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Strong 2nd quarter propels No. 1 CW North Catholic past Central Valley in WPIAL semifinals

March 18, 2018 GMT

As the preseason title favorites, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic coach Molly Rottmann admitted she was a little nervous for Monday night’s WPIAL semifinal.

“You’ve been No. 1, so you feel those expectations,” said Rottmann, whose top-seeded Trojans eased those nerves by halftime and defeated No. 5 Central Valley, 58-39, earning the team its ninth WPIAL championship appearance since 2007.

Defending champion CWNC (21-3) will face No. 3 seed Beaver (18-5) in the WPIAL Class 4A final at 7 p.m. Friday at Petersen Events Center.

A 22-point second quarter calmed CWNC’s nerves. The Trojans led 32-14 at half.

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“We came out like gangbusters,” Rottmann said. “If anyone had watched our game on Thursday, we were very sluggish to start. I could tell our kids were better in the locker room pregame. They came out ready to go tonight.”

Kylee Lewandowski led CWNC with 20 points, and Tess Myers scored 17.

The team also had a more personal motivation Monday. Mary Ann Barth, the widow of legendary North Catholic girls coach Don Barth, was in the crowd at Moon to watch. Don Barth won 11 WPIAL titles, the most of any girls coach.

“Oh, I wanted to win because she was here,” Rottmann said. “All sorts of different things play into (the nervousness).”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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