Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Burns Leads Hempfield Run

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Burns Leads Hempfield Run

Article excerpt

For most of her basketball career, a lot of attention has been on Monica Burns.

She has the attention of her opponents when they are on defense and she usually has her teammate's attention. On senior night this year, all the attention was on Burns, the lone member of the Class of 2014.

"It was great for Monica," Hempfield Area coach Aaron Epps said of the scene at the Hempfield gym on senior night. "She got all the attention -- it was great for her. To be honest, she deserved it.

"It was so much deserved from where she has taken this program. The school has gone further than it ever has before and she is a big reason or that."

Burns, a 5-foot-7 guard, is one of the best shooters and ballhandlers in the WPIAL. She has scored more than 1,000 career points and after scoring 26 Tuesday night in a 54-44 second-round victory against Fox Chapel, she is just six points shy of the all- time school scoring record.

The Spartans advance to the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals Friday when they will have a rematch against North Allegheny.

Burns and the Spartans easily rolled on senior night, winning, 75- 44, against Greater Latrobe to cement third place in Class AAAA Section 1. With the No. 12 seed in the playoffs, Hempfield strung together a trio of upsets to reach the program's first WPIAL final.

They were a Section 4 wrecking crew, knocking off No. 5 seed Upper St. Clair, 65-56, in the first round and then eliminating defending WPIAL champion, No. 4 seed Bethel Park, 56-38, in the quarterfinals.

Hempfield then surprised top overall seed North Allegheny, 60- 44, in the WPIAL semifinals to reach the Palumbo Center for the first time in school history.

The Spartans allowed a 15-point second-half lead against section rival Penn-Trafford get away and fell in the WPIAL final, 56-45.

Hempfield had six days to dwell on that loss before opening the PIAA playoffs on Friday against Obama Academy. …

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