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Highlights from Saturday's WPIAL basketball quarterfinals

Written by Mike White on .

Woodland Hills finished in fourth place in its section, but now the Wolverines are one of only four teams left in the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs.

Woodland Hills, the No. 11 seed, knocked off Fox Chapel, 52-47, in a quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon at Plum. The win puts Woodland Hills (16-8) into the semifinals for only the second time in school history. The other was in 1993. Before this season, the Wolverines hadn’t won a playoff game since 1995.

Woodland Hills led at halftime, 25-22, and opened up a 42-31 lead early in the fourth quarter before Fox Chapel (19-4) came back. The Foxes, the No. 3 seed, sliced the gap to 44-41 with 2:47 left on a Michael Snowball 3-pointer, but could get no closer. (Pictured, Woodland Hills' Kenny Lee drives against Fox Chapel's Michael Snowball).

Tyrese Robinson had 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots to lead Woodland Hills. Kenny Lee added 10.

Although Fox Chapel made eight 3-pointers to only two for Woodland Hills, Fox Chapel shot only 35 percent (16 of 46) overall from the field. Woodland Hills shot 48 percent (21 of 44).

Ben Kelly and Carson Cohen had 12 points apiece for Fox Chapel, Snowball 11 and Jake Livingston 10. Kelly made four 3-pointers while Livingston had 13 rebounds.

Other 6A quarterfinals

*Butler 70, Latrobe 64: Butler held Butler down and it was a big reason the Golden Tornado won this quarterfinal at Penn Hills. Latrobe’s Austin Butler, who led the WPIAL in scoring during the regular season at 30 ppg, was held to 14 points as the No. 2 seed Wildcats (19-4) were upended by No. 7 Butler (16-8). Butler had 11 points in the first half as the game was tied, 36-36. But he scored only three points in the final two quaters.

Senior forward Tyler Frederick had 22 points for Butler, scoring 10 of his points in the third quarter. Freshman point guard Ethan Morton had 13, Joel Stutz 10 and Connor Ollio 10. Stutz and Morton combined for 14 of Butler’s 18 points in the fourth quarter. Jason Armstrong had 14 for Latrobe.

*Pine-Richland 87, Canon-McMillan 74: Canon-McMillan (18-6) made 12 3-pointers in the game, but the Big Macs’ defense couldn’t slow down the No. 1 Rams (22-1) at North Allegheny. Canon-McMillan had five 3-pointers in the first quarter and led, 24-23, but Pine-Richland opened up an eight-point lead at halftime.

“We wanted tempo. We didn’t want to slow it down,” said Pine-Richland coach Jeff Ackermann. “They scored 24 points in the first quarter and they shot really well, but I didn’t know if they could maintain that for four quarters.”

Junior forward Phil Jurkovec made 10 of 13 shots, scored 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists for Pine-Richland, the defending WPIAL 4A champ. Andrew Petcash added 22 and sophomore Andrew Kristofic 15. Canon-McMillan trailed, 75-69, late in the fourth, but could get no closer.

Britton Beachy had 22 for Canon-McMillan and Carson Miller 21. R.J. Bell added 13. Bell had 10 points at the half, but did not manage to get a shot in the second half.

Pine-Richland will play North Hills in the semifinals. It will be their third meeting this season and sixth in the past two seasons.

*North Hills 59, Penn Hills 58: The win put North Hills (19-5) into the semifinals for the third consecutive season. Penn Hills (19-4) is still alive for a PIAA playoff berth.

North Hills shot 63 percent (17 of 27) from the field in the first half to grab a 43-36 advantage. But the game slowed considerably in the second half. Penn Hills took a one-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter, but North Hills’ Nick Smith made two free throws in the final minute to put North Hills ahead, 59-57. Daivon Stephens made one of two free throws to bring Penn Hills within one. Smith was fouled with seven seconds left, but missed the front end of the one-and-one. Penn Hills raced up the court, but the ball was knocked out of bounds with three seconds left. Chavar Williamson, Penn Hills’ center, missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Smith led North Hills with 19 points, Kam Taylor added 14 and Luke Chutko 12. Stephens had 17 for Penn Hills.

Class 4A quarterfinals

*Quaker Valley 56, South Fayette 44: No. 2 seed Quaker Valley (21-2) trailed by three points after three quarters, but stormed past South Fayette (13-11) in the fourth at Canon-McMillan. Quaker Valley outscored South Fayette, 24-9, in the fourth quarter.

