Uniontown’s Mya Murray had many opportunities to play basketball at a prep school throughout her time in high school, but the Lady Red Raider senior remained committed to her hometown and recently wrapped up an outstanding career.

As a result, Murray has been named the Herald-Standard All-Area Girls Basketball Team’s Overall Player of the Year.

Murray, who signed a letter-of-intent to play for Brown University prior to her senior campaign, scored 515 points this past season for an average of 23.4 per game in the regular season, which was second in the WPIAL, and tops among local players — including boys. Murray was the seventh-leading scorer in the state.

She also pulled down 266 rebounds for an average of 12 a game. Murray scored 1,363 points and had 1,028 rebounds in her career. She was first-team, all-section and named to the Roundball Classic.

Murray was a constant team player, as she brought the ball up court for head coach Penny Kezmarsky, and also showed the ability to hit the outside shot. Uniontown continued to improve as the season progressed, and keyed a 48-42 victory over playoff-bound Penn Hills on Jan. 27.

As for the Herald-Standard Coach of the Year, there are two — Brian Pritts of Southmoreland and Jordan Watson of West Greene — who share this honor for guiding their teams to surprising undefeated regular seasons.

Southmoreland lost a key starter to graduation from last year and another to a transfer early in the season but all the Lady Scotties did was win every game up until the WPIAL final, which they reached for the first time in school history, falling to juggernaut North Catholic.

Southmoreland added a first ever appearance and win in the PIAA playoffs before wrapping up the program’s best season with a 25-2 record.

Many thought West Greene’s run as a dominant team in Class A was over with the graduation of an outstanding senior class that included three 1,000-point scorers and a roster that had zero seniors.

Watson knew the cupboard wasn’t bare, though, and took his team of underclassmen to the Petersen Events Center for the WPIAL championship game a third year in a row where it lost to top-seeded Rochester.

West Greene made the PIAA tournament for the fourth consecutive year and ended the season with a 24-2 record, amazingly besting the 2019 squad that went 22-4.

While Murray was the overall and Class 5A/6A Player of the Year, two other players were also recognized as Players of the Year, Southmoreland’s Sarah Pisula in Class 3A/4A and West Greene’s Jersey Wise in Class 1A/2A.

Pisula wasn’t one of the area’s leading scorers but she was one of its best all-around players and a great leader for the Lady Scotties. The senior averaged 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.2 blocked shots per game, and was her team’s best defender, usually guarding the opponent’s top offensive threat.

Wise averaged 19.6 points per game and was another player who could do it all, whether it be hitting a 3-pointer, driving to the basket or coming up with a steal in the Lady Pioneers’ vaunted Press Greene defense. She was the best player on one of the district’s best teams.

Following is the complete Herald-Standard All-Area Girls Basketball Team:

Players of the Year

Class 5A/6A

Mya Murray, Uniontown (23.4 ppg, 12 rpg)

Class 3A/4A

Sarah Pisula, Southmoreland (7.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.9 spg, 2.2 bpg))

Class 1A/2A

Jersey Wise, West Greene (19.6 ppg)

Coaches of the Year

Brian Pritts, Southmoreland, and Jordan Watson, West Greene

Honorable Mention: Chris Niemiec, California; Ron Drennen, Belle Vernon; Janine Vertacnik, Monessen; Bill Wagner, Charleroi; Patty Columbia, Brownsville.

All-Area Elite Status

Albert Gallatin: Bryn Bezjak

Belle Vernon: Rachel Wobrak

Beth-Center: Olivia Greco

Brownsville: Emma Seto

California: Makayla Boda

Charleroi: Bella Skobel

Frazier: Sierra Twigg

Monessen: Qitarah Hardison

Southmoreland: Olivia Cernuto, Gracie Spadaro

Waynesburg Central: Clara Paige Miller

West Greene: Anna Durbin, Elizabeth Brudnock

All-Area Second Team

Albert Gallatin: Abby King, Olivia Miller

Belle Vernon: Jenna Dawson

Bentworth: Caroline Rice

Beth-Center: Anna Sloan, Elizabeth Trump

Brownsville: Sai Waqanivalu, Chloe Wright, Aniya Tarpley

Carmichaels: Kylie Sinn, Sophia Zalar

Connellsville: Sara Aumer

Elizabeth Forward: Anna Resnik

Frazier: Kaelyn Shaporka

Geibel Catholic: Gayle Pokol

Jefferson-Morgan: Autumn Gustovich

Laurel Highlands: Journey Greer

Mapletown: Krista Wilson

Monessen: Sydney Caterino

Mount Pleasant: Ali Bailey

Ringgold: Nya Adams

Southmoreland: Charity Henderson, Erica Sherbondy

Uniontown: Abby Bellina

Yough: Laney Gerdich

All-Area Honorable Mention

Albert Gallatin: Gianna Michaux

Belle Vernon: Viva Kreis, Farrah Reader, Taylor Rodriguez

Bentworth: Laura Vittone

Beth-Center: Maddy Hunyady

Brownsville: Aubri Hogsett

California: Charlee Petrucci, Sydney Smichnick, Ca’Mari Walden

Carmichaels: Emma Hyatt, Mia Ranieri

Charleroi: Cierra Gazi, Hannah Keranko, Kaitlyn Wagner

Connellsville: Heather Ansell, Baileigh Bishop

Elizabeth Forward: Abigail Bickerton, Bailie Brinson, Haven Briggs, Brooke Markland

Frazier: Lindsey Somers

Geibel Catholic: Morgan Sandzimier

Jefferson-Morgan: Abby Ankrom, Savannah Clark

Laurel Highlands: Alessandra Peccon

Mapletown: Taylor Dusenberry

Monessen: Mercedes Major, Kendelle Weston

Mount Pleasant: Tiffany Zelmore

Ringgold: Martina Costa, Kyela Dungee

Southmoreland: Maddie Moore, Delaynie Morvosh, Carlie Collins

Uniontown: Karsyn Chiado

Waynesburg Central: Jules Fowler, Nina Sarra

West Greene: Brooke Barner, Katie Lampe, Emma Mankey, Kaitlyn Walls

Yough: Kaylynn Odelli.

Rob Burchianti contributed to this story.

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