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Breaking down the WPIAL basketball championships

| Friday, March 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The WPIAL basketball championships will be contested Friday and Saturday at Palumbo Center. Below is a look at each matchup:

Tickets: $10. Palumbo Center will be cleared of fans between the 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. games on Saturday, meaning fans would need two tickets to watch the entire day's five-game schedule.

TV: The championship games will not be televised lived, but replays of all eight will be available free to Comcast digital cable subscribers beginning early next week. To watch any game, customers should go to their On Demand menu and select the “Get Local” folder followed by the “Sports,” “High School Sports” and “Basketball” folders.

Radio: MSA Sports will carry all eight games online at

Class AAAA

No. 1 New Castle vs. No. 3 Hampton

9 p.m., Saturday, Palumbo Center

New Castle (25-0)

Coach: Ralph Blundo

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

1 Brandon Domenick G 5-9 Sr.

4 Antonio Rudolph F 6-1 Sr.

12 Shawn Anderson G/F 6-3 Sr.

22 Anthony Richards G 5-9 Jr.

23 Malik Hooker F 6-2 Jr.

Hampton (21-4) Coach: Joe Lafko

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

3 Jon Floss G 5-11 Jr.

10 Ryan Luther F 6-8 Jr.

11 Collin Luther G/F 6-7 Jr.

22 Joey Lafko G 5-10 So.

23 David Huber G 6-2 So.

Scoring leaders: NC: Anderson 20.7; H: R. Luther 21.8.

How they got here:New Castle beat No. 16 Latrobe, 85-64; beat No. 9 Gateway, 87-55; and beat No. 12 Seneca Valley, 71-46. Hampton beat No. 14 Mt. Lebanon, 53-48; beat No. 11 McKeesport, 71-63; and beat No. 2 North Allegheny, 66-62.

Title-game record: NC: 8-3, H: 1-3.

Notable: These teams are quite familiar with one another. Along with both being members of Section 3, they met in last season's Class AAA title game (won by New Castle) before jumping to Quad-A. The unbeaten Red Hurricanes won both meetings this season (75-54 on Jan. 15 and 54-50 on Feb. 8), but the Talbots were the only team to give them a scare.

Predicted winner: New Castle

Class AAA

No. 1 Chartiers Valley vs. No. 3 Montour

9 p.m., Friday, Palumbo Center

Chartiers Valley (22-3) Coach: Tim McConnell

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

5 Michael Boulos G 5-10 Sr.

14 Dom Castello G 5-8 Jr.

21 Spencer Casson C 6-6 Sr.

23 Matty McConnell G 5-11 So.

20 Haedyn Herzer G 5-8 Jr.

Montour (21-4) Coach: Adam Kaufman

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

1 Justin Hill F 6-2 Sr.

11 Devin Wilson G 6-4 Sr.

13 Kevin Scuilli G 5-10 Sr.

14 Kyle Kutchman G/F 6-1 Jr.

22 Rob Julian G/F 6-1 Sr.

Scoring leaders: CV: Boulos 18.7; M: Wilson 16.9.

How they got here: Chartiers Valley beat No. 16 Knoch, 77-43; beat No. 9 South Fayette, 67-62; and beat No. 4 Beaver, 68-43. Montour beat No. 14 Ambridge, 43-25; beat No. 6 Thomas Jefferson, 59-40; and beat No. 2 Mars, 61-52.

Title-game record: CV: 5-3, M: 1-0.

Notable: Rivals from Section 5, Chartiers Valley and Montour split their regular-season series, which each winning on its home court. Chartiers Valley won, 75-62 on Jan. 4. Montour won, 51-40 on Jan. 29. Both will try to control the tempo. Montour favors a patient approach led by Wilson. CV, which topped 100 points twice this season, can push and pressure the ball.

Predicted winner: Chartiers Valley

Class AA

No. 1 Beaver Falls vs. No. 7 Burrell

1 p.m., Saturday, Palumbo Center

Beaver Falls (22-3) Coach: Doug Biega

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

0 Javon Turner G 5-9 So.

2 Cadee Akins G 5-7 Sr.

3 Elijah Cottrill G 6-3 Jr.

10 Drew Cook G 6-2 Sr.

12 Danny Stratton F 6-2 Jr.

Burrell (19-6) Coach: Rob Niederberger

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

3 Pete Spagnolo G 5-9 Sr.

22 Alex White G 5-9 Sr.

24 Jake Prefling G 6-0 Sr.

34 Matt Hess C 6-3 Sr.

40 Cole Bush F 6-2 Sr.

Scoring leaders: BF: Cottrill 16.5; B: Spagnolo 13.1.

How they got here:Beaver Falls beat No. 16 Bishop Canevin, 78-37; beat No. 8 Brentwood, 66-36; and beat No. 12 Apollo-Ridge, 71-39. Burrell beat Beth-Center, 64-34, in a preliminary-round game; beat No. 10 Washington, 60-41; beat No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic, 67-63; and beat No. 6 Quaker Valley, 43-32.

Title-game record: BF: 8-7, B: 0-1.

Notable: This will be Burrell's first WPIAL championship game appearance since 1979, but the Bucs have history with Beaver Falls. It was Beaver Falls who beat them, 55-54, in that Class AAA title game. Beaver Falls, the defending WPIAL Class AA champion, has outscored each of its three playoff opponents by at least 30 points. Burrell won its past two playoff games in overtime.