Danny Conlan scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Quakers and Ricky Guss eight of his 11. Noah Plack led South Fayette with 13.

*Beaver Falls 79, Indiana 58: Josh Creach had 27 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocked shots to lift the Tigers (12-8) over Indiana (16-8) at North Hills. The win puts Beaver Falls into the semifinals for the sixth consecutive season. Indiana trailed by only 27-24 at halftime, but Beaver Falls outscored Indiana, 26-10, in the fourth quarter.

Jake Benhart led Indiana with 18 points. Gage McKelvey had 15 for Beaver Falls.

*New Castle 73, McGuffey 40: McGuffey (18-6) won a playoff game earlier in the week for the first time in school history. Then the Highlanders trailed No. 1 seed New Castle by only two points at halftime. But McGuffey got stuck in the middle of a Red Hurricanes’ storm in the third quarter.

 No. 1 New Castle (21-2) went on a 29-3 run in the third quarter and breezed to the win at Ambridge. Marcus Hooker had 26 points for New Castle and Geno Stone 18, all on six 3-pointers. Gino DeMonaco added 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Trent Belleville had 18 to lead McGuffey.

 

*Central Valley 56, Belle Vernon 35: Central Valley (14-9) led by 13 points after the first quarter en route to the easy win against Belle Vernon (17-7) at Canon-McMillan. Mike Simmons and Josh Kline had 13 points apiece to lead Central Valley.

Woodland Hills finished in fourth place in its section, but now the Wolverines are one of only four teams left in the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs.

Woodland Hills, the No. 12 seed, knocked off Fox Chapel, 52-47, in a quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon at Plum. The win puts Woodland Hills (16-8) into the semifinals for only the second time in school history. The other was in 1993. Before this season, the Wolverines hadn’t won a playoff game since 1995.

Woodland Hills led at halftime, 25-22, and opened up a 42-31 lead early in the fourth quarter before Fox Chapel (19-4) came back. The Foxes, the No. 3 seed, sliced the gap to 44-41 with 2:47 left on a Michael Snowball 3-pointer, but could get no closer.

Tyrese Robinson had 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots to lead Woodland Hills. Kenny Lee added 10.

Although Fox Chapel made eight 3-pointers to only two for Woodland Hills, Fox Chapel shot only 35 percent (16 of 46) overall from the field. Woodland Hills shot 48 percent (21 of 44).

Ben Kelly and Carson Cohen had 12 points apiece for Fox Chapel, Snowball 11 and Jake Livingston 10. Kelly made four 3-pointers while Livingston had 13 rebounds.

Other 6A

*Butler 70, Latrobe 64: Butler held Butler down and it was a big reason the Golden Tornado won this quarterfinal at Penn Hills. Latrobe’s Austin Butler, who led the WPIAL in scoring during the regular season at 30 ppg, was held to 14 points as the No. 2 seed Wildcats (19-4) were upended by No. 7 Butler (16-8). Butler had 11 points in the first half as the game was tied, 36-36. But he scored only three points in the final two quaters.

Senior forward Tyler Frederick had 22 points for Butler, scoring 10 of his points in the third quarter. Freshman point guard Ethan Morton had 13, Joel Stutz 10 and Connor Ollio 10. Stutz and Morton combined for 14 of Butler’s 18 points in the fourth quarter. Jason Armstrong had 14 for Latrobe.

*Pine-Richland 87, Canon-McMillan 74: Canon-McMillan (18-6) made 12 3-pointers in the game, but the Big Macs’ defense couldn’t slow down the No. 1 Rams (22-1) at North Allegheny. Canon-McMillan had five 3-pointers in the first quarter and led, 24-23, but Pine-Richland opened up an eight-point lead at halftime.

“We wanted tempo. We didn’t want to slow it down,” said Pine-Richland coach Jeff Ackermann. “They scored 24 points in the first quarter and they shot really well, but I didn’t know if they could maintain that for four quarters.”

Junior forward Phil Jurkovec made 10 of 13 shots, scored 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists for Pine-Richland, the defending WPIAL 4A champ. Andrew Petcash added 22 and sophomore Andrew Kristofic 15. Canon-McMillan trailed, 75-69, late in the fourth, but could get no closer.

