Monday, February 4, 2013

T-D girls' basketball rankings

When a program has enjoyed as much success as Westmont Hilltop girls basketball, there are considerable expectations that come with wearing the Hilltoppers' red and white.

Consider Westmont Hilltop played for PIAA Class AA championships in 2005 and 2006, In 2005, the Hilltoppers lost a tough four-point game to Delone Catholic. A year later, the Hilltoppers suffered a five-point loss to another perennial power in York Catholic.

In the world of PIAA small-school girls basketball, private school tend to dominate in the state playoffs, which makes Westmont Hilltop's success all the more impressive.

"You don't play to lose and you don't play to go .500, you play to win," said Hilltoppers coach Jodi Hillegass, who is in her 10th season.

In order to live up to the yearly expectations at Westmont, players often go above and beyond what is expected from them.

"If you want to win championships and go to states, you can't be off weekends, you can't take the summer off," Hillegass said.

Westmont's current group has bought into the hard-working system, and it's resulted in a mid-to-late season surge. The Hilltoppers have climbed to No. 3 in the latest edition of The T-D girls' basketball rankings.

1. Berlin 15-2
Mountaineers bring a 14-game win streak into Tuesday's home game against Conemaugh Township.

2. Forest Hills 16-3
Rangers face tough task tonight as Bishop Guilfoyle comes to Sidman.

3. Westmont Hilltop 15-3
With Rachel Roper healthy, Hilltoppers may be peaking at right time.

4. Ligonier Valley 11-4
Healthy Rams secured two big road wins at Marion Center and Penns manor.

5. Conemaugh Township 13-3
Impressive double-digit home win vs. Portage makes Indians biggest upward movers.

6. Portage 17-2
Juniors Olivia McCabe and Emily Chobany both topped 1,000-point mark last week.

7. Richland 13-4
Rams can earn signature win tonight vs. Westmont Hilltop.

8. Conemaugh Valley 12-4
Blue Jays face Conemaugh Township and Meyersdale this week as part of tough five-game stretch.

9. Bishop McCort 10-8
Crimson Crushers have lost three of four. Those losses are against Forest Hills, Westmont Hilltop and Altoona.

10. Meyersdale 14-4
Eric McCool's Red Raiders haven't allowed more than 34 points since a three-point loss at Shade.

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