Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Allegheny Has Plenty of Promise

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Allegheny Has Plenty of Promise

Article excerpt

Coaching the youngest team she has seen in her six years at North Allegheny, Sherri McConnell knew there were going to be ups and downs this December.

And so far -- fortunately for the Tigers -- the "ups" have occurred more frequently than the "downs."

There were convincing non-section victories against McDowell, 56- 24, and Norwin, 47-38. There was a section-opening 74-30 thumping of Seneca Valley and a close loss at home against perennial power Mt. Lebanon, 34-30.

The Oakland Catholic game last week saw both ups and downs.

The Tigers were held to five points in the first quarter but stormed back for 16 in the second to build a 21-10 halftime lead. But they were held to five points once again in the third quarter but still led 26-19 going to the fourth quarter.

Then inexperience reared its ugly head as host Oakland Catholic stormed back to win, 38-34.

"We are very inexperienced and very young, and you are going to go through the ups and downs," McConnell said. "I like the way the kids have responded. As far as teaching, they have been very responsive."

Through it all, it is tough to ignore the promise of this team. There is only one senior on the roster, starting point guard Maddie Mellis.

Freshman guard Abby Gonzales and freshman forward Taylor Lake are two of the top ninth-graders in the WPIAL. Junior Taylor Brennan, who comes off the bench, scored 12 points per game last season and is the younger sister of former North Allegheny standout Kelly Brennan.

"Taylor scores, that is what she likes to do, she is a scorer," McConnell said. "She can score in a lot of different ways."

She scored 13 in the win against Seneca Valley on three of four shooting from 3-point range.

Taylor Brennan plays as a shooting guard while her older sister, Kelly, played as a point guard during her career at North Allegheny where she topped 1,000 career points. …

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