Britton Beachy had 22 for Canon-McMillan and Carson Miller 21. R.J. Bell added 13. Bell had 10 points at the half, but did not manage to get a shot in the second half.

Pine-Richland will play North Hills in the semifinals. It will be their third meeting this season and sixth in the past two seasons.

*North Hills 59, Penn Hills 58: The win put North Hills (19-5) into the semifinals for the third consecutive season. Penn Hills (19-4) is still alive for a PIAA playoff berth.

North Hills shot 63 percent (17 of 27) from the field in the first half to grab a 43-36 advantage. But the game slowed considerably in the second half. Penn Hills took a one-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter, but North Hills’ Nick Smith made two free throws in the final minute to put North Hills ahead, 59-57. Daivon Stephens made one of two free throws to bring Penn Hills within one. Smith was fouled with seven seconds left, but missed the front end of the one-and-one. Penn Hills raced up the court, but the ball was knocked out of bounds with three seconds left. Chavar Williamson, Penn Hills’ center, missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Smith led North Hills with 19 points, Kam Taylor added 14 and Luke Chutko 12. Stephens had 17 for Penn Hills.

Class 5A

*Quaker Valley 56, South Fayette 44: No. 2 seed Quaker Valley (21-2) trailed by three points after three quarters, but stormed past South Fayette (13-11) in the fourth at Canon-McMillan. Quaker Valley outscored South Fayette, 24-9, in the fourth quarter.

Danny Conlan scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter for Quaker Valley and Ricky Guss eight of his 11. Noah Plack led South Fayette with 13.

*Beaver Falls 79, Indiana 58: Josh Creach had 27 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocked shots to lift the Tigers (12-8) over Indiana (16-8) at North Hills. The win puts Beaver Falls into the semifinals for the sixth consecutive season. Indiana trailed by only 27-24 at halftime, but Beaver Falls outscored Indiana, 26-10, in the fourth quarter.

Jake Benhart led Indiana with 18 points. Gage McKelvey had 15 for Beaver Falls.

*New Castle 73, McGuffey 40: McGuffey (18-6) won a playoff game earlier in the week for the first time in school history. Then the Highlanders trailed No. 1 seed New Castle by only two points at halftime. But McGuffey got stuck in the middle of a Red Hurricanes’ storm in the third quarter.

 No. 1 New Castle (21-2) went on a 29-3 run in the third quarter and breezed to the win at Ambridge. Marcus Hooker had 26 points for New Castle and Geno Stone 18, all on six 3-pointers. Gino DeMonaco added 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Trent Belleville had 18 to lead McGuffey.

*Central Valley 56, Belle Vernon 35: Central Valley (14-9) led by 13 points after the first quarter en route to the easy win against Belle Vernon (17-7) at Canon-McMillan. Mike Simmons and Josh Kline had 13 points apiece to lead Central Valley.

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Bracketology: WPIAL basketball playoff projections

Written by Mike White on .

With six classifications, this will be the largest field ever for the WPIAL basketball playoffs, except for 1984, when there was an "open" tournament. Anyone who wanted to be in the playoffs was in, no matter the record.

The WPIAL basketball committee will announce playoff pairings and seedings tonight. I'll save the committee the trouble of meeting today. The projected seedings and pairings are below.

One thing to point out. The WPIAL has said it might match teams from the same section in first-round pairings. I tried to keep away from that, adjusting seedings slightly to avoid those games. Here goes:

CLASS 6A

Byes: Pine-Richland, Latrobe, Penn Hills, Fox Chapel.

Matchups: Canon-McMillan (8) vs. North Allegheny (9), winner to play Pine-Richland (1); North Hills (5) vs. Upper St. Clair (12), winner to play Fox Chapel (4); Mt. Lebanon (6) vs. Woodland Hills (11), winner to play Penn Hills; Butler (7) vs. Baldwin (10), winner to play Latrobe (2).

(Pictured is Pine-Richland's Phil Jurkovec hanging from the rim in a game earlier this season against Beaver).

The scoop: Two big questions in this class were how to seed Latrobe, Fox Chapel and Penn Hills. They tied for the section championship and were all 1-1 against each other. I went with Latrobe first because the Wildcats have done the best recently, beating Fox Chapel and Penn Hills. The other dilemma was what to do with Mt. Lebanon. The Blue Devils are a section champ, but lost non-section games to Pine-Richland and North Allegheny. But I figured the best place was at No. 6.

