Franklin Regional boys get section win; girls suffer upset
One Franklin Regional basketball team kept its slim playoff hopes mathematically alive, while another saw its hopes fall into dicier territory Monday.
Franklin Regional's boys closed out a Section 2-AAAA doubleheader at Penn Hills with a 59-56 win after the Panthers girls team slipped back into a tie for fourth place in the section with a 55-49 loss to the Indians.
Both of Monday's games were originally scheduled for Friday night, but heavy snowfall led to the doubleheader being postponed.
The FR boys (8-9, 3-7) completed a season sweep of the Indians (4-13, 1-9) behind 12 points from Charan Singh and 10 points each from George Brown and Nate Hlozek. Penn Hills was led by a game-high 15 points from Deandre Schifino-Winbush.
Though the win helped pull Franklin Regional closer to .500 overall, it probably will do little toward getting the team into the playoffs. With four games remaining in section play, the Panthers would need to win all of their remaining games and have fourth-place McKeesport, which entered the week at 7-3 in section play, lose the rest of its games.
FR was scheduled to play at first-place Gateway, and McKeesport was scheduled to host last-place Woodland Hills on Tuesday, after this edition's deadline.
The Franklin Regional girls (8-8, 3-5) still control their own playoff fate, but the margin for error was severely lessened by allowing Penn Hills (6-11, 3-5) to pull level in the standings.
The Indians pulled away early in the game with a long run that gave them a 20-3 advantage after one quarter. Maggie Kimmich led the Panthers with 22 points, and FR cut into the lead through the second and third quarters, but it wasn't enough to overcome 20 points from Gloria Schifino and 16 points from Jade Ely for Penn Hills.
With a split of their season series, both Penn Hills and Franklin Regional would qualify for the playoffs if they have matching results over the final four section games. Otherwise, the team with the most wins over the last four section games will claim the final playoff spot for itself.
Both Franklin Regional teams had nonsection games scheduled for Wednesday, after this edition's deadline. The Panthers host a section doubleheader against McKeesport on Friday; the girls game will start at 6 p.m., and the boys game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.