WPIAL Quarterfinals Preview: Boys and Girls Playoffs
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Saturday's games: New Castle (23-0) vs. Gateway (16-5) at Ambridge, 3 p.m.; Upper St. Clair (20-3) vs. Seneca Valley (16-7) at North Allegheny, 3 p.m.; North Allegheny (20-3) vs. Fox Chapel (17-6) at North Hills, 3 p.m.; Hampton (19-4) vs. McKeesport (15-7) at North Allegheny, noon.
Leading scorers: Matt D'Amico, Fox Chapel, 22.0; Ryan Luther, Hampton, 21.2; Shawn Anderson, New Castle, 20.1; Malik Hooker, New Castle, 17.6; Jordan Grabowski, Upper St. Clair, 16.7; Easton Bazzoli, Seneca Valley, 15.3; Brian Papich, Fox Chapel, 15.3;
The scoop: Gateway is the two-time defending champion, but most certainly the underdog against No. 1 seed New Castle. How well Gateway point guard D.J. Boyce plays will be a key to this game. Gateway would probably like a game in the 50s or 60s. ... Upper St. Clair is a good 3-point shooting team, but the key could be whether Seneca Valley shoots well from the outside. ... Neither Fox Chapel nor North Allegheny has much size, so this contest will be all about guard play. ... Look for the Hampton-McKeesport game to be close. McKeesport knows all about close games. The Tigers played four overtime games and eight games have been decided by four points or fewer. ... Four Section 3 teams are left and three from Section 2. Only one team is left from Section 4. Section 1 was 0-4 in the first round.
Today's games: Chartiers Valley (20-3) vs. South Fayette (14-9) at Canon-McMillan, 8 p.m.; Beaver (18-3) vs. Kittanning (20-4) at North Allegheny, 8 p.m,; Mars (20-3) vs. Uniontown (17-3) at Baldwin, 8 p.m.; Montour (19-4) vs. Thomas Jefferson (17-6) at Bethel Park, 8 p.m.;
Leading scorers: Aaron Barlow, Beaver, 21.1; Jordan Pratt, Uniontown, 19.1; Sterling Henry, Kittanning, 19.0; Michael Boulos, Chartiers Valley, 18.8; Devin Wilson, Montour, 16.9; Joe Carroll, Thomas Jefferson, 16.6; Evan Bonnaure, South Fayette, 16.5; Matty McConnell, Chartiers Valley, 16.5.
The scoop: Chartiers Valley defeated South Fayette twice this season, 50-46 and 60-43. A key to this game will be 3-point shooting by both teams, and also South Fayette's ability to deal with Chartiers Valley's press. ... Kittanning is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1982. It's been 88 years since Kittanning last made the semifinals. The last time was 1925. Kittanning might have trouble dealing with Beaver's Barlow, a 6-5 inside player. ... Mars is trying to make the semifinals for the first time in school history. Both teams have good guard play, but how will Uniontown deal with Josh Goetz, Mars' 6-8 center? ... Montour will face a Thomas Jefferson team that has held four of its past five opponents to 41 points or less.
Saturday's games: Beaver Falls (20-3) vs. Brentwood (14-9) at Ambridge, noon; Jeannette (18-4) vs. Apollo-Ridge (17-7) at Plum, 1 p.m.; Greensburg Central Catholic (22-1) vs. Burrell (17-6) at Plum, 2:30 p.m.; Seton-LaSalle (21-2) vs. Quaker Valley (19-4) at North Hills, noon.
Leading scorers: Brian Graytok, Greensburg Central Catholic, 20.8; Zach Herman, Greensburg Central Catholic, 20.5; Jason Pilarski, Brentwood, 19.3; Duke Brown, Jeannette, 18.7; Elijah Cottrill, Beaver Falls, 16.4; Drew Cook, Beaver Falls, 15.9; Julian Batts, Jeannette, 15.4; Burke Moser, Quaker Valley, 15.3.
The scoop: Beaver Falls' Cottrill and Cook are one of the best guard tandems in the WPIAL, but the play of the Tigers' other players will be key to their playoff fortunes. ... Apollo-Ridge is in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1991. The Vikings have made the semifinals only once in school history (1988). Jeannette is trying to reach the semifinals for the fifth time since 2005. ... Burrell has won eight games in a row. Greensburg Central Catholic has a potent one-two punch in Graytok and Herman, but Graytok was held to six points in a first-round game. ... Quaker Valley coach Mike Mastroianni always seems to have success in the playoffs, but faces a Seton-LaSalle team that has won 12 in a row.
Today's games: Lincoln Park (18-5) vs. Wilkinsburg (13-9) at West Allegheny, 8 p.m.; Union (17-5) vs. Clairton (14-6) at North Hills, 8 p.m.; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (19-4) vs. North Catholic (15-5) at North Hills, 6:30 p.m.; Vincentian (22-1) vs. Monessen (10-13) at Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m.
Leading scorers: Maverick Rowan, Lincoln Park, 24.0; Ryan Wolf, Vincentian, 20.6; Elijah Minnie, Lincoln Park, 20.6; Dan Savulchak, North Catholic, 20.5; Markel Peace, Union, 19.1; Bryon Clifford, Clairton, 18.6; Tony DiNardo, Vincentian, 17.9.; Cameron Johnson, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 16.0.
