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Penn Hills Athletics

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Girls Varsity Basketball

Team News
Game Summaries (2)
Girls' Varsity Basketball falls to North Allegheny 44-54
7.0 months ago | Stephanie Strauss
Lose: 44.00 - 54.00
Girls Varsity Basketball's Comeback vs. Mt. Lebanon Falls Short 44-47 at NA Tip-Off
7.0 months ago | Stephanie Strauss
Lose: 44.00 - 47.00
News (4)

Penn Hills girls show resolve in close loss to top seed

Updated on 02/26/2024

Penn Hills girls show resolve in close loss to top seed

Penn Hills girls show resolve in close loss to top seed

By: Josh Rizzo
Sunday, February 25, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Don Rebel | TribLive

Referee David Jaap gets ready for the opening tip between Thomas Jefferson’s Allie Wilson and Penn Hills’ Egypt Coleman to start a WPIAL Class 5A preliminary round playoff game Feb. 16.

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Penn Hills girls basketball coach Robert Cash thought his team deserved better than being seeded 17th in the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs. But the Indians were forced into a preliminary round game against Thomas Jefferson, which they won, 59-43.

In the first round of the playoffs, Penn Hills lost 55-48 to undefeated Oakland Catholic. Although the Indians’ season ended, Cash was proud of how his players hung tough in the playoffs.

“It was awesome,” Cash said. “We thought coming in that if we did some things correctly, we could hang in and compete. We thought we got cheated at a 17 seed. We thought they did us a disservice. We were unsatisfied and wanted to show everyone we were better than a 17 seed.”

Penn Hills was led in scoring during the loss to Oakland Catholic by Hannah Pugliese, who finished with 13 points. Cara Crawford and Egypt Coleman also finished with 12 points.

For Pugliese, Crawford and Coleman, all seniors, closing their careers with consecutive playoff appearances was important.

As sophomores, this group only won one game all season thanks to the injuries and low participation numbers. Penn Hills finished 12-12 overall this season, including a 7-5 mark in section.

Cash said the Indians returning to the playoffs in their final two seasons was big.

“I think it was important,” Cash said. “Their freshman year was a final four team. We were only one win away from being in the championship game. That year was important. Then they come back, and we go 1-19. They weren’t happy with that finish. They told themselves they were going to take the offseason every day and work hard. They worked tails their tails off to get in position to be successful.”

The Indians were the only team to beat Section 1-5A champ Indiana in section play. Penn Hills finished in fourth place in the section after finishing in a tie with Woodland Hills. The Wolverines won both head-to-head meetings to win the tiebreaker for third place.

Penn Hills’ plan for its playoff game against Oakland Catholic was to try to slow the game down. If the score got up into the 70s, Cash would have been worried the Indians might not be able to keep up the pace.

“We knew we had to make baskets and keep them out of transition,’ Cash said. “If the game got into the 60s or 70s, we’d be in trouble. We wanted to keep it low-scoring and keep it in the half-court. For them, it is a track meet. If we could control pace and rebound the ball, we thought we could keep it competitive.”

Cash hopes Penn Hills can build some momentum off this season. The Indians haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs during their last two trips and would like to take another step forward.

“They have to get in the gym and make sure they get better,” Cash said. “They need to help bring the young kids around. We want to see them put in the offseason work.”

Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week for Feb. 18, 2024

Updated on 02/26/2024

Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week for Feb. 18, 2024 | Trib HSSN





Penn Hills’ Milani Oliver (11) scored 15 points in Monday’s regular-season finale.

Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week:Penn Hills Indians

Coach: Robert Cash (eighth season)

Record: 7-5 in Section 1-5A, 12-11 overall

#Earned: The Indians finished the regular season by winning three of their last four games thanks to a victory over City League finalist Obama Academy on Monday, 48-43. That same day, the WPIAL playoff brackets were revealed and Penn Hills at 11-11 was picked to play in a Class 5A preliminary round game against Thomas Jefferson. Coach Robert Cash said he was stunned by the pigtail game assignment, thinking the tough nonsection schedule his team faced was more than enough to get them between a 12 and 14 seed. The Indians took their anger out on the host Jaguars by building a 19-6 lead after the first quarter. Up by 14 points at the half, the Indians hit a wall and TJ came back to pull to within one point. However, between the waning seconds of the third quarter and the first couple minutes of the fourth, Penn Hills went on an 11-0 run to take control again and beat Thomas Jefferson, 59-43, to earn the No. 16 seed.

