Avonworth has an impressive résumé; one that includes a 25-2 record and at one point could boast a 44-game regular season winning streak.

Lakeview, however, hopes to shred that list of credentials tonight when it meets the Antelopes in the second round of the PIAA Class AA girls basketball championships. Tip-off is 6 p.m. at Butler High School.

“They’re a good team,” Lakeview coach Steve Aden said of Avonworth. “Their only losses have come to two really good teams.

“We’re ready to go and see what happens.”

Avonworth has, in fact, suffered just two losses this season, both of which came to WPIAL Section 6 Class AA foe Our Lady of Sacred Heart. The first loss to OLSH came on Jan. 26 and ended the Antelopes 44-game regular season winning streak.

The next loss didn’t come until March 1 in the WPIAL semifinal. The Antelopes rebounded from that loss with a 57-50 win over North Star on Friday to advance to tonight’s contest.

Avonworth’s average margin of victory is nearly 28 points per game. The Antelopes are averaging 62.7 points per game on offense and are allowing just 34.7 points per game on defense.

“They remind me a lot of Saegertown,” said Aden, whose team went 1-1 against the Panthers this season. “They shoot the ball well; play a good zone defense. They’ll step out and hit the threes if you’re not awake. They play a lot like Saegertown.”

The Antelopes are led by junior guard Taylor Gallupe, who is averaging roughly 17 points per game. Also expected to be a big factor is 5-foot-10 sophomore Morgan Locher. Locher is tallying an average of 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Defensively, Avonworth thrives on a zone defense. The Antelopes will come out initially with a 1-3-1, but will drop into a 2-3 after the first pass is made on offense. They rarely, if ever, according to WPIAL coaches go to a man-to-man.

“We’ve seen a lot of zone,” said Aden, whose team enters the game at 23-5. “We haven’t seen it in the playoffs, but we’ve seen it enough during the regular season to be comfortable with it. You just have to be patient and not force things.”

Aden also expects the zone to be advantageous for junior forward Chelsey Frye.

“Chelsey can be a big factor against a zone,” Aden said. “She’s so good with the left side and her arms are so long you have a hard time not fouling her when she does get to the basket. Then she steps to the line and makes her foul shots.

“I told her if she didn’t have 40 points (against Avonworth) something’s wrong.”

Chelsey Frye became the team’s second leading scorer on Friday with her 11 points against Karns City and is now averaging 10.1 points per game. Sheena Aden leads the squad with 22.7 points per game and is averaging over 25 points per game in her last six outings.

Cami Frye is averaging 9.9 points per game, but hasn’t been in double figures since Feb. 13 in a win over Jamestown.

The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the quarterfinals where they will face the winner of the Greensburg Central Catholic versus Bishop McCort game on Tuesday at a site and time yet to be determined.

Lakeview dropped a heartbreaking 49-46 loss to the Centurions last season in the quarterfinal round.

“We’d definitely like to get back there,” Aden said.



Lisa Byers can be reached at 724-6370, ext. 277 or by e-mail at lbyers@meadvilletribune.com.

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