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Jeannette boys hope to meet GCC once again

PHOTOS:John Howard | The Jeannette Spirit - Jeannette's Ryan Kish moves the ball down court in a regular season win against Shady Side Academy.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> PHOTOS:John Howard | The Jeannette Spirit</em></div>Jeannette's Ryan Kish moves the ball down court in a regular season win against Shady Side Academy.
- Jordan Edmunds works under the net in a regular season win.
Jordan Edmunds works under the net in a regular season win.
- Garrett Elliott plays defense for the Jayhawks.
Garrett Elliott plays defense for the Jayhawks.

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Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Jeannette Jayhawks began 2013 with one goal in mind — win the WPIAL Class-AA championship.

Four more wins and that goal is realized.

The Jayhawks began their playoff run this week with a matchup against Aliquippa in the round of 16 and will face increasingly difficult circumstances as the tournament progresses.

The game ended too late for this week's edition.

Jeannette (10-2, 17-4) earned the four-seed in the field of 26.

The first round whittled the field down to 16 where the tournament picks up with a traditional, four-round, single elimination format.

Looking ahead on Jeannette's side of the bracket, should the Jayhawks have gotten past Aliquippa, Jeannette would face the winner of the Sto-Rox (five-seed), Apollo Ridge game in the quarterfinals.

If the Jayhawks advance to the semifinal round, top-seeded Beaver Falls, the 2012 WPIAL champion, will most likely await Jeannette.

The teams that remain in Beaver Falls' bracket are not in the class of the Tigers.

Jeannette lost a year ago in the quarterfinal round to Beaver Falls. Jeannette head coach Adrian Batts thinks his team can more than compete with the reigning champions.

“I think we can beat anybody,” said Batts. “If we are playing Jeannette basketball — taking care of the ball, rebounding, defending and making free throws — we are a very tough team to beat.”

Batts loves his team's competitive nature and thinks that they will respond well when faced with teams that have as much if not more talent than the Jayhawks.

“We have a tough mentality. Our goal is to win four games and win the title,” said Batts.

Getting past Beaver Falls would be outstanding, but would still not be enough.

The Jayhawks would earn a trip to the AJ Palumbo Center on the Duquesne University campus in Pittsburgh where they would face the winner of the other half of the Class-AA bracket.

The top two seeds are Seton-LaSalle (2) and Greensburg Central Catholic (3). Two of the Jayhawks' four losses this season came at the hands of GCC.

Batts has visions of meeting the Centurions one more time this year.

“I know we can beat them,” said Batts. “They are a great team, but so are we. Hopefully we can settle it in the playoffs.”


Section 3

GCC (12-0) (21-1)

Jeannette (10-2) (17-4)

Serra Catholic (6-6) (13-9)

Shady Side (6-6) (9-14)

South Allegheny (4-8) (8-14)

Riverview (2-10) (5-17)

Springdale (2-10) (4-15)

Dave Moio is a freelance writer.

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