Mount Carmel-Pine Grove playoff preview
Pine Grove (23-4) vs. Mount Carmel (23-4)
Tonight, 7:30 p.m. at Martz Hall
Pine Grove Cardinals
How they got here: Lost to Notre Dame-Green Pond 45-39 in District 11 final; defeated Imhotep Charter 49-37 in PIAA first round
Coach: Chris George (3rd season, 63-17)
Projected starters: G Becky Evans (jr., 19.2 ppg), G Lauren Thompson (sr., 8.4 ppg), F Steffi Sampson (sr., 7.0 ppg), F Shannon Zimmerman (sr., 9.6 ppg), G Sam Bertasavage (sr., 6.5 ppg)
Key reserves: F Morgan Edge (fr., 0.6 ppg), C Britt Ney (soph., 2.1 ppg), G Carlee Conrad (fr., 0.6 ppg)
Notable: Average 3.8 made 3-pointers per game, but doesn't rely on the perimeter game to score points. Evans has made 65 on the season. She scored 27 points in district semi, 18 in the final and 19 in PIAA first round, making 13-of-15 from the foul line. She is the Schuylkill League's second-leading scorer. Needs just 17 points for 1,000. â¦ Supporting cast very athletic and long, making every starter versatile. Bertasavage and Zimmerman came up big in scoring column against Imhotep, while Sampson and Thompson were invaluable on the glass and defense. ... Losses came against Palmyra, Whitehall, Tamaqua and Notre Dame. â¦ Scoring 53.9 ppg and allowing 40.1.
Mount Carmel Red Tornadoes
How they got here: Defeated Southern Columbia 66-43 in District 4 final, the Tornadoes' third straight District 4 title; defeated Wilkes-Barre GAR 80-70 in PIAA first round
Coach: Lisa Varano (4th season, 82-13)
Projected starters: G Ali Varano (jr., 14.9 ppg), G Paige Hornung (jr., 4.3), G Isabella Stellar (jr., 6.1), F Anna Raybuck (jr., 9.4), F Christina Perles (sr., 17.5)
Key reserves: G Jen Bolick (so., 3.2), F Allison Parker (fr., 1.4)
Notable: Perles, the lone senior contributor, won three district championships with Lourdes, but never made it past the second round of the PIAA playoffs. She has scored 1,450 career points. ... Advanced to state quartfinals last season before losing to York Catholic. ... Varano and Raybuck are the other important cogs, powering the Tornadoes' pressure defense. ... Scoring 58.1ppg and allowing 44.8.
Up next: Winner faces either District 2 champion Dunmore (21-6) or District 3 winner York Catholic (25-1), which will be played at 6 p.m. at Martz Hall, in Friday's quarterfinals.