rolled to a first-round win against District 10 fourth-place finisher Conneaut (16-10) for the second year in a row, topping the visiting Eagles, 47-29. Brady Wehner scored 13 points and Alayna Rocco 12 for North Catholic, which led, 47-13, after three quarters. The Trojanettes reached the semifinals the past two seasons.

• Alena Fusetti scored 19 points and Aubree Hupp added 18 to lead WPIAL runner-up Blackhawk (23-3) to a 54-38 home win against District 10 third-place qualifier Harbor Creek (14-11). It was the 17th win in the past 18 games for Blackhawk, which led, 26-20, at the half before holding a 16-7 third-quarter edge. Blackhawk reached the final in 2023.

• WPIAL fourth-place finisher Laurel Highlands (21-4) captured its first-ever PIAA win by winning at District 6 champion Johnstown (12-13), 51-48. Miyah Harris scored a team-high 15 points for Laurel Highlands, which had not played a PIAA game since losing to Altoona in the first round in 1998.

Knoch (15-12), the sixth-place finisher from the WPIAL, led District 10 champion Fairview (21-5) by 7 points after three quarters before seeing its season end with a 33-26 loss. Fairview, a quarterfinalist a year ago, outscored Knoch, 16-3, in the fourth quarter. Neah Ewing scored a team-high 11 points for Knoch, which advanced to the second round in 2023.

Class 1A

• Kylie Fruehstorfer knocked down four 3-pointers among her game-high 21 points to lead WPIAL champion and defending PIAA champion Union (20-5) to a 59-18 home win against District 9 fifth-place finisher Port Allegany (19-8). Kelly Cleaver added 16 points and 6 rebounds for the Scotties, who extended their win streak to 15 games.

• Julie Spinelli’s 23 points vaulted WPIAL runner-up St. Joseph (22-4) to its first PIAA win, 57-35, against District 6 third-place finisher St. Joseph Catholic Academy (23-3). Emma Swierczewski chipped in with 14 points for the Spartans, who lost in the first round the previous two seasons. St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, located in Boalsburg, didn’t win a game a season ago.


Class 5A

Armstrong 44, Palmyra 33

Cathedral Prep 53, Trinity 29

Indiana 33, York Suburban 32

McKeesport 61, West York 32

Northern York 53, Lincoln Park 49

Oakland Catholic 50, Susquehanna Township 34

South Fayette 48, Red Land 20

Class 4A

Blackhawk 54, Harbor Creek 38

Fairview 33, Knoch 26

Laurel Highlands 51, Johnstown 48

North Catholic 47, Conneaut 29

St. Marys 40, Highlands 39

Warren 71, Elizabeth Forward 64 (OT)

Class 1A

Bishop Guilfoyle 58, Riverview 33

St. Joseph 57, St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy 35

Union 59, Port Allegany 18

Williamsburg 60, Aquinas Academy 44

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

Brad Everett

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