CLASS 5A

Byes: Mars, Moon, McKeesport

Matchups: Highlands (8) vs. Trinity (9), winner to play Mars (1); Chartiers Valley (4) vs. Armstrong (13); Gateway (5) vs. Thomas Jefferson (12); Laurel Highlands (7) vs. Kiski Area (10);  winner to play Moon (2); Hampton (6) vs. Franklin Regional (11), winner to play McKeesport (3).

The scoop: What to do with Gateway? The Gators are a section champ, but have a 10-12 record and lost recently to Highlands, 48-20. Should Hampton, a fourth-place team, be seeded higher than Gateway?

CLASS 4A

Byes: New Castle, Quaker Valley, Beaver Falls, Belle Vernon.

Matchups: THIS IS A REDO. NEW BRACKETS FROM BEFORE BECAUSE OF AN ERROR. Freeport (8) vs. South Fayette (9), winner to play New Castle (1); Central Valley (5) vs. Deer Lakes (12), winner to play Belle Vernon (4); Indiana (6) vs. Elizabeth Forward (11), winner to play Beaver Falls (3); McGuffey (7) vs. Valley (10), winner to play Quaker Valley (2).

(Pictured is New Castle's Marcus Hooker going up for a shot against Quaker Valley).

The scoop: Central Valley is a fourth-place team, but played in a loaded section with Quaker Valley, New Castle, Beaver Falls. The other two sections in this class were much weaker and that presented dilemmas with what to do with Belle Vernon and Indiana, two other section winners.

CLASS 3A

Byes: No byes, because this is a 16-team field.

Matchups: (1) Lincoln Park vs. (16) Carlynton; East Allegheny (8) vs. Seton-LaSalle (9); Shady Side Academy (4) vs. Ellwood City (13); Aliquippa (5) vs. Steel Valley (12); Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (2) vs. Burgettstown (15); Southmoreland (7) vs. Avonworth (10); Washington (3) vs. Burrell (14); Riverside (6) vs. Charleroi (11).

The scoop: The top three seeds were pretty easy, but in what order? I went Lincoln Park No. 1 simply because the Leopards have been the Post-Gazette's No. 1-ranked team all year and were in a championship last year. Then again, North Catholic won Class 1A last year. The other dilemma was where to put Southmoreland, a team that features 6-10 Brandon Stone. The decision was to put Southmoreland at No. 7, behind Aliquippa and Riverside, two teams that tied for second behind Lincoln Park.

CLASS 2A

Byes: Greensburg Central Catholic, Bishop Canevin, Sewickley Academy.

Matchups: California (8) vs. Neshannock (9), winner to play Greensburg Central Catholic (1); Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (4) vs. Frazier (13); Chartiers-Houston (5) vs. Leechburg (12); Fort Cherry (7) vs. Summit Academy (10), winner to play Bishop Canevin (2); Jeannette (6) vs. Bentworth (11), winner to play Sewickley Academy (3).

The scoop: Three teams from Section 3 are seeded in the top four - and rightly so. They are Bishop Canevin, Sewickley Academy and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

CLASS 1A

Byes: Monessen and Vincentian.

Matchups: Imani Christian (3) vs. Avella (14); Cornell (6) vs. Winchester Thurston (11); Rochester (7) vs. West Greene (10), winner to play Vincentian (2); Eden Christian (8) vs. St. Joseph (9), winner to play Monessen (1); Clairton (4) vs. Propel Andrew Street (13); Union (5) vs. Geibel (12).

The scoop: This bracket was relatively esy to seed. One of the questions was who should get a No. 3 seed, Imani Christian or Clairton?

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Dates, fast facts and what you need to know about basketball playoffs

Written by Mike White on .

It's the most wonderful time of the year - the high school basketball playoffs. 

The regular season finishes tomorrow night. The WPIAL playoffs start Friday and the City League playoffs start Wednesday. You want predicted brackets? Well, I will put mine out tomorrow. But first, some things you might want to know about the playoffs, including dates, byes, etc.

WPIAL PLAYOFFS

Playoff pairings: The WPIAL will release brackets and pairings for both boys and girls Tuesday night at a 7 p.m. meeting in Green Tree. 

The start: The playoffs will begin Friday. All games are played at neutral sites.

