The winner will be: Norwin. The Knights are the defending champion and the only undefeated team left in the WPIAL. They feature Pitt recruit Gribble, a do-everything player considered the best in the WPIAL senior class. The rest of the Knights play their roles exceptionally well.
The scoop: North Allegheny features two future Division I players in senior Abby Gonzales (Delaware) and junior Hailey Zeise (Stony Brook). Norwin defeated North Allegheny, 68-59, earlier this season. ... Penn Hills was a finalist a year ago and the Indians could make another playoff run on the strength of two excellent guards -- Desiree Oliver and Jade Ely. ... Peters Township and Canon-McMillan tied for the Section 4 title and could make some noise, although Canon-McMillan lacks playoff experience. Canon-McMillan won its first section title this year under first-year coach Lou Waller.
History lesson: Ten years ago, Bethel Park's Katie Kendall made nine 3-pointers in a game against Woodland Hills. That is still tied for the WPIAL playoff record with Carlynton's Kristen Bonner, who made nine in 2000.
Top seeds: South Fayette is first, Trinity second, Ambridge third, Blackhawk fourth.
Leading scorers: Maris Seto, Brownsville (24.0); Bella Posset, Beaver (19.7); Sierra Kotchman, Trinity (18.2); Allison McGrath, South Park (18.1).
The winner will be: South Fayette. The Lions made it to the WPIAL title game for the first time in school history a year ago and look ready to climb to the top of the ladder this season. South Fayette has an inside presence with 6-4 senior Emily Anderson.
The scoop: Class AAA is a balanced classification with a number of good teams. Trinity has only three losses -- two to South Fayette and one to Peters Township. Trinity has one of the WPIAL's best one-two punches with Kotchman (18.2 ppg) and Mary Dunn (17.2). ... Blackhawk has won the past two WPIAL titles, but the Cougars were beaten out for the Section 2 title this season by Ambridge. The Bridgers have won nine in a row, including victories against Blackhawk and Vincentian. ... Hampton could be a sleeper team, led by Jenna Lafko, daughter of Hampton boys coach Joe Lafko.
History lesson: Blackhawk has won seven WPIAL titles, which ties for the fourth most in WPIAL history. North Catholic leads with 16. ... South Fayette won a section title this season for the first time in school history.
Top seeds: OLSH is first, Burrell second, Seton-LaSalle third, Bishop Canevin fourth.
Leading scorers: Natalie Myers, Burrell (22.5); Amani Johnson, East Allegheny (21.4); Kinlee Whited, Beth-Center (19.2); Katie Stang, Riverside (19.1).
The winner will be: Burrell. The Bucs have been knocking on the championship door in recent years. This could be the year they turn the doorknob and enter. They feature Myers, a Youngstown State recruit.
The scoop: Seton-LaSalle has won four of the past five WPIAL titles. The Rebels don't appear to be as strong, but they are 15-6 and have won nine in a row. ... Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is strong at the guard spot, and guard play is vital come playoff time. ... Bishop Canevin has been in the title game three of the past four years and is capable of another championship appearance.
History lesson: Nineteen years ago, East Allegheny's Brooke Stewart scored 56 points in a game against Geibel. The point total is still a record for a playoff game.
Top seeds: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic is first, Vincentian second, Quigley third, Ellis School fourth.
Leading scorers: Cali Konek, Imani Christian (45.9); Gabbie Smith, Quigley (30.1); Sam Breen, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (26.5); Dayna Rouse, Ellis School (25.3); Mikayla Lovelace, Leechburg (20.2).
The winner will be: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. It's hard to pick between North Catholic and Vincentian, but North Catholic gets the edge because of Breen. A 6-1 junior, Breen is arguably the best junior in the WPIAL.
The scoop: Vincentian has won the championship four consecutive years and is trying to become only the second team in WPIAL history to win five in a row. ... It will be interesting to see how Konek and Imani Christian fare in the playoffs. Her average was easily the best for a regular season in the history of the WPIAL.
History lesson: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic has been in the playoffs a record 41 consecutive years. The Trojanettes also have the most section championships with 33. ... Jefferson-Morgan and Ellis School won section titles this year for the first time in school history.
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