The Monessen girls basketball team wanted to avenge a 25-point loss to Riverview from earlier this season when the teams met in a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal Thursday at Fox Chapel.

But No. 4 Riverview wasn’t about to let its chance to reach the semifinals fall by the wayside.

Katerina Tsambis had 20 points and 10 rebounds as Riverview defeated Monessen, 44-23.

"We knew they were going to come out really strong,” Tsambis said. "At one point, they switched to man, and the first game they played a 2-3 (zone) the whole game. I think just adapting to the way they played and us playing hard the whole game was what helped us get the win.

"This is the first time I’ve ever won a playoff game in basketball, and it feels great. We all wanted this game so bad.”

Riverview (16-6) advances to Monday’s semifinals, where they will face defending WPIAL champion and No. 1 seed Union at a site and time to be determined.

The Scotties (17-5) advanced Thursday with a 59-16 victory over No. 8 West Greene.

"We’re the underdogs, but we’re just going to go in and play as hard as we can and see what we can do,” Tsambis said.

Riverview also clinched a spot in the PIAA playoffs for the first time since 2020.

Monessen fell to 18-6, but the Greyhounds are not done as they will drop to the consolation bracket and compete for the fifth-place berth to states.

They will need to win two games to get the fifth-place spot. That begins Saturday with a home game against West Greene at a time to be determined.

"That is now our goal,” Monessen coach Janine Vertacnik said. "We wanted to get to the final four, but it didn’t happen that way. But we have five seniors, and they want to keep playing as many games as they can. I am proud of the girls tonight. They didn’t give up against a good Riverview team.”

The teams played close in the first quarter before Riverview started to create separation in the second. Tsambis scored nine of her 20 in the second quarter.

Lola Abraham tallied four of her 10 points in the quarter as the Raiders used a 7-0 run early in the frame and then tallied the final four points of the half to lead 25-14 at the break.

Riverview turned the ball over eight times in the third quarter, but it was able to carry the quarter 13-5 and all but put the game away heading to the fourth.

"There were some moments of brilliance and also a few flashes of darkness,” Raiders coach Jill Catanzaro said. "We got a little sloppy at times. We did a decent job of boxing out, but they are big. You can’t keep bigs off the boards all the time, but we did the best we could against them.

"I knew (Vertacnik) was going have them ready to go and wanting this one. But our girls had fun and made the plays that we needed.”

Monessen was not able to take advantage of the opportunities on offense as it tallied just one field goal in the third and also was 2 of 8 from the free-throw line.

Lily Bauer added 11 points for the Raiders, who have won five of their past six games.

Na’Jaziah Carter and MyAsia Majors scored five points each to lead the Greyhounds. Majors added 13 rebounds.

"Riverview plays good man defense. They only give up 32 points a game,” Vertacnik said.

"Nobody plays man in our section. We had only seen it a couple of times all year. We work better against a zone-oriented defense. I have big girls where most teams have three or four guards. We need to really get that ball inside. We normally rebound better than we did. We just didn’t rebound well tonight.”

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at

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