Cal boys hope to seize opportunity
TribLIVE Sports Videos
California will have a big task to face when the Trojans take on Brentwood in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs Saturday at Peters Township.
Well, actually two big tasks.
Brentwood (12-9) features a solid one-two punch in sweet-shooting guard Jason Pilarski (6-1), who averages 20 ppg, and bruising center Michael Kish (6-5).
“The big kid inside (Kish) is a very physical player and the guard (Pilarski) can really shoot it,” said California coach Phil Pergola.
“We're going to have to play good defense and really improve on our rebounding to win this game.”
The Trojans (18-3) have a nice one-two punch of their own in seniors Tanner Huffman and Brian Fisher. Huffman (23.6 ppg) is the leading scorer in Class AA while Fisher averages 18.2 ppg.
“It's going to take more than two for us,” Pergola said. “We are going to have to dictate the tempo of the game and do what we do best.”
The winner of the California-Brentwood game will meet the winner of the Deer Lakes (16-6) vs. Shady Side Academy (8-14) contest on Wednesday.
Pergola noted that he was pleased with the draw that the Trojans received for the playoffs.
“We have two very winnable games in front of us and if we can win them and get to (top-seeded) Beaver Falls in the quarterfinals, we have a good chance of getting into the state playoffs,” Pergola said. “You never want to look ahead, but we do have an opportunity in front of us, no doubt.
“I hope the kids are excited,” he said. “I know the coaching staff is excited.”
The Trojans meet the Spartans at 3 p.m. in the third game of a tripleheader.
In the noon opener at Peters Township, the Cougars (14-6) go up against Bishop Canevin (10-12) in a AA boys game.
Canevin is led by 6-4 senior Jake Seligman, who averages just under 16 ppg.
Canevin coach Tony DiMaria sees the game as a potential battle of strengths between the teams.
“We like to control the tempo, walk the ball up the court and take our time,” DiMaria said. “Charleroi seems to like to get going, get into more of a running game.
“We play a 2-3 zone defense and we play it really well. Our defense keeps us in a lot of games and has won some of them.”
While the Crusaders average just 47.8 ppg, the Cougars average 62.1 ppg behind a balanced attack that is led by guards Jim Diaz (15.5 ppg) and Matt Indorante (14.8).
“We can't let them just get out there and run,” DiMaria said.
The winner of the Charleroi-Canevn game will meet Beaver Falls (19-3) on Wednesday.
The Lady Trojans (14-7) have a tough task in their first round game at Peters Township (1:30 p.m.) against fourth-seeded Quigley (16-5).
Quigley features a solid scoring attack, averaging 57.1 ppg, behind Kaitlyn Smith (12.5) and Kristin Jackson (11.8).
Quigley also plays tough defense, limiting opponents to just 40 ppg.
That statistic will be tested by California and leading scorer Courtnee McMasters, who averages 22 points per game and needs 16 points to become the second girls player in California history to crack 1,000 for a career.
The Lady Trojans are also bolstered by the return of second-leading scorer Tristen Conaway, who missed over two weeks after suffering a concussion but returned for the regular season finale.
The California-Quigley winner will face the Avella (13-8)-St. Joseph (10-12) winner on Wednesday.
The Lady Rams (10-10) meet Indiana (15-7) in a AAA first round game at Gateway (3 p.m.).
Indiana goes into the playoffs having won four of their last five games.
Audrey Stapleton (16.9) leads Indiana in scoring while Kaitlyn Hoff averages 10.8.
Ringgold, meanwhile, is led by senior Josie Schmidt (10.9) and freshman Bailey Cooper (10.1).
The winner plays third-seeded South Park (19-2) on Wednesday.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cops: Man shoots 11-year-old with BB gun; boy is critical
- Rossi: After L.A., NFL should tread carefully
- Pedestrian injured in accident near busway ramp in Carnegie
- Couple attempts theft at North Huntingdon Wal-Mart
- Wrong-way driver causes head-on crash in Center
- Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row
- Man taken to hospital after New Alexandria house burns
- Acme man’s ephemeral sculptures appear to defy laws of physics
- Neighbor arrested after McKeesport house fire, authorities say
- Deer Lakes softball team seeking 2nd WPIAL championship in 4 years
- Memorial Day service in National Cemetery of the Alleghenies still growing