Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Numbers Add Up to a Wpial Title Monessen Girls Post Impressive Stats on Way to Special Year

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Numbers Add Up to a Wpial Title Monessen Girls Post Impressive Stats on Way to Special Year

Article excerpt

Examined closely, the numbers are absolutely staggering.

The Monessen girls' basketball team has the No. 1 offense in all of the WPIAL. The team was averaging 69.4 points per game heading into the PIAA playoffs, which began yesterday against Ferndale. The 69.4 points was an incredible 7.2 points per game higher than the next-highest scoring team (Serra Catholic, the Greyhounds' foe in the WPIAL Class A championship game).

What's more, the Greyhounds are not all offense. Monessen's defense is the second-best statistically in all of the WPIAL, surrendering a mere 34.8 points a contest.

Putting those statistics together, the Greyhounds practically double their opponent's score in an average contest -- a 34.6- point differential -- and that includes the team's two losses.

It shouldn't have come as a great shock last weekend, then, when the Greyhounds defeated Serra to win the WPIAL championship.

"Every time we play, we are trying to push scores up into the high 60s or 70s," coach Major Corley said. "If we can score that many, nine out of 10 times, we will win the game."

Actually, try 10 out of 10 times. Or 12 of the past 12 times they took the court through Friday. For the season, the Greyhounds were 23-0 when scoring more than 50 points. They had lost their only game when scoring less than 50 (a 57-48 setback to Class AAAA power Bethel Park).

Of the team's past 23 wins through Friday -- some against Class AAAA, AAA and AA powers -- none was by less than 14 points.

"I think we can pull out any game right now," senior guard Nychole Whitlock said. "With our confidence and our level of teamwork, we have been blowing people out."

The Greyhounds' offense, of course, revolves around Charel Allen. The WPIAL's third all-time leading scorer averaged 25.0 points in the regular season and more than 30 in the WPIAL playoffs.

"She's our go-to person. We make sure she handles the ball 90 percent of the time going down the stretch," Corley said. "When she is getting her 30 points a night, that's quite a start [for our team]. But when we have five other players getting their 10 a night, we are hard to beat."

The supporting cast for Allen, a Notre Dame recruit, is often overlooked but has the talent to form a formidable team on its own. …

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