Before we close the book on a high school basketball season filled with historic performances and championship contests that won’t soon be forgotten, it’s time to honor the players who shined brightest among the many sharp-shooting stars in Western Pennsylvania.

Inspired by the All-NBA teams released annually at season’s end, the Pittsburgh Union Progress sports staff selected the inaugural PUP all-star teams following the 2022-23 season, with 15 boys and girls comprising first, second and third teams of the top players in the area, regardless of position. Six members of last year’s girls team earned their second all-star nods this year, while several are now making a big splash in their college debuts.

The process of narrowing down the pool of candidates to 15 on each team is never easy, and there are always sure to be a handful of tough choices to make when it comes time for the final cuts. Still, the PUP feels confident that every player chosen earned the right to be considered a “PUP All-Star” for the rest of their life.

All players in the WPIAL and City League were considered for the team, which could wind up being the final all-star team of its kind. And although there is no physical award, the bragging rights that come with it will last a lifetime.

First Team

Oakland Catholic’s London Creach is a Division I prospect who helped the Eagles to a 24-0 start before going down with a season-ending injury in the WPIAL quarterfinals. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

London Creach • Oakland Catholic • 5-8 • Junior • Guard

It’s hard to argue any player was more valuable to their team than Creach was to the Eagles in the 2023-24 season, as she helped Oakland Catholic to a flawless 24-0 record before sustaining a season-ending injury in a WPIAL quarterfinal win against North Hills on Feb. 23. After entering the playoffs as the presumptive title favorite in Class 5A, the Eagles lost three of their final five games following Creach’s injury. This Division I prospect averaged 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.9 steals per game while shooting 54.1% from the field and 75.4% from the free-throw line.

Armstrong’s Emma Paul is a multi-sport star who helped the River Hawks advance to their first WPIAL championship game while averaging 21.4 points per game. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Emma Paul • Armstrong • 5-5 • Senior • Guard

A small but fearless point guard with a smooth stroke and a knack for getting to the hoop at will, Paul filled up the stat sheet in a variety of ways while leading the River Hawks to a 23-win season along with their first WPIAL championship game appearance. Paul scored a school-record 45 points in a 78-70 win against Mars on Jan. 4, then she delivered a memorable 36-point effort in a 70-63 loss to South Fayette in the WPIAL Class 5A title game. Armstrong’s all-time scoring leader with 1,721 career points, Paul averaged 22.2 points, 5.6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game while knocking down 91 3-pointers.

North Catholic’s Alayna Rocco helped lead the Trojanettes to their third WPIAL title in four years and No. 23 overall while leading the team in nearly every statistical category. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Alayna Rocco • North Catholic • 5-11 • Senior • Guard

As consistent and well-rounded as any player in the area, Rocco polished off her sensational career with one last signature performance, carrying the Trojanettes to their third consecutive WPIAL title with a game-high 26 points in a 40-37 overtime win against Blackhawk in the Class 4A final. The Harvard recruit scored 17 of North Catholic’s final 19 points in the WPIAL championship win, finishing her career with 1,716 points and a record of 84-21 while starting in four WPIAL title games and winning three. Now a two-time PUP first-team all-star, Rocco averaged 19 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.2 steals per game while converting 35% of her 3-point attempts and 88% of her free throws.

Clairton’s Iyanna Wade shattered several WPIAL scoring records while becoming only the second girl in WPIAL history to average 40 points per game for an entire season. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Iyanna Wade • Clairton • 5-4 • Junior • Guard

One of the most dynamic scorers the WPIAL has ever seen, Wade won her second consecutive scoring title while becoming only the second girl in WPIAL history to average 40 points per game for an entire season. A lightning-quick 5-4 point guard with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor, Wade tallied a WPIAL-record 65 points in an 82-32 win at Steel Valley on Jan. 25, then went on to pour in 52 points while draining a game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation in an overtime win over Freedom in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. After averaging 40 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 6 steals per game on the year, Wade is now up to 2,149 points for her career.

