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North Catholic coach wins 300th game

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic girls basketball coach Molly Rottman wasn’t overly concerned with earning her 300th win at the Troy Hill school.

In fact, she said she had no idea — until she was presented with a game ball following Saturday’s 48-44 win over Fox Chapel in the Don Graham Classic.

“I was happier that we won,” Rottman joked. “It’s nice, but it just means I’ve been coaching a long time.”

Rottman has been at North Catholic for 16 years following two seasons at Montour, winning WPIAL titles in 2003, ’04, ’07, ’09 and ’11.

With a young team this year, Rottman has done some of her best work, including the upset of Class AAAA No. 5 Fox Chapel.

Lauren Wolosik, who led the Trojans in pretty much every statistical category, graduated. Several new faces have played important roles.

Freshman Sam Breen has emerged as the Trojans’ (7-3, 3-0 Section 2-A) leading scorer at 15.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore Abby Goetz is second in scoring at 11.2 points.

Junior point guard Evelyn Brazil is averaging 8.4 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game and leads North Catholic defensively.

Senior Paige Kizior (5.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and junior Mia Palmer (4 ppg) round out the starting five.

More than her own benefit, Rottman was happy with the Fox Chapel win because it should provide a boost for the second half of the season.

“They’re a good Class AAAA team,” Rottman said of Fox Chapel. “Mentally it gives you a boost of confidence.

“Sometimes when I do game plans and they actually work and they don’t think I’m crazy … that’s always good.”

North Catholic faces a crucial couple of days, as the Trojans host St. Joseph (7-2, 2-1) Thursday and play at Vincentian (7-2, 2-0) on Monday.

“We’re not going to have two bigger section games,” Rottman said. “I think having that type of win is definitely a confidence booster. It puts us in the right frame of mind to go into those two section games.”

— Jason Mackey

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