The Franklin Lady Knights saw their successful season come to an abrupt halt on Saturday afternoon when they lost a 61-43 decision to South Park, the WPIAL (District 7) champions, in the PIAA “AAA” quarterfinals at North Allegheny High School in Wexford.
The District 10 champions finished the year at 26-2.
South Park, also 26-2, set up an all-WPIAL semifinal match with Blackhawk (27-1), scheduled for Tuesday night at 7:30 at Chartiers Valley High School in Bridgeville. The other state semifinalists are District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic (27-2) and District 1 champ Villa Maria Academy (24-5).
South Park jumped to a 16-3 lead over Franklin after one quarter, and led 29-11 shortly before halftime. The Lady Knights could cut the lead to no closer than 9 points.
The Eagles held Franklin to just 22 percent field goal shooting (14-for-63), and kept the Lady Knights’ 1,100-point scorer Lina Starr to just three points on 1-for-18 shooting. Mara Benvenuti led Franklin with 11 points, and Becca Gravatt came off the bench to score 10. Hallie Torris and Shelby Lindsay both recorded 18 points for the Eagles, and freshman Allison McGrath added 16.
In three seasons under Coach Bill Hager (672 coaching victories overall), the Lady Knights posted a combined record of 75-8.