Peters Township’s Natalie Wetzel is a dominant force with several Division I offers who helped the Indians return to prominence with a 24-win season. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Natalie Wetzel • Peters Township • 6-3 • Junior • Forward

A towering presence in the paint with a handful of Division I scholarship offers including Pitt, Arizona State, Kent State and Davidson, Wetzel continued to expand her game as a junior while helping the Indians restore their place among the top teams in Class 6A with a 24-win season. Adding a reliable 3-point shot to her arsenal allowed Wetzel to build on her strong sophomore season, posting an average of 17.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while providing elite rim protection on defense. Wetzel now has 1,136 points for her career — none more memorable than her half-court buzzer-beater in a 53-46 win at Upper St. Clair on Jan. 2.

Second Team

Mallory Daly • Seton LaSalle • 5-8 • Senior • Guard

The Buffalo recruit did a little bit of everything for the Rebels, and everything she did, she did at a high level. Daly averaged 23 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 6.3 steals per game in her stellar senior season, surpassing WPIAL legend Suzie McConnell-Serio’s school scoring record while finishing with 1,971 career points.

Alena Fusetti • Blackhawk • 5-9 • Senior • Guard

A four-year starter who helped the Cougars reach three consecutive WPIAL championship games, back-to-back state finals and the 2024 PIAA Class 4A title, Fusetti once again led the team in scoring with an average of 15.8 points to go with 4.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. An unselfish and respected leader whose value goes far beyond the box score, the Mercyhurst recruit finished her career with a record of 91-15 while registering well over 1,000 points.

Erica Gribble • Greensburg Central Catholic • 5-10 • Sophomore • Guard

A versatile scoring threat who has already surpassed the 1,000-point plateau less than two years into her career, Gribble steered the Centurions to their first WPIAL championship since 2007 while averaging a team-leading 16.9 points per game. Gribble was at her best on the big stage, scoring a game-high 28 points in a 62-41 win against rival Serra Catholic in the WPIAL Class 2A title game.

Rachael Manfredo • McKeesport • 6-0 • Senior • Guard-Forward

A two-time PUP all-star selection, Manfredo served as the centerpiece of the Tigers’ outstanding senior class that went 86-22 over the past four years while advancing to the WPIAL semifinals three times and the PIAA semifinals twice. As a senior, the Edinboro recruit averaged 14.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while finishing her career with 1,337 points.

Lauren Palangio • Norwin • 6-2 • Senior • Forward

A dominant force inside for the WPIAL Class 6A champions, Palangio put the finishing touches on her terrific career by averaging a team-high 13.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Palangio saved her best for last, posting a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds to go with five blocked shots in a 56-41 win against North Allegheny in the WPIAL title game.

Third Team

Shaye Bailey • Freedom • 5-8 • Senior • Guard

After leading the Bulldogs to back-to-back WPIAL championship appearances as a sophomore and junior, Bailey’s high school career came to an end in a memorable overtime loss against Iyanna Wade and Clairton in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs, but she still left her mark with 1,547 career points, finishing 16 points shy of the school record. As a senior, Bailey averaged 23.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 5.9 steals per game.

Meghan Murray • Hampton • 5-5 • Senior • Guard

A steady floor general and top-notch shooter who finished as the Talbots’ all-time leading scorer with 1,537 career points, Murray averaged a career-best 22 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Now a two-time PUP all-star, the Kent State recruit averaged 16.9 points per game for her career.

Maggie Spell • Shady Side Academy • 5-10 • Sophomore • Guard

One of only two sophomores to make this year’s team, Spell followed up her breakout freshman campaign with a team-leading 19.8 points per game for the Bulldogs. Spell stole the show with a game-high 31 points in a 52-45 win against defending champion Avonworth in the WPIAL Class 3A championship game, scoring 22 of her team’s final 24 points to lead Shady Side to its first WPIAL title.

Gemma Walker • Peters Township • 5-10 • Senior • Guard

A prolific scorer who finished her career with 1,114 points, Walker teamed up with junior forward Natalie Wetzel to provide one of the top tandems in the area. A Saint Francis recruit, Walker averaged 16.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2 assists per game while helping the Indians to a 24-win season.

Madison Zavasky • Pine-Richland • 5-11 • Senior • Guard-Forward

One of the premier players in Class 6A, Zavasky was often overshadowed by the rest of her peers due to the Rams’ sub-.500 record. But despite Pine-Richland’s struggles, few players in any classification put up numbers that can stack up with Zavasky, an IUP recruit who averaged 20 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game while surpassing the 1,000-point mark for her career.

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

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