Sewickley-area teams set for PIAA contests
The PIAA basketball tournaments begin with first-round games Friday and Saturday, and it will be a busy weekend with four Sewickley-area teams in action.
The Sewickley Academy boys hope to use their WPIAL title as a springboard toward a state crown, and their girls team and the boys of Quaker Valley and Eden Christian have a chance to rebound from WPIAL losses.
The SA boys (21-4) will attempt to keep their seven-game winning streak rolling in the Class 2A bracket against District 10 fourth-place school Rocky Grove (21-4) in a 4:30 p.m. Saturday game at Northgate, where the Panthers have won twice this season: a section game and a WPIAL quarterfinal against Jeannette.
The Orioles have lost two consecutive games and are led by 6-foot-2 senior guard Tyler Davis, a career 1,000-point scorer.
Quaker Valley (22-4) also gets a District 10 opponent in the Class 4A bracket. The Quakers will face D-10 third-place Harbor Creek (18-7) at 3 p.m. Saturday at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.
The Huskies are a senior-led team with four players who average at least 9.9 points. They are led by 6-6 center Ryan Blakney, who averages team highs of 14.2 points and 7.9 rebounds.
The SA girls and Eden Christian boys advanced to the state tournament as the fifth WPIAL team by virtue of losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual Class A champions, Winchester Thurston girls and Monessen, respectively.
Saturday will be the first game for Sewickley Academy's girls (11-13) in Class A. They face District 9 champion North Clarion (23-2) at 3 p.m. in the Wolves' backyard, Clarion's Tippin Gym.
The Wolves are coming off their first district crown and are led by 5-11 forward Tori Obenrader, one of her district's top scorers at 20.7 points and 15.5 rebounds per game.
Eden Christian (12-10) also makes the trek to Tippin Gym for an 8 p.m. Friday meeting with the District 9, Class A boys champion Elk County Catholic (24-0). The Crusaders are led by the one-two scoring punch of guards Nate DaCanal and Gabe Kraus.
Second-round games will be played March 14-15 at times and sites to be determined.