The scoop: Lincoln Park is a heavy favorite against Wilkinsburg. Lincoln Park has averaged 85.9 points during a seven-game winning streak. ... Clairton has held seven consecutive opponents below 50 points. All five Clairton starters were members of the football team that won WPIAL and PIAA championships. Union has Peace, but also Ben Young, who averages 13.3. ... A key for OLSH is not letting North Catholic's Savulchak have a big game. ... Can Monessen slow down Vincentian, which hasn't been held to fewer than 70 points all season? Monessen was in the Class AA championship game the past two seasons before moving down in class.
Today's games: Mt. Lebanon (21-2) vs. Fox Chapel (18-5) at North Allegheny, 6:30 p.m.; Upper St. Clair (12-11) vs. Chartiers Valley (17-6) at Canon-McMillan, 6:30 p.m.; North Allegheny (20-3) vs. Gateway (19-4) at Fox Chapel, 8 p.m.; Bethel Park (20-3) vs. Penn-Trafford (19-4) at Baldwin, 6:30 p.m.
Leading scorers: Erin Mathias, Fox Chapel, 17.0; Megan Marecic, Bethel Park, 15.4.
The scoop: Fox Chapel features Mathias, a 6-3 junior center and a Duke recruit. But she was held to nine points in a first-round victory against Butler. Fox Chapel might have trouble scoring against a Mt. Lebanon defense that allows only 38 points a game. ... Upper St. Clair knocked off Hempfield in the first round and can the Panthers pull another upset? Chartiers Valley beat Upper St. Clair twice during the regular season, 59-45 and 67-31. ... North Allegheny allows only 33 points a game, but how will the Tigers deal with Gateway's athleticism? ... Bethel Park's offense sputtered some coming down the home stretch of the regular season, but the Black Hawks scored 61 in a first-round victory against Norwin.
Saturday's games: Blackhawk (23-0) vs. Belle Vernon (16-6) at West Allegheny, 1:30 p.m.; Central Valley (18-4) vs. Elizabeth Forward (21-2) at West Allegheny, 3 p.m.; Hopewell (20-3) vs. Ambridge (15-8) at West Allegheny, noon; South Park (20-2) vs. Hampton (18-5) at North Allegheny, 1:30 p.m.
Leading scorers: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Hopewell, 27.8; Chassidy Omogrosso, Blackhawk, 22.3; Jessica Slagus, Belle Vernon, 19.9; Madi Rowan, Central Valley, 19.0; Shelby Lindsay, South Park, 17.9; Seairra Barrett, Central Valley, 17.1; Sara Pilarski, Hampton, 16.7; Katie Fischer, Ambridge, 16.7; Halie Torris, South Park, 15.5.
The scoop: Blackhawk is the only undefeated team in the WPIAL and features Omogrosso, a sophomore point guard and a Pitt recruit. ... Central Valley has two proven scorers in Rowan and Barrett, but Elizabeth Forward gives up only 35 points a game on the average. ... Hopewell has defeated Ambridge twice this season by 56-45 and 65-27. ... Hampton allows only 28 points a game, but the Talbots will have trouble holding down South Park's offense.
Tonight's games: Seton-LaSalle (22-1) vs. Greensburg Central Catholic (17-6) at Bethel Park, 6:30 p.m.; Bishop Canevin (19-4) vs. Mohawk (17-6) at West Allegheny, 6:30 p.m.; Jeannette (16-6) vs. Deer Lakes (20-3) at Fox Chapel, 6:30 p.m.; McGuffey (20-2) vs. Burrell (21-2) at Keystone Oaks, 6:30 p.m.
Leading scorers: Ciara Gregory, Jeannette, 30.9; Sammie Weiss, McGuffey, 27.3; Becca Babincak, Deer Lakes, 18.1; Shelby Brown, Mohawk, 16.6; Erin Waskowiak, Bishop Canevin, 15.7.
The scoop: Seton-Lasalle is a heavy favorite against Greensburg Central Catholic ... Bishop Canevin's Waskowiak is averaging 15.7 ppg, almost five fewer than a year ago. But Waskowiak had 31 in a first-round victory against Neshannock. ... Will Jeannette ride Gregory to another playoff win? The WPIAL's leading scorer during the regular season, Gregory had 41 in a first-round game against Steel Valley. ... McGuffey's Weiss was the WPIAL's third-leading scorer during the regular season and scored her 1,000th point in a first-round victory against Riverside. Weiss is only a sophomore.
Saturday's games: Vincentian (22-1) vs. Winchester Thurston (13-8) at North Hills, 1:30 p.m.; Quigley (17-5) vs. St. Joseph (11-12) at Northgate, 1 p.m.; Serra (21-2) vs. Rochester (12-11) at Northgate, 2:30 p.m.; North Catholic (14-9) vs. Cornell (12-10) at Ambridge, 1:30 p.m.
Leading scorers: Lauren Wolosik, North Catholic, 27.1; Brenna Wise, Vincentian, 23.0; Mallory Heinle, St. Joseph, 19.7; Mason DePetro, Cornell, 16.7.
The scoop: Winchester Thurston will have trouble with the inside play of Vincentian's Wise. Lexi Lonero is a talented sophomore guard for Winchester Thurston and her play will be key if Winchester Thurston hopes to stay in the game. ... St. Joseph is the only sub-.500 team in the Class A field. ... Quigley has won nine of 10 games. St. Joseph needs a big game from Heinle. ... Rochester is most certainly an underdog against Serra, which has outscored opponents by an average of 33 points a game. ... Cornell might have problems dealing with Wolosik, who has scored 44 points in two different games this season.
First Published February 22, 2013 12:00 am