In terms of WPIAL boys basketball teams still playing, Aliquippa is a loner.
Aliquippa is the only boys team from the WPIAL to make it to the PIAA championships this weekend. Is that unusual? Not really.
This is actually the second time in three years that only one WPIAL team made it to the boys finals. Two years ago, it was Beaver Falls. In fact, over the previous 20 seasons, 10 times the WPIAL had only one representative in the state finals. But if Aliquippa would've lost to West Middlesex tonight, the WPIAL would not have had a team in the state finals for the first time since 1966.
But things do go in cycles with these types of things. Last year and in 2012, the WPIAL had three boys teams in the championships. Heck, it was only four years ago that the WPIAL had four teams in the PIAA finals. Since the PIAA went to four classifications in the 1983-84 season, the only other time the WPIAL had four teams in the finals was 2004.
On the girls side, the WPIAL will have three teams in the state finals. The funny thing is all three are seeking second consecutive titles. The teams are Blackhawk, Seton-LaSalle and Vincentian. The WPIAL has never had two girls teams repeat as champions in the same year.
Now, onto what happened tonight with WPIAL teams and City League member Allderdice ...
PIAA semifinal roundup
Martin Luther King 48, Allderdice 35 - The greatest playoff run at Allderdice since 1987 ended with a Class AAAA loss to a Philadelphia Public League team. Allderdice's offense struggled mightily down the stretch. Allderdice took a 30-28 lead with 4:20 left in the third quarter. But the Dragons scored only five points the rest of the way.
"It just wasn't our night," Allderdice coach Buddy Valinsky said to reporter Rod Frisco after the game. "Maybe it was their defense. Maybe it was us. I do know that's the quickest team we've played. Definitely."
James Jackson led Allderdice with 10 points.
"I'm not sure what our shooting percentage was. Eighteen, twenty percent? All I know it was abysmal," Valinsky said.
Aliquippa 72, West Middlesex 48 - The undefeated Quips (29-0) continue to roll in Class AA. The Quips have won every game by double figures this year and this was their closest of four PIAA games.
Junior guard Jassir Jordan was terrific for Aliquippa, scoring a career-high 30 points. He made 10 of 15 shots, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. He was 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Jordan and Stephon McGinnis make for a terrific guard tandem. It's hard to believe there is a better backcourt in the state in Class AA. McGinnis didn't have one of his best games, but still had 15 points. Junior forward Chucky Humphries added 12. I love Humphries' game. McGinnis and Jordan get plenty of "pub," but the 6-5 Humphries also has been gigantic for the Quips. (Humphries is pictured after Tuesday night's semifinal win)
Humphreys is excellent at something that has been lost in much of basketball: the mid-range shot. He has a deadly 15-foot jumper.
Aliquippa's defense in the first half also was big. Trey Staunch, West Middlesex's 6-5 senior who has more than 2,000 career points, had only two points in the first half before finishing with 24.
Cumberland Valley 56, Norwin 40 - Offense was a problem for Norwin, the WPIAL AAAA champion. The Knights had only 23 points through three quarters and went on to lose. Kelly Jekot, a Villanova recruit who was named Gatorade Pa. player of the year recently, led Cumberland Valley with 22, and her sister, Katie, a sophomore, added 18. Alayna Gribble had 21 for Norwin.
Blackhawk 71, Berks Catholic 61 - Chassidy Omogrosso poured in 31 points and moved in seventh place on the WPIAL all-time scoring list with 2,661 points. She passed Carrie Bordas, a 1990 Aliquippa graduate who had 2,658. Omogrosso now is only 17 points from legendary Swin Cash, who had 2,678 at McKeesport.
Breanna Hoover had 12 points and Bridgette Shaffer 11 for Blackhawk. The Cougars led by only two points after three quarters, but outscored Berks Catholic, 19-11, in the fourth.
Seton-LaSalle 61, Bishop Canevin 47 - In a rematch of the WPIAL championship, Seton-LaSalle rolled in Class AA. It was the Rebels' fourth victory against Bishop Canevin this season. Seton-LaSalle's guards were the difference in the game. Nicolete Newman scored 19, Cassidy Walsh 18 and Shaunay Edmonds 12.
Vincentian 63, Blairsville 37 - One of the most dominating runs by a WPIAL girls team continued as Vincentian crushed Blairsville. Vincentian has won eight postseason games (WPIAL and PIAA) by at least 22 points. Now get this: The Royals have won their four PIAA games by 57, 31, 28 and 26 points.
Brenna Wise had her usual standout game for Vincentian. A Pitt recruit, Wise had 20 points and 15 rebounds while guard Torrieonna Cash had 13.