It was over one year ago when the North Allegheny Girl's Basketball team was a favorite to bring a PIAA state championship home but like so many things, the pandemic stopped those plans dead in their tracks. KDKA-TV Sports' Rich Walsh has the story on how they're looking to take care of the unfinished business.
- The North Allegheny Girl's Basketball Team has won back-to-back WPIAL championships, but this season they've got bigger goals in KDKA's Rich Walsh tells us why they appreciated even more this time around.
RICH WALSH: The North Allegheny Girl's Basketball Team is looking to finish what they started, even though that start was stopped a full year ago. Last March, North Allegheny won the WPIAL Championship and were the favorites to win a state title until their dreams were dashed by the COVID-19 shutdown.
LIZZIE GROETSCH: I know last year it was really hard when everything shut down because we would always think, like, what could have been.
PAIGE MORNINGSTAR: It kind of slapped us in the face whenever everything shut down. Like that one day everything just, like, cut out.
RICH WALSH: Over the past year, the Tigers used that lost opportunity as motivation and are once again back in the state playoffs after winning 24 of 25 games and a second consecutive WPIAL title.
LIZZIE GROETSCH: I'm so grateful that we had the chance to play this year. And, I mean, after experiencing last year, like, being shut down, I'm just grateful that we're going to be able to actually finish it on the court.
RICH WALSH: After having their season ended last year, the Tigers are taking no chances with safety. They're one of the few local teams actually wearing masks full-time.
PAIGE MORNINGSTAR: We realized as a group that that's what we have to do to keep going with all these teams that are getting shut down so easily that, you know, to do what we want to do, that we have to keep them up, stay spread apart when we're not playing and then, you know, enjoy afterwards.
- Number 25 Paige Morningstar.
RICH WALSH: Morningstar is continuing a family tradition of sorts. Her dad is former Pitt star and NBA player Darren Morningstar, who trained both Paige and Lizzie from a very young age.
PAIGE MORNINGSTAR: All that grinding and hard work that he put us through at a young age is really the reason why we're so successful now and I took it for granted at the time but I'm very blessed to have had that and to have went through all those workouts and everything with him and to learn from him to be where I am now.
RICH WALSH: And as if they weren't motivated enough, this team is also looking to win its first State Championship in North Allegheny basketball history. For KDKA News, I'm Rich Walsh.