Lady Knights move on to the semi-finals of WPIAL Playoffs


Yearbook Staff

The Lady Knights basketball team celebrates a victory

Maleah Phetsomphou, Writer


On March 6, the Lady Knights defeated the WPIAL 6th seed Butler Tornadoes 53-33. This was their second game in the WPIAL playoffs. The Knights previously beat North Hills in the 1st round. The Lady Knights improve to 13-4 on season.

   Despite missing key players such as sophomore Savannah Schneck and junior Alyssa Laukus, the Knights perservered. Laukus is currently out due to an ankle injury. Palangio, who plays power forward, took the place of sophomore Savannah Schenck on the court. Schneck is unable to play due to an ACL tear. 

     The Knights got off to a rocky start to the game, falling behind to the Golden Tornadoes 6-7 until 3 minutes of the quarter was left. The Knights pulled it together by scoring an additional ten points in the remaining time. The Tornadoes managed to score 1 more point off of a free throw. The first quarter ended with the Knights leading 16-8.

The scoreboard at the end of the first quarter. (Maleah Phetsomphou)

     Throughout the second quarter, both teams continued to battle each other out. The Knights scored 10 more points. Freshman Lauren Palangio scored 6 and senior Mara Polczynski scored 4. The Tornadoes scored a total of 11 points this quarter, leading them to be only 7 points behind the Knights. The first half of the game ended 26-19 with the Knights leading. The Tornadoes hung closely behind.

        The Lady Knights lineup for the third quarter consisted of seniors Danielle Rosso, Polczynski, juniors Brianna Zajeck, Maggie Race, and freshman Palangio. Race, who plays as a guard, replaced usual starter Laukus. Palangio took place of Schneck on the court.

    This quarter the Knights played arguably the best, scoring a total of 18 points. Palangio and Zajeck led the team, both scoring 6 points each. Rosso, Polczynski, and Race scored as well. The Knights increased their lead on the Tornadoes, ending the 3rd quarter with a score of 44-28.

Maleah Phetsomphou

      Although not scoring a significant number of points during the 4th quarter, the Knights secured their win with an additional 7 points. Polczynski and junior Chloe Lukondi each scored 2 points. Palangio scored 3. The Tornadoes scored 5 more points. 

      Roughly 40 seconds before the conclusion of the game, Norwin subbed off all seniors on the court. As 4 of the players walked off, they held hands and smiled. This was their final first playoff game of their high school careers. They were honored by an applause from fellow teammates, coaches, and spectators.    

“It felt crazy that it was our last home game,” said Rosso. “It was awesome coming out with a win.””

— Senior Danielle Rosso

     The Knights earned a 20 point victory over the Butler Tornadoes at the end of the quarter. They won 53-33. The top scorer for the Knights was Palangio who scored 17 points. Other high scorers of the game were Polcyznski for 13 and Zajeck for 11.

      “I am very grateful for all the time that I’ve had on the court this season,” said Palangio. “Being one of the top scorers this game was definitely exciting, but I’m not focused on how much I’m scoring. I’m just focused on helping the team to the best of my abilities.”

     On March 10, the Lady Knights will face the WPIAL 2nd seed Upper St. Clair at Upper St. Clair High School. Players such as Zajeck are optimistic of the future of the team.  

     “I think that we have the potential to win the WPIAL championship,” said Zajeck. “We all work very hard and are prepared for the tough road ahead.”