To the Hoop

After four consecutive appearances in the WPIAL Championship, the Girls' Basketball Team has its sights set on a fifth.

Head+Coach+Spencer+Stefko+joined+the+team+in+2015.++The+team+has+been+on+a+roll+since.

photo by NA Sports Network

Head Coach Spencer Stefko joined the team in 2015. The team has been on a roll since.

Abby Pingpank, Staff Writer

With a current record of 12-3 in Section 1-6A, the Girls’ Basketball Team has earned its share of the spotlight in the NA athletics scene.   The 2015 addition of Head Coach Spencer Stefko has led to solid year-after-year records and a host of excellent tournament performances, most notably four consecutive WPIAL championship appearances in the four years of Stefko’s tenure. The team won two of the four and is hoping to return for the fifth year in a row and claim a third victory.  

“This year we have a talented group of girls, and everyone has a role on the team,” said senior guard Abby Glass, who has played on the team for four straight years. “Without one, we would not reach our full potential.”

Currently ranked second in the WPIAL section 1-6A , the team’s only loss came at the hands of Norwin, who will likely be the biggest rival in the quest for the coveted 2020 WPIAL championship trophy.

“Our team always takes it day by day, but our ultimate goal is WPIALS,” senior forward Katerina Balouris said.

Two years ago, the Lady Tigers won the WPIAL championship, defeating Peters Township, 79-48. Last year, unfortunately, Peters Township exacted revenge and defeated the Tigers in the WPIAL final. It was a close game, the Tigers losing in overtime, 40-43. This year, the Tigers are hungrier and aim to make it back to the Peterson Event Center to regain the title they won just two short years ago. 

My team is like a second family to me, so I am going to try to make it last for as long as possible.”

— Katerina Balouris, senior forward

“Playoffs are still far away, but as long as we keep working hard, we will achieve our goals for the season,” Glass said.

Glass is not bashful about expressing her attachment to her teammates, as the team’s bond continues to serve as the foundation for its success.

“On and off the court, we are sisters and would do anything for each other,” Glass said.  “I am always confident in them. ”

 Balouris added that the girls’ work ethic is another key factor in their repeated victories.

“This season, I think we have had to overcome a lot more obstacles,” Balouris said. “I am very confident in my team because we practice every day and are constantly working hard.” 

Since Stefko took over as coach, the girls have made it to the PIAA  finals one time, losing to Boyertown, 35-46. All other years they have advanced to the semi-finals.

For Glass, Balouris, and the rest of the squad, the season has only grown more intense, as the WPIAL tournament is just over two weeks away.

“I am going to make the most of my senior season,” Glass said. “I am going to soak up every moment I am in the gym with my team”.

Balouris feels much the same.

“I feel as though North Allegheny Girls’ Basketball has impacted me in the most positive way ever,” she said. “My team is like a second family to me, so I am going to try to make it last for as long as possible.”