By Mike White | Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, 12:10 a.m.
Notes, anecdotes and thoughts from a quarterfinal Friday night
Here are some highlights from tonight's Class AAA quarterfinals:
* West Allegheny's Nick Herman made a basket with two seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime, and the Indians went on to defeat Highlands, 62-59, in overtime. Highlands, which averages 70 points a game, scored only two points in overtime.
* Chartiers Valley scored 57 points in the first half of an 85-47 victory against Trinity.
* Montour scored only two points in the first quarter of its 52-28 loss to Hampton.
* Belle Vernon cut an 11-point deficit to four with 1:47 remaining, but lost to West Mifflin, 60-51.
Here are some highlights from Class A quarterfinals:
* B.J. Lipke's 15 points led a trio of Cornell players in double figures to lead the No. 5-seeded Raiders to a 50-44 triumph against No. 4 seed Clairton.
* Sewickley Academy jumped to a 45-13 lead and crushed Neshannock, 70-36. Bobby Nittinger, Neshannock's leading scorer this season, was held to two points. Tom Droney scored 27 for Sewickley Academy.
* Serra is in the semifinals for the sixth year in a row after a 68-39 victory against Vincentian.
* Chaquille Pratt made his first 10 field-goal attempts, finished with 29 points and Lincoln Park beat Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 74-58.
Here's to Bears
It says here Josh Bears is underrated in terms of coaches. OK, so he doesn't have West Allegheny in the playoffs every year. But remember, the guy won a WPIAL title three years ago when his team was the No. 16 seed and knocked off Chartiers Valley in the title game. His teams are always solid defensively, and he seems to mold his team to his talent.
West Allegheny beat Highlands, 62-59, in the quarterfinals tonight, and how about this: West Allegheny will be in the semifinals for only the third time in school history. All three have been in the past six seasons under Bears. West Allegheny is 10-1 in the WPIAL playoffs under Bears the past six seasons.
Section 4 in Class AAA strong
I had a story in today's Post-Gazette how Section 4 in Class AAAA has been strong in recent years. How about Section 4 of Class AAA? Three Section 4 teams have made it to the semifinals - Chartiers Valley, West Allegheny and West Mifflin.
That's impressive. This isn't meant as a knock to any of those three teams, but I have to say this: As a whole, Class AAA isn't very strong this year after you get past Chartiers Valley.
McConnell might have chance at record
After scoring 34 points tonight in his team's 85-47 quarterfinal win against Trinity, T.J. McConnell just might have a chance at the WPIAL record for most points in a tournament. He now has 78 points in two games.g Chartiers Valley has a good chance to make it to the title game. If the Colts make it to the championship, that would give McConnell two more games.
The record for most points in the playoffs is 147, by Penn Hills' Drew Schfino in 2000. McConnell is more than halfway there. If Chartiers Valley makes it to the final game, McConnell seems like a good bet to make it into the top five playoff scorers. The No. 5 mark is 126, by Norwin's John Naponick in 1963.