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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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