Number of teams: On the boys side, there are 80 teams in the field, while there are 77 on the girls side. For the boys, there are 12 in 6A, 13 in 5A, 12 in 4A, 16 in 3A, 13 in 2A and 14 in 1A. For the girls, there are 12 in 6A, 16 in 5A, 12 in 4A, 12 in 3A, 12 in 2A and 13 in 1A.

Who plays when: The WPIAL plans to pay all first-round games Friday through next Wednesday, Feb. 22. This will be unlike any other previous WPIAL tournament because when it starts, the only off days will be Sundays. The quarterfinals will be played on Thursday, Feb. 23 through Saturday, Feb. 25. The semifinals will be played Monday, Feb. 26 through Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Once the quarterfinals start, two classes for both boys and girls will play each day. So, two classes of boys and girls will play the quarterfinals Feb. 23, two on Feb. 24 and two on Feb. 25. Then, two classes in boys and girls will play the semifinals Feb. 27, two on Feb. 28 and two on March 1.

Championship dates: The 12 championship games will be played March 2-4 at the University of Pittsburgh's Petersen Center. The WPIAL has not decided the order of the games. But three games will be played Thursday, March 2 at 5 p.m., 7 and 9. Four will be played Friday, March 3 at 3 p.m., 5, 7 and 9. Five will be played on Saturday, March 4 at 11 a.m, 1 p.m, 3, 7 and 9.

Tickets for championships: For the first time, the WPIAL will use lower-level seating for the championship games at Petersen. In the past, those seats were not used. However, those tickets will be sold as reserved seats for each session. They will not be general admission. Those reserved tickets will be made available through the Pitt ticket office.

All other tickets for the finals will be general admission.

Byes: Because of six classifications and the number of playoff teams in each class, there will be byes this season for most of the classes, except one in boys and one in girls. Teams with byes will automatically advance to the quarterfinals. In boys, there will be four byes in 6A, three in 5A, four in 4A, none in 3A, three in 2A, two in 1A.

For the girls, there will be four byes in 6A, none in 5A, four in 4A, four in 3A, four in 2A and three in 1A.

PIAA qualifiers: The PIAA playoffs will start March 10. The WPIAL had play-back games for some PIAA playoff spots the past few years. In other words, if the WPIAL got six teams to the PIAA playoffs in a class, the quarterfinal losers would play off for two spots. But the WPIAL did away with play-back games this year because of six classes.

The WPIAL will go back to the "follow the leader" system. Let's say six teams qualify for the state playoffs in a class. All of the semifinalists would get four of the spots, plus the two teams who lost in the quarterfinals to the two teams that made it to the championship. Confused? Understandable. But that's basically the system.

OK, here are the number of WPIAL qualifiers for the PIAA playoffs in each class:

BOYS - Six in 6A, five in 5A, six in 4A, six in 3A, six in 2A and five in 1A.

GIRLS - Five in 6A, six in 5A, seven in 4A, six in 3A, seven in 2A and five in 1A.

CITY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

The City League playoffs start Wednesday with the semifinals for both boys and girls. 

The semifinal winners will play in a championship doubleheader Sunday, Feb. 17 at Petersen Center.

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WPIAL boys and girls basketball playoff picture and clinchings

Written by Mike White on .

Wondering who is going to the WPIAL basketball playoffs? What teams still have a shot at a playoff berth? We're here for you.

Section play for WPIAL basketball finishes Friday night. Almost all of the girls section play will be finished tonight, but a few games Friday still have playoff implications. All of the boys section play finishes Friday.

The top four teams in each section qualify for the playoffs. If there is a tie for fourth place between two teams, head-to-head competition breaks the deadlock. If the two teams split, both enter the playoffs. If three is a three-way tie for a playoff spot, and the teams are still tied after head-to-head competition, then all three go.

The WPIAL will announce playoff pairings Tuesday night. Here is a look at the boys and girls teams that have clinched, and also a glance at some teams still alive.

BOYS

CLASS 6A

(Section 1): Pine-Richland, North Hills, North Allegheny have clinched. (Pictured is Pine-Richland senior guard Andrew Petcash, who averages over 20 a game).

What's left: The winner of Butler at Seneca Valley also is in. If North Hills beats North Allegheny, and Seneca Valley beats Butler, then both Butler and Seneca Valley are in.

(Section 2): Mt. Lebanon, Canon-McMillan, Baldwin have clinched.

