Cougars Still Have Goals to Meet Girls Class AAA

By Tolomeo, Nicholas | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), March 21, 2013 | Go to article overview

Cougars Still Have Goals to Meet Girls Class AAA


Tolomeo, Nicholas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


An outright section title, a shared section title, 51 wins, two trips to the WPIAL semifinals and a trip to the PIAA semifinals, that adds up to a very successful high school basketball career.

But for Bridgette Shaffer, Chassidy Omogrosso and Courtney Vannoy, it simply marks the halfway point of their high school basketball careers.

This trio of sophomores started a year ago as freshmen when the Cougars finished 24-5 and shared the Class AAA Section 2 crown with Hopewell.

They were starters again this season as sophomores and the Cougars finished 27-2 and won the Class AAA Section 2 title outright. But for all the success the young Blackhawk team has had, there has been plenty of close calls and what-ifs.

Two years in a row it was one game away from the A.J. Palumbo Center and a chance to play for the WPIAL Class AAA title. Blackhawk lost to South Park by seven points last year in the WPIAL semifinals and after earning the top seed in this season's WPIAL tournament, the Cougars were stunned by Elizabeth Forward in the WPIAL semifinals.

Last year Blackhawk lost, 35-34, to Chartiers Valley in the PIAA quarterfinals and on Tuesday night its season came to an end when it could not hold onto a 14-point lead in the PIAA semifinals and lost, 63-59, to South Park.

For all the success this group has enjoyed, there was plenty of disappointment in falling one game shy of the PIAA final, especially for the lone senior starter on the team, Alexis Graham.

Graham was one of the top scorers on the team and a team leader. She scored 16 points in a 78-52 win over Lancaster Catholic that got Blackhawk into the PIAA semifinals.

With all five starters back this season, including Graham, Blackhawk was the Post-Gazette preseason No. 1-ranked team in Class AAA. The Cougars lived up to the hype, finishing the regular season 22-0, the only WPIAL team to enter the playoffs unbeaten. …

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