Note the venue was changed from Memorial Fieldhouse to the KCAC Wednesday morning.
By Chris Rossetti
INDIANA, Pa. – Keystone will be looking to make school history Wednesday when it meets Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in a PIAA Class A girls’ second-round game at 7:30 p.m. at IUP’s KCAC.
The District 9 champion Lady Panthers (19-7) are looking to make the quarterfinals for the first time in school history. In fact, Saturday’s win over Winchester Thurston is believed to be just the second state playoff win in school history for Keystone’s girls’ program. The Lady Panthers also beat Winchester Thurston in 2012 before losing to North Catholic in the second round.
CW North Catholic (24-3), the WPIAL runner-up, is looking for its second straight appearance in the quarterfinals. The Trojanettes lost to Blairsville in last year’s quarterfinals after beating Cochranton and California.
Keystone, which is 13-1 vs. Class A opponents this year with the lone loss coming in double overtime to North Clarion, is led by a trio of guards who are all fairly even in scoring.
Sophomore Taylor Geer leads the Lady Panthers averaging 13.5 ppg, while senior Amber Hess adds 13.4 ppg and sophomore Josselin Geer, no relation to Taylor, adds 12.1 ppg.
The trio was key in Keystone’s 61-54 win over Winchester Thurston, the fifth-place team out of the WPIAL, Saturday. Hess netted the game’s first seven points on her way to a team-high 17 points. Josselin Geer added 16 points and Taylor Geer 15 points and 13 rebounds.
CW North Catholic, which entered the WPIAL playoffs as the top seed before having a 12-game win streak snapped in the title game by Vincentian Academy, centers its offense around 6-foot-1 junior Sam Breen, who averages 26.5 ppg. Breen adds 9.5 rpg and 4.1 apg. Breen is coming off a 30-point effort in a 72-44 win over District 10 runner-up Cochranton in the opening round of the PIAA Tournament and also had 22 points in the WPIAL title-game loss to Vincentian.
Behind Breen, the Trojanettes average 64.5 ppg, the third-highest total in the WPIAL.
Breen doesn’t do it alone.
Senior guard Abby Goetz adds around nine points per game with guard/forward Kylie Huffman chipping in around nine points and five rebounds per contest and forward Dani Short eight points and seven rebounds per fray. Huffman scored 14 in the title game loss to Vincentian, while Short had 13 in the PIAA first-round win against Cochranton.
NOTES – The winner plays the winner of the game between District 6 champion Bishop Carroll and WPIAL third-place finisher Quigley Catholic … CW North Catholic’s other two losses came in the regular season to Vincentian Academy and Class AAAA Seneca Valley … This will be the 10th game this season for the Trojanettes against a team that made it to the PIAA Playoffs. They are 7-2 in the first nine with both losses coming against two-time defending PIAA Class A champion Vincentian Academy. The record includes a 55-42 win over District 10 champion Kennedy Catholic … Keystone has played 11 games against PIAA playoff teams going 6-5 in those contests with two losses to District 9 Class AA champion Karns City, who was played a second-round PIAA game Tuesday. Included in the Keystone record vs. PIAA teams are victories of WPIAL Class AAA semifinalist Mars and District 10 Class AAAA champion Warren.