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The Girls' Basketball Team has become a mainstay in the WPIAL playoffs, and tonight their quest for the league trophy begins again.

courtesy of Kat Balouris

Carli Leonard, Staff Writer

Tonight at 8pm, the Girls’ Basketball Team returns to a familiar place — the WPIAL playoffs.

The team is ranked 2nd in the WPIAL 6A and takes on Baldwin tonight at 8:00pm at Chartiers Valley High School in the WPIAL Quarterfinals, this being the first time since 2015 they have played Baldwin in the playoffs. This appearance by the team in the WPIAL playoffs is no surprise, as it has become an annual tradition in recent years.

But the team lost seven seniors after last season, leaving three current seniors to lead the team: Kat Balouris, Abby Glass, and Maddie Chevalier.

Yet even with the tremendous loss, the team’s triumphs have not let up this season. The girls have an overall record of 19-3, with a section record of 13-1, their singular section loss coming at the hands of Norwin by only 8 points the first time the two squads faced off. The NA side exacted revenge later in the season, decidedly winning their second contest against the Knights with a score of 60-42.

Our team takes it day by day, so we only focus on what game is next.”

— Kat Balouris, senior forward

Senior forward Kat Balouris believes the team’s success this season comes from the girls’ unity.

“We truly work as a team on and off the court,” Balouris said. “We all have the same work ethic and drive to be as successful as possible.”

While there were a few tight games throughout the regular season, their results show their force without question. The majority of the team has been playing together for the past few years, creating a group of players that work incredibly well together. 

Coach Stefko, now in his sixth year in charge of the team, has been an especially supportive figure.

“Coach has had a tremendous impact on the team not only through basketball but also in life,” junior forward Paige Morningstar said. “He teaches us how to play and live the right way. He is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met and will give up anything he has for us.” 

The team hopes to continue far into the postseason, aiming for the WPIAL title and eventually the State Championship.

“At this point in the year, every team we play will be very talented,” junior guard and Penn commit Lizzy Groetsch said. “However, if we bring our best to each game, I’m confident that this team can go far.” 

With a win against Baldwin tonight, the team will advance to the WPIAL semifinals against an opponent that is yet to be decided.  From there, the WPIAL championship will be within reach.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is predicting a championship face-off between NA and Bethel Park.  But there’s no sense whatsoever that the NA girls, at present, are looking beyond tonight.

“Our team takes it day by day, so we only focus on what game is next,” stated Balouris.

One thing is for sure — Stefko’s team’s drive won’t be wavering anytime soon.

If you can’t make it to the game tonight, make sure to listen here.