Tomorrow night is the final full night of section play in WPIAL boys basketball and there are still several playoff spots to be filled.
But before we give you the playoff picture, one piece of news concerning the Hampton vs. New Castle II. The game is sold out tomorrow at New Castle.
New Castle has a good-sized gym, but New Castle athletic director Sam Flora said at 7 p.m. tonight that the game is officially sold out. Flora said the crowd will be roughly 2,500. Below is a picture from the game and tomorrow the place will be even more crowded.
Now listen to what transpired with the tickets. It’s great to see a town follow a basketball team like this.
First off, New Castle has 600 season ticket holders. There are undoubtedly many schools in the WPIAL who don’t get 600 fans total for a game this late in the year.
Next, New Castle gave Hampton 350 tickets to sell and New Castle sold some student tickets. Then New Castle sold tickets to the general public tonight and Flora said the school sold well in excess of 1,000 tickets in about two hours. All of them were Red Hurricane fans.
More than 1,000 tickets to a high school game in two hours? Wow. But I love it.
“It’s New Castle, brother. What do you expect?” Flora said with a laugh.
They are definitely ‘Cane crazy in New Castle.
New Castle and Hampton met in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship last year and in the Class AAA title game two years ago.
Now the playoff picture. Four teams from each section qualify for the playoffs. If there is a tie between two or more teams for the final spot, head-to-head breaks the tie. If teams are tied in head-to-head competition, then the tied teams all qualify.
Here is the playoff picture.
Section 1 – Hempfield, Kiski Area, Norwin and Latrobe have all clinched. The only way Connellsville can make it is if Latrobe loses its final two games to Albert Gallatin and Hempfield, and Connellsville beats Albert Gallatin.
Section 2 – Plum, Franklin Regional and Gateway have all clinched. The winner of Fox Chapel at Central Catholic Friday is in, and the loser is out.
Section 3 – New Castle, Hampton, North Allegheny and Seneca Valley have all clinched. No one else can qualify.
Section 4 – Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon have clinched. Peters Township and Canon-McMillan are alive for the other spot. Canon-McMillan plays Trinity tonight, and Peters Township plays host to Canon-McMillan tomorrow night. Regardless of what Canon-McMillan does tonight, the winner of tomorrow’s game is in the playoffs and the loser is out.
Section 1 – Mars, Indiana, Knoch and Kittanning have all clinched. No one else can qualify.
Section 2 – Central Valley, Blackhawk, Ambridge and West Allegheny have all clinched. No one else can qualify.
Section 3 – Uniontown, Mount Pleasant and Laurel Highlands have all clinched. The winner of tomorrow’s Greensburg Salem vs. Derry game gets the fourth spot and the loser is out.
Section 4 – Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Forward, Steel Valley and West Mifflin have all clinched spots and no one else can qualify.
Section 5 – Chartiers Valley, Montour, South Fayette and Keystone Oaks have all qualified. South Park can finish in a fourth-place tie and qualify for the playoffs if Montour beats Keystone Oaks tomorrow.
Section 1 – Summit Academy, Apollo-Ridge, West Shamokin and Burrell are the four qualifiers.
Section 2 – Beaver Falls, Aliquippa, Neshannock and Laurel have clinched and no one else can qualify. Beaver Falls plays at Aliquippa tomorrow for the section title.
Section 3 – Greensburg Central Catholic, South Allegheny, Shady Side Academy and Jeannette have all clinced and no one else can qualify.
Section 4 – Seton-LaSalle, Washington, Chartiers-Houston and Brentwood have all clinched and no one else can qualify.
Section 5 – Brownsville, Frazier, Charleroi and California have all clinched. Jefferson-Morgan is still alive, but the only way Jeff-Morgan can qualify is if it beats West Greene, and California loses its final two games against Bentworth and Charleroi.
Section 6 – Avonworth, Quaker Valley, Sto-Rox and Northgate have all clinched. If Northgate loses to Avonworth tomorrow, then South Side Beaver also qualifies.
Section 1 – Lincoln Park, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Western Beaver and Union have all clinched. No one else can qualify.
Section 2 – Vincentian, Sewickley Academy, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic and Eden Christian have all qualified. If Quigley beats Eden Christian tomorrow night, Quigley also qualifies.
Section 3 – Monessen, Carmichaels, Clairton and Mapletown have all clinched. No one else can qualify.
Section 4 – Imani Christian is in second place, but not eligible for the playoffs. Wilkinsburg, St. Joseph, Winchester Thurston and Trinity Christian are all in. Leechburg is still alive.