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WPIAL basketball quarterfinal preview

Written by Mike White on .

 Mike White | 11:25 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19

 

WPIAL CLASS AAAA

Leading scorers: Jeff Yunetz, Latrobe (21.8); Nick Wilcox, Peters Township (21.1); Evan Pierce, Mt. Lebanon (18.6); Cody Patton, North Hills (18.0); Christian Shea, Upper St. Clair (16.8); Craig Wolcott, Peters Township (16.0); Ty-Meer Brown, McKeesport (15.2); Lucas Mickens, Central Catholic (15.1);

The skinny: Peters Township-Central Catholic is an interesting matchup, considering Peters Township is the No. 1 seed, and Central Catholic is the defending WPIAL champion. Peters Township is trying to make the semifinals for only the second time in school history. The other was 1997. Central Catholic has been in the semifinals eight times since joining the WPIAL in the 1970s. … Seneca Valley-Upper St. Clair is a rematch of a first-round game last season, won by Upper St. Clair. Upper St. Clair is the third-highest scoring team in Class AAAA, averaging 65 points a game. A key to the game will be how well Upper St. Clair shoots 3-pointers. This is USC’s eighth quarterfinal appearance in eight games. … Latrobe is trying to make the semifinals for the first time since 1990. North Hills has been in the semifinals only once (2005). Latrobe leads Class AAAA in scoring, averaging 71 points a game. Latrobe has scored 60 points or more in all but two games. …. Mt. Lebanon has held its past 10 opponents to 51 points or less. McKeesport has 7-footer Zeke Marshall, an Akron recruit. But Mt. Lebanon has some size, too, with 6-8 junior Deion Turman and 6-5 sophomore Paul Lang.

CLASS AAA

Leading scorers: T.J. McConnell, Chartiers Valley (22.2); Matt Madia, Hampton (19.3); Aaron Johnson, Moon (18.6); Mike Trenski, Highlands (17.5); Chris Klimchock, Greensburg Salem (17.4); Teagan Lindsey, Chartiers Valley (17.4); Tyrone Steals, New Castle (17.2); Jake Matthews, Greensburg Salem (15.7).

The skinny: This is the third year in a row Chartiers Valley has met Blackhawk in a playoff game. Chartiers Valley beat Blackhawk in the quarterfinals last year, but Blackhawk beat Chartiers Valley in the semifinals a year ago. … Highlands averages 10 3-pointers a game. The Rams have the second-highest scoring team in Class AAA at 75.8 points a game. But they have the second-worst scoring defense at 65.7. … New Castle has won 14 in a row and senior guard Tyrone Steals is one of the most underrated players in Class AAA. New Castle must control Moon sophomore center Aaron Johnson, who had 25 points and 22 rebounds in the first round against Moon. … Hampton-Greensburg Salem is one of the best matchups in any class. There will be an interesting matchup of point guards – Greensburg Salem’s Chris Klimchock and Hampton’s Matt Madia.

CLASS AA

Leading scorers: Jordan Hall, Jeannette (22.9); Todd Thomas, Beaver Falls (18.6); Nick Bryant, Washington (16.5); Jesse Long, North Catholic (16.0); Mike Lamberti, South Fayette (16.0);

The skinny: Jeannette is trying to make the semifinals for the fourth time in five years. Quaker Valley must deal with a Jeannette man-to-man defense that has held six of the past eight opponents to 46 points or less. … South Fayette has wn 17 in a row, but faces a Washington team that allows only 38.3 points, the best in the WPIAL. Washington defeated South Fayette, 62-53, in early December. … Monessen has won six games in a row, but the Greyhounds haven’t faced a team as good as Beaver Falls. … Aliquippa has lost seven games, but six to teams that are still alive in the WPIAL playoffs.

CLASS A

Leading scorers: Jim Orie, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (25.0); David McCauley, Lincoln Park (23.6); T.J. Heteherington, Serra (23.3); Tom Droney, Sewickley Academy (22.2); Anthony Scappe, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (20.1); Tony Kirkwood, Neshannock (19.8); Jason Burkes, Union (17.0); Rob Hetherington, Serra (15.0);

The skinny: Pete Schramm has played well lately for Sewickley Academy and is one to watch. … Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is the only team in the WPIAL with two players (Orie and Scappe) averaging 20 points. While those two average better than 20 a game, the key might be how well the rest of the team does. Serra is second in the WPIAL in scoring at 80 points a game. … Clairton has been a little up and down this season, but the Bears are fresh off an impressive 55-32 win against Monaca. … Neshannock hasn’t been to the semifinals since 1995 and Carmichaels hasn’t advanced to the final four since 1996.

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