The WPIAL crowned its first boys basketball champion in 1909. And with another tournament set to begin tomorrow night, we thought it would be a good time to take a stroll down memory lane and look at some WPIAL playoff records - both boys and girls.
BOYS PLAYOFF RECORDS
MOST POINTS INDIVIDUAL - 50, by Serra's T.J. Heatherington vs. Neshannock, 2009 - Heatherington made 18 field goals and 13 of 18 from the free-throw line. He broke the old WPIAL playoff record of 48, set by Marc Marotta of Central catholic in 1980. Serra won the game, 88-74, and Heatherington (pictured against Greensburg Central Catholic) scored 36 points in the second half. Only one of Heatherington's made shots in the game was a 3-pointer.
A few nights later in the championship game, Heatherington, who played at Point Park, and Sewickley Academy's Tom Droney, who is a senior at Davidson, had a shootout at Duquesne's Palumbo Center in the title game. Droney scored 40 and Heatherington 37 in a Sewickley win.
MOST 3-POINT FIELD GOALS INDIVIDUAL - 10 by Neshannock's Kevin Covert vs. Clairton in 1995 - Covert scored over 2,000 points in his career and was terrific from the outside in this game 19 years ago. Neshannock won and Covert, who later played at Robert Morris, finished with 46 points. He made 15 of 29 shots from the field and 10 of 17 from 3-point range. That same year, Quigley's Greg Cercone made nine in a playoff game.
MOST FREE THROWS MADE INDIVIDUAL - 23 by Bishop Boyle's Shawn McCallister vs. Monessen in 1983 - This game was played at Steel Valley - and how's this for coincidental? McCallister is now the coach of Steel Valley. McCallister made 23 of 27 free throws in an 87-77 win and also scored 37 points.
By the way, this nugget: The kid tied for fifth in made free throws in a playoff game and tied for the most in Class AAA is Sean Miller, who made 17 in a 1987 game against Greensburg Central Catholic. Miller was 17 of 21. He also made 11 of 17 shots from the field in that game and finished with 39 points. But only 17 of 21 from the line? What gives? Only 81 percent?
MOST POINTS SCORED ONE TEAM - 109 by Brentwood vs. Elderton in 1989 - Dave Mislan had 29 points, eight assists and four steals in a 109-66 victory. William Griffin added 14.
MOST 3-POINTERS TEAM - 15 by Chartiers Valley vs. North Allegheny in 2005 - Chartiers Valley had only eight two-pointers in the game, but 15 treys in a 73-52 win. Steve Profeta had six 3-pointers, Matt Hindt and Mike Sherry three each.
HIGHEST SCORE BOTH TEAMS - 188 by Union and St. Joseph in 1979 - Union won the game, 99-89.
GIRLS PLAYOFF RECORDS
MOST POINTS INDIVIDUAL - 56 by Brooke Stewart of East Allegheny vs. Geibel in 1997 - It was a monumental performance by Stewart (pictured) who eventually played at Pitt. But East Allegheny lost the game, 82-79, in double overtime. Stewart went on to score more than 2,000 points in her career. Stewart's eight 3-pointers in that game also ties for the second-most in WPIAL playoff history.
MOST POINTS INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - 51 by Tanisha Wright of West Mifflin vs. Blackhawk in 2000 - It was a performance for the ages as Wright was unstoppable in a game West Mifflin eventually lost in triple overtime, 81-78. Wright, who also had 16 rebounds in the game, made 17 of 28 two-point shots, 4 of 10 3-pointers and 5 of 6 free throws.
The photo is one of Wright and other Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 selections in 2000. The others are, from left, Oakland Catholic's Katie Bulger, Steel Valley's Jess Strom, Mt. Lebanon's Ashlee Kelly and North Allegheny's Jessica Brungo. All five had stellar careers after high school and Wright and Brungo played in the WNBA. Bulger played at WVU while Strom, Wright and Brungo played at Penn State. Kelly, whose brother, Don, plays with the MLB's Detroit Tigers, was the Northeast Conference Player of the Year when she played at Quinnipiac.
MOST 3-POINTERS INDIVIDUAL - (tie) 9 by Carlynton's Kristen Bonner in 2000 and by Bethel Park's Katie Kendall in 2006 - Bonner first set the record against Ford City and Kendall tied it in 2006 against Woodland Hills.
MOST FREE THROWS INDIVIDUAL - 18 by Serra's Kim Litzinger vs. Geibel in 1993
MOST POINTS TEAM - 100 by North Catholic vs. Ellwood City in 1988 - The Trojanettes destroyed Ellwood City, 100-49, in a first-round game. Molly Larkin scored 19 points for NC. Coincidentally, Larkin is now Molly Rottmann and is now North Catholic's coach.
MOST POINTS TWO TEAMS - 162 - Greensburg Central Catholic over Hampton, 87-75, in 1987