What's left: Upper St. Clair is in if it beats Mt. Lebanon, or Peters Township loses to Canon-McMillan. The only way Peters Township qualifies is if it beats Canon-McMillan, and USC loses to Mt. Lebanon.

(Section 3): Penn Hills, Fox Chapel, Latrobe, Woodland Hills have clinched.

What's left: Hempfield can qualify if it beats Norwin, and Woodland Hills loses to Penn-Trafford.

CLASS 5A

(Section 1): McKeesport, Laurel Highlands, Trinity, Thomas Jefferson have clinched.

What's left: Ringgold can qualify, but only if it beats Trinity, and Thomas Jefferson loses to West Mifflin.

(Section 2): Moon, Mars, Chartiers Valley, Hampton have clinched.

What's left: Montour can qualify if it beats Moon, and Hampton loses to Mars.

(Section 3): Gateway, Highlands, Franklin Regional, Armstrong, Kiski Area have clinched.

CLASS 4A

(Section 1): Freeport, Indiana, Valley, Deer Lakes have clinched.

(Section 2): New Castle, Quaker Valley, Beaver Falls have clinched. (Pictured is Quaker Valley's Coletrane Washington driving against New Castle's Marcus Hooker).

What's left: Central Valley qualifies by beating Hopewell. If Beaver beats Blackhawk, Beaver is in. If Central Valley and Blackhawk win, then Central Valley, Beaver and Blackhawk all qualify because they would be even in head-to-head competition.

 

(Section 3): Belle Vernon, McGuffey, Elizabeth Forward, South Fayette.

CLASS 3A

(Section 1): Lincoln Park, Riverside, Aliquippa, Ellwood City have clinched.

(Section 2): Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, Seton-LaSalle, Avonworth, Carlynton have clinched.

(Section 3): Shady Side Academy, Burrell, East Allegheny, Steel Valley have clinched.

(Section 4): Washington, Southmoreland, Charleroi, Burgettstown (Pictured is Washington guard Matt Popeck, one of the leading scorers in the WPIAL).

What's left: If Brownsville beats Beth-Center, and Burgettstown loses to South Side Beaver, then Brownsville also qualifies.

CLASS 2A

(Section 1): Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Summit Academy have clinched.

What's left: Springdale qualifies with a win against Riverview. If Springdale wins, and Serra beats Leechburg, then both Springdale and Serra qualify. Leechburg can qualify only if it beats Serra, and Riverview beats Springdale.

(Section 2): Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry, California, Frazier have clinched.

What's left: Bentworth also qualifies if Frazier loses to California.

(Section 3): Bishop Canevin, Sewickley Academy, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart have clinched.

What's left: Laurel and Neshannock play Friday for the fourth and final playoff spot.

CLASS 1A

(Section 1): Vincentian, Cornell, Union, Rochester have clinched. 

(Section 2): Monessen, Clairton, West Greene, Geibel, Avella have clinched.

(Section 3): Imani Christian, Eden Christian, St. Joseph, Winchester Thurston, Propel Andrew Street have clinched.

And before we get to the girls clinchings, check out the latest This Week In High School Sports. Yours truly and Brian Batko talk big games, the 92-point game of LaMelo Ball - and top seeds for the WPIAL playoffs.

 

GIRLS

 

CLASS 6A

(Section 1): North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Butler have clinched. (Pictured is Pine-Richland guard Amanda Kalin, a Duquesne recruit, driving against North Allegheny).

(Section 2): Penn Hills, Norwin, Hempfield, Penn-Trafford have clinched.

(Section 3): Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township, Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan have clinched.

CLASS 5A

(Section 1): South Fayette, Chartiers Valley, West Allegheny, Montour have clinched.

(Section 2): Oakland Catholic, McKeesport, Gateway, Thomas Jefferson have clinched.

(Section 3): Trinity, Ringgold, Connellsville, Greensburg Salem have clinched.

(Section 4): Hampton, Mars, Franklin Regional have clinched

What's left: If Indiana beats Armstrong, Indiana is in. Plum can also qualify if it beats Franklin Regional. If both Indiana and Plum lose, then both Indiana and Plum qualify.

CLASS 4A

(Section 1): Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, Freeport, Deer Lakes, Burrell have clinched.

(Section 2): Blackhawk, Ambridge, Beaver, Central Valley have clinched. (Pictured is Blackhawk guard Madison Amalia).

