High school notebook: WPIAL basketball pairings to be announced Tuesday night
Representatives from 161 high school basketball teams will learn their draw at 7 p.m. Tuesday, when the postseason brackets are announced at the annual WPIAL playoff pairings meeting at the Double Tree Hotel in Green Tree.
Opening-round games are expected to begin Thursday, as there will be 16 preliminary-round games on the boys side and 18 for the girls.
Just two unbeaten teams are in the playoff field — New Castle boys (22-0) and Blackhawk girls (22-0).
The field also includes 15 boys teams with sub-.500 records: Mt. Lebanon (10-12), Yough (8-14), Aliquippa (9-13), Mohawk (9-12), Shady Side Academy (8-14), Bishop Canevin (10-12), Beth-Center (10-11), Rochester (7-15), Western Beaver (6-14), Sewickley Academy (8-12), Monessen (9-13), Mapletown (6-16), Trinity Christian (9-13), St. Joseph (9-13) and Leechburg (8-12).
Fourteen girls teams qualified for the playoffs with sub .500 records: Franklin Regional (10-12), Penn Hills (9-13), Oakland Catholic (9-13), Upper St. Clair (10-11), Kittanning (9-13), Freeport (8-12), Mt. Pleasant (10-12), West Mifflin (9-12), South Side Beaver (7-14), St. Joseph (10-12), Jefferson-Morgan (9-13), Monessen (9-12), Frazier (10-11) and Clairton (7-13).
Two WPIAL senior standouts have been nominated for the 2013 McDonald's All-American Games.
Montour guard Devin Wilson and Hopewell forward Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, the reigning Pittsburgh Tribune-Review player of the year, are among 27 Pennsylvania players who were nominated to take part in the annual game, which features some of the nation's top-tier high school talent.
Walker-Kimbrough, a Maryland recruit, is averaging a Class AAA-best 27.6 points and surpassed 2,000 career points this season. Wilson, averaging more than 16, is also receiving Division I interest.
The final rosters, which will have 24 boys and 24 girls, will be announced at 5 p.m. Thursday on ESPNU. The all-star contest will be played April 3 at Chicago's United Center.
Mr. PA Football
Two of the WPIAL's top football players received Mr. PA Football awards Saturday night at a banquet in Hershey. Central Valley wide receiver Robert Foster, an Alabama recruit, and Clairton running back Tyler Boyd, a Pitt recruit, were honored as the big-school and small-school recipients.
North Allegheny quarterback Mack Leftwich and lineman Pat Kugler were finalists for the big-school award.
McGuffey (12-0), Woodland Hills (11-1) and Hempfield (10-2) captured the three section titles and will be the favorites at Tuesday's WPIAL rifle championships. Avella (8-4), Trinity (9-3) and Plum (7-5) also qualified for the team championships, which will be at Dormont/Mt. Lebanon Sportsmans Club in Canonsburg.
That also will be the site for Thursday's WPIAL individual championships.
On the mat
The individual postseason wrestling tournaments get under way this week, as the Class AA section tournaments will be at three sites — Chartiers-Houston (Section 1), Charleroi (Section 2) and Avonworth (Section 3) — on Saturday. The top five finishers in each weight class advance to the WPIAL Class AA tournament Feb. 22-23 at Chartiers Valley.
The City League tournament also will be Saturday at Carrick.
Pecora to East Allegheny
East Allegheny School District's board of directors hired Southmoreland High School football coach Dominic Pecora on Monday night to succeed Jason Ruscitto, who resigned after last season.
He will be the third head coach in as many seasons for the Wildcats, following Ruscitto and Dennis Edwards.
Pecora, who also was an assistant at Baldwin, Norwin and Yough, went 7-12 in two seasons with the Scotties.