Scoring stars: In the regular season finale, Penn Hills was led by top scorer, senior Hannah Pugliese, who scored 17 points, two points more than her season average. Sophomore Milani Oliver scored 15 points for the Indians in Monday’s triumph. In the preliminary-round game, Pugliese and fellow senior Egypt Moore-Coleman enjoyed huge games. Pugliese was top scorer with 28 points while Moore-Coleman had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. She also had seven steals and six assists. Oliver chipped in with 10 points and seven assists.

Last year: The Indians finished in a tie for third place with Woodland Hills this season in Section 1-5A. Penn Hills also finished in a tie for third place in 2023, except it was a three-way tie for third a year ago as they ended up 6-6 in the section along with Plum and Kiski Area. The postseason was short and not so sweet for the Indians as they lost in the first round of the 5A playoffs to host McKeesport, 62-29.

Remember when: While Penn Hills will be an underdog against top-seeded and undefeated Oakland Catholic on Tuesday, there was a time when the Indians took a backseat to nobody in the WPIAL. Under coach Bill Lind, Penn Hills won Class 4A district gold for seven straight seasons from 1986-92. The Indians also won another title in 1995 for eight crowns in 10 years. After coming close several times, Penn Hills won the elusive PIAA championship in 1990 when it crushed J.P. McCaskey, 86-39, to finish 32-1. That team was induced into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2015.

Penn Hills senior celebrates 1,000-point milestone, playoff return

Updated on 02/26/2024

Penn Hills senior celebrates 1,000-point milestone, playoff return

By: Josh Rizzo
Sunday, February 18, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Penn Hills athletics

Penn Hills Hannah Pugliese is a member of the 2023-24 girls basketball team.



Hannah Pugliese didn’t want to think about the chase for 1,000 points. Until about midway through this season, the Penn Hills girls basketball team senior didn’t think it was possible anyway.

Pugliese, who has signed to play basketball at Slippery Rock next season, became more aware of the possibility as the season went on.

“I found out from my athletic director that it was possible to hit my 1,000th point about halfway through the season,” Pugliese said. “I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.”

Pugliese, who led the team in scoring by averaging more than 10 points per game this season, ended up hitting the mark during one of the best stretches for Penn Hills. The Indians won their final three-section games against IndianaPlum and Kiski to clinch a playoff spot.

Pugliese is the first Penn Hills player to reach 1,000 points since Desiree Oliver did in 2016.

Penn Hills finished the regular season with an 11-11 record and a 7-5 mark in section. The Indians were scheduled to open the playoffs with a game against Thomas Jefferson on Feb. 16 in the WPIAL Class 5A preliminary round. The game was played after the deadline for this edition.

“I tried not to think about getting my 1,000th point because I didn’t want it to throw me off during games,” Pugliese said. “Although when the time came at Kiski, it was a very surreal feeling.”

Pugliese was happy with the support she received following Penn Hills’ 52-42 road win over Kiski Area on Feb. 9. It completed a season sweep of the Cavaliers, and her teammates honored her with a sign celebrating the moment.

Pugliese was also happy that she could help Penn Hills make it back to the playoffs for the second straight season after the team finished 1-18 during her sophomore season.

“I was thrilled because my family, friends, teammates and coaches made it such a special night for me with all their support,” Pugliese said. “With the 1,000-point posters, flowers, T-shirts and my personal favorite, a 1,000-point basketball, it was a great night to remember.”

Head Girls' Basketball Coach Robert Cash earns 100th win at Penn Hills

Posted on 03/15/2024

Congratulations to Robert Cash, Girls' Varsity Basketball Head Coach, on earning his 100th career win at Penn Hills on December 21, 2023 vs. Franklin Regional. We appreciate your dedication to the program! Coach Cash is in his 8th year as head coach.