NEW CASTLE —
There wasn’t a return more welcome then when McHale stepped back onto Neshannock’s basketball court.
The 5-8 sophomore moved to Minnesota just before the start of the 2012-2013 basketball season, but family couldn’t keep her away from the area long.
Her re-emergence boosted a Lady Lancers team that struggled to a 1-3 start to the season. She quickly made her presence known, depositing 24 points and 23 points in wins against New Brighton and Rochester, respectively.
McHale’s 16.8 points a game was second only to Shelby Brown in Lawrence County and her 93 of 106 free-throw attempts (87.7 percent) was the top mark. She also was a first-team selection in WPIAL Section 2-AA.
Despite missing most of four games, McHale still managed to finish fifth in the county with 29 total 3-pointers, including five in one game in a 28-point performance against Clairton.
McHale gave life to the Neshannock offense, as the team earned its way to the Class AA playoffs. In a preliminary-round matchup against West Shamokin, she scored another 28 in a 47-38 victory.
Perrotta’s star shined the brightest for the New Castle girls basketball team. Although the squad’s first season under head coach Scott Dibble ended with an 8-14 overall record, Perrotta ended her senior season among the county’s best.
She finished the campaign 14th in the county with 31 of 51 free-throw shooting (14th overall) and also led her team and placed sixth overall with 26 3-pointers.
Perrotta’s best game was an 18-point outburst in a 73-26 rout of West Allegheny.
As the lone senior on the Lady ’Canes softball team, she guided her troops to the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs. The team finished the regular season 8-6 before running into Elizabeth Forward in a 6-2 opening-round loss.
Perrotta, an all-star, was third on the team with a .400 batting average and led New Castle with 10 stolen bases. She also knocked four doubles and drove in eight.
She will attend Hiram College in the fall where she will play both basketball and softball.