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GCC girls awarded No. 3 seed in Class 2A

| Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, 9:51 p.m.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Haley Moore (14) drives to the basket in front of Penn Hills' Tayonna Robertson (23) during the second quarter on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at Penn Hills High School. Penn Hills won 55-39.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Michelle Burns (10) drives past Penn-Trafford's Athena Biondi during the game at Penn-Trafford on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Harrison City.

As WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley was addressing the coaches and assembled media at the annual basketball pairings meeting Tuesday, he said “Some of you will go away not happy. I assure you the basketball committee did their due diligence to put these brackets together.”

Greensburg Central Catholic girls basketball coach Joe Eisaman had no complaint when he learned his team was seeded third in Class 2A behind No. 1 Chartiers-Houston and No. 2 Vincentian Academy at the Green Tree DoubleTree.

GCC (17-5) received a first-round bye and will play the winner of Brentwood (16-5) and Frazier (14-8) in the quarterfinals Feb. 23. Brentwood and Frazier play Friday at Charleroi.

“I thought they did a good job,” Eisaman said. “It doesn't matter where you're seeded. Anything can happen if you're playing your best basketball. Heck, we were seeded No. 14 last year.

“You never know who is out there who may get hot like we did. You have to go out and play.”

Greensburg Central Catholic got hot during the 2016 tournament, won four games — including a win against No. 3 Seton-La Salle in the first round — before falling to Bishop Canevin in the finals.

This time around, Eisaman loaded his nonsection schedule with Class 6A and 5A opponents.

The Centurions went to 2-5 against playoff teams. Losses to Penn Hills, Oakland Catholic, Pine-Richland, Hempfield and Penn-Trafford, all playoff teams, prepared them for the postseason.

“You never know about the playoffs, but you want to be playing your best basketball in February,” Eisaman said. “What we gained by playing those eight nonsection games was the experience of playing big, more physical and faster teams, and we'll see if it pays off.

“It helped us last year, so we went with it again. We toughened it up even more.”

Returning Class 4A champion Norwin (16-5) received No. 5 seed in the 6A tourney.

The Knights, who finished second to Penn Hills in Section 2, will play No. 12 Butler (10-11) in a first-round game Feb. 21 at Fox Chapel. The winner gets No. 4 Mt. Lebanon on Feb. 24.

Norwin coach Brian Brozeski said he doesn't know much about Butler, and he'll start preparing immediately.

“The first thing we need to do is worry about getting things straight with Norwin,” Brozeski said. “When you go into this tournament, you can't expect anything. You play with the hand that is dealt to you.

“I thought everything was fair as can be and you go on from there. We've been preparing for Norwin. We've been critiquing ourselves. We have some areas we need to improve upon.”

Hempfield (13-8) was awarded the No. 8 seed in 6A and will play No. 9 Canon-McMillan (8-14) on Tuesday at Charleroi.No. 10 Penn-Trafford (12-10) squares off against No. 7 Bethel Park (16-6) at Baldwin on Tuesday.

Greensburg Salem (10-12) will have the toughest first round test of all the area teams.

The Golden Lions, seeded No. 16 in 5A, gets No. 1 Hampton (20-2) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Fox Chapel.

Franklin Regional (12-10), which is seeded No. 9 in 5A, faces No. 8 McKeesport (11-11) at 8 p.m. Friday at Plum.

In Class 4A, No. 9 Mt. Pleasant (12-9) will face No. 8 Central Valley (15-7) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Peters Township.

The WPIAL finals will be held March 2-4 at Pitt's Petersen Event Center.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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