(Section 3): Keystone Oaks, South Park, Elizabeth Forward have clinched.

What's left: If Elizabeth Forward beats Belle Vernon, and Mount Pleasant beats Southmoreland, then Mount Pleasant is in. If Elizabeth Forward and Southmoreland win, then Belle Vernon is in. If Belle Vernon and Mount Pleasant win, then both Mount Pleasant and Belle Vernon qualify because there would be a three-way tie for third. In that case, Belle Vernon would get third because of a 3-1 record in head to head. The system then reverts back to head to head between Elizabeth Forward and Mount Pleasant. Because Elizabeth Forward and Mount Pleasant split two meetings, both would qualify.

CLASS 3A

(Section 1): Neshannock, Mohawk, Riverside have clinched.

What's left: Laurel and Beaver Falls are tied for the fourth spot. Beaver Falls plays Ellwood City and Laurel plays Neshannock. If only Laurel or Beaver Falls wins, the winner is in and loser is out. If they both win, they both qualify.

(Section 2): East Allegheny, Charleroi, Brownsville, South Side Beaver have clinched (Pictured is East Allegheny guard Amani Johnson, the leading scorer in the WPIAL at over 30 a game. East Allegheny is undefeated).

What's left: South Allegheny is still alive. But the only way the Gladiators can qualify is by beating undefeated East Allegheny Friday.

(Section 3): Bishop Canevin, Carlynton, Avonworth, Seton-LaSalle have clinched.

CLASS 2A

(Section 1): Chartiers-Houston, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Burgettstown have clinched.

What's left: Washington and Shenango are alive for the fourth and final playoff spot and both have 6-7 section records. Shenango plays host to OLSH tonight, while Washington plays at Burgettstown. If both Washington and Shenango win, or both lose, they both qualify because they split head to head.

(Section 2): Vincentian, Brentwood, Leechburg, Sto-Rox have clinched.

(Section 3): Greensburg Central Catholic, California, Frazier, Beth-Center have clinched.

CLASS 1A

(Section 1): Cornell, Quigley, Rochester, Sewickley Academy have clinched.

(Section 2): West Greene, Jefferson-Morgan, Geibel, Avella have clinched.

(Section 3): Winchester Thurston, St. Joseph, Imani Christian, Clairton, Eden Christian have clinched.

 

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Butler knocks out Central Catholic .... Chartiers Valley clinches berth

Written by Mike White on .

There were two boys basketball games in the WPIAL Wednesday night that had playoff implications. The lowdown afterward is Chartiers Valley is in the playoffs for the 24th consecutive year - and Central Catholic is out.

Chartiers Valley made 13 3-pointers and defeated host Montour, 75-72, in a WPIAL Class 5A Section 2 game. 

Meanwhile, in a key Class 6A Section 1 game, Butler shot a torrid 66 percent from the field and defeated Central Catholic, 58-43. The loss knocked Central Catholic out of playoff contention.

In the Chartiers Valley game, Montour took a 15-5 lead after the first quarter, but Chartiers Valley came back and the game was deadlocked, 47-47, after three quarters. Chartiers Valley outscored Montour, 28-25, in the fourth.

Caleb Zajicek scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half for CV while Ross Wilkerson made 6 of 6 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with 19 points. Dom Sleva had 26 and K.J. Rhodes 21 for Montour.

Montour is still alive for fourth place in the section and a playoff spot. The Spartans are 5-6 in the section while Hampton is one game ahead at 6-5. For Montour to qualify, it must beat Moon Friday, and have Hampton lose to Mars.

In the Butler-Central Catholic game, Connor Ollio had one of his best games for Butler, making 9 of 10 shots and finishing with a game-high 18 points. Butler made 23 of 35 shots. Tyler Frederick had 15 points for Butler and freshman Ethan Morton scored nine of his 11 in the fourth.

The playoff situation in Section 1 is interesting. Pine-Richland has clinched first. North Hills and North Allegheny both have clinched and play Friday. If North Allegheny beats North Hills, the winner of the Butler at Seneca Valley game gets fourth.

But get this: If North Hills defeats North Allegheny, and Seneca Valley beats Butler, then North Allegheny, Seneca Valley and Butler all tie for the fourth and final playoff spot. And because they all would have 2-2 records against each other, North Allegheny, Seneca Valley and Butler would all qualify.

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