Burrell girls basketball coach happy with playoff seeding
Burrell girls basketball coach Meghan Ziemianski knew exactly what she was looking for upon first glance of the WPIAL Class AA playoff bracket Tuesday night.
She wanted the right stuff.
Ziemianski wanted to make sure, above all else, that her team was on the right side and as far away from top-seeded Seton-La Salle (21-1) as possible — at least for now.
Burrell (20-2), fresh off its first section title since 2009, was awarded a No. 3 seed and won't play until next Tuesday when it faces the Charleroi/Carlynton winner.
“We're glad with it,” said Ziemianski, whose team played a strong nonsection schedule, which it passed with flying colors. “It's still a game-by-game mentality. We're just glad Seton is on the other side.
“We'll get back at it tomorrow. The girls wouldn't expect anything less.”
The respect for Section 1-AA didn't stop there.
Deer Lakes (19-3), runner-up to Burrell, grabbed the No. 4 seed and will face the winner of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (18-4) and Riverview (13-7) next Tuesday.
The Lancers also fared well out of section, even defeating No. 5 seed Jeannette late in the season.
Riverview, which pulled a stunner with a quarterfinal upset of then-No. 4 Monessen last season, was hoping for a first-round game despite a third-place finish in Section 3.
The Raiders will look for more magic this time.
“That's why you throw it up and play,” Riverview coach Keith Stitt said. “We'll see what happens.”
Also in Class AA, Ford City (14-8) will make its 18th consecutive appearance in the playoffs starting in the preliminary round against Washington (12-10) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Yough.
“You've got to play them all eventually,” Ford City coach Al Davis said. “I'm just hoping for a good game versus Washington.”
In another Class AA play-in game, Springdale (11-11) plays Riverside (14-8) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Keystone Oaks.
Section 2-AAAA co-champion Fox Chapel (17-5) is the No. 8 seed in Class AAAA after missing the playoffs last season at 3-19. The Foxes will take on No. 9 Butler (13-9) next Tuesday at a time and site to be determined.
Plum (17-5), meantime, is seeded 11th and has an intriguing first-round matchup against No. 6 Penn-Trafford (18-4), also next Tuesday.
“We expected to be a little higher,” Plum coach Bernie Pucka said. “We played them in our first game of the season and they beat us by 30. It should be a great game this time.”
St. Joseph (10-12) is seeded 12th in Class A and takes on No. 5 Avella (13-8) in a first-round game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at North Hills.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.