Predicted winner: Beaver Falls

Class A

No. 2 Vincentian vs. No. 5 Clairton

7 p.m., Friday, Palumbo Center

Vincentian (24-1)

Coach: George Yokitis

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

1 Tony Dinardo G 6-1 Sr.

2 Kevin Fischer G 5-11 Jr.

5 Matt Rathz C 6-2 Sr.

20 Jim Kenna F 6-0 Jr.

35 Ryan Wolf G 5-9 So.

Clairton (16-6)

Coach: Matt Geletko

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

1 Titus Howard F 6-3 Sr.

3 Bryon Clifford G 5-9 Sr.

5 Terrish Webb G 6-1 Sr.

10 Armani Ford G 5-10 Sr.

23 Tyler Boyd G 6-2 Sr.

Scoring leaders: VA: Wolf 21.4 ; C: Clifford 18.0.

How they got here:Vincentian beat No. 15 Western Beaver, 106-73; beat No. 7 Monessen, 81-42; and beat No. 3 North Catholic, 82-69. Clairton beat No. 12 St. Joseph, 74-38; No. 4 Union, 66-55; and No. 1 Lincoln Park, 71-70.

Title-game record: VA: 1-3, C: 6-4.

Notable: Vincentian is trying to win its second WPIAL title in three seasons. The Royals' lone loss was to Ebensburg's Bishop Carroll (83-81), the top seed in the District 6 Class A playoffs. Clairton could become the first school since Serra Catholic (A), Jeannette (AA) and Central Catholic (AAAA) in 2007-2008 to win football and basketball titles in the same academic year. The Bears also accomplished the feat in 1989-90.

Predicted winner: Clairton

Class AAAA

No. 3 Bethel Park

vs. No. 5 Chartiers Valley

7 p.m., Saturday, Palumbo Center

Bethel Park (22-3)

Coach: Jonna Burke

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

11 Harper Zimmer G 5-6 Jr.

12 Mariah Penascino G 5-9 Sr.

21 Megan Marecic G 5-11 Jr.

22 Sami Simpson F 6-1 Jr.

24 Paige Kochka-Puskar F 6-0 So.

Chartiers Valley (19-6)

Coach: Spencer Stefko

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

00 Mariah Wells G 5-9 Sr.

10 Kassidy O'Keefe G 5-8 Sr.

21 Kristin McGeough F 6-3 Jr.

22 Kristina Coyne F 6-0 Sr.

24 Alexa Golden G 5-9 So.

Scoring leaders: BP: Marecic 15.3; CV: Wells 13.8.

How they got here:Bethel Park beat No. 14 Norwin, 61-31; beat No. 6 Penn-Trafford, 43-34; and beat No. 7 Gateway, 36-28. Chartiers Valley beat No. 12 Shaler, 31-29; beat No. 13 Upper St. Clair, 55-52; and beat No. 1 Mt. Lebanon, 31-27.

Title-game record: BP: 0-1, CV: 0-0.

Notable: Bethel Park took both Section 4 games against Chartiers Valley, winning 46-33 on Feb. 4 and 37-36 on Jan. 10, when Zimmer hit a game-winner with 15 seconds left. Chartiers Valley will make its first WPIAL championship game appearance after reaching the semifinals in two of the past three seasons. This will be Bethel Park's second title game, having lost to Oakland Catholic in 2005.

Predicted winner: Bethel Park

Class AAA

No. 3 South Parkvs. No. 5 Elizabeth Forward

3 p.m., Saturday, Palumbo Center

South Park (22-2)

Coach: Reggie Wells

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

4 Lindsey Noss G 5-5 Jr.

21 Halie Torris F 5-10 Jr.

31 Shelby Lindsay G 5-11 Sr.

34 Breanna Raymond C 6-0 Sr.

35 Allison McGrath F 5-9 Fr.

Elizabeth Forward (23-2)

Coach: Sam Kosanovich

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

1 Alison Pastore G 5-6 Jr.

21 Natalie Fekula F 6-0 Jr.

22 Kylie Owoc G 5-8 Jr.

23 Macy Pekala G 5-3 Sr.

33 Dana Buck F 6-0 Sr.

Scoring leaders: SP: Lindsay 18.1; EF: Buck 11.3.

How they got here:South Park beat No. 10 Indiana, 54-38; No. 6 Hampton, 69-37; and No. 2 Hopewell, 75-55. Elizabeth Forward beat No. 12 Mars, 56-31; No. 4 Central Valley, 66-45; and No. 1 Blackhawk, 78-64.

Title-game record: SP: 2-1, EF: 1-4.

Notable: South Park won, 60-35, when these teams played Feb. 11. That season finale loss was the Warriors' only loss this season to a WPIAL team. Elizabeth Forward last reached the WPIAL title game 1990. South Park was runner-up last season. Kosanovich and Wells both are former boys basketball head coaches at South Park, with Wells having replaced Kosanovich in 1997.

Predicted winner: South Park

Class AA

No. 1 Seton-La Salle

vs. No. 2 Bishop Canevin

5 p.m., Friday, Palumbo Center

Seton-La Salle (24-1)

Coach: John Ashaolu

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

3 Shauney Edmonds G 5-0 Fr.

5 Nicolete Newman G 5-6 So.

20 Naje Gibson F 6-0 Jr.

22 Angela Heintz G 5-10 Sr.

23 Natalie Piaggesi F 6-2 Sr.

Bishop Canevin (21-4)

Coach: Tim Joyce

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

20 Carly Forse F 5-10 Sr.

21 Erin Waskowiak G 5-11 Sr.

22 Celina DiPietro G 5-10 Sr.

23 Gina Vallecorsa G 5-8 Fr.

32 Johnie Olkosky F 5-9 Jr.

Scoring leaders: S: Gibson 13.2; BC: Waskowiak 15.8.

How they got here:Seton-La Salle beat No. 16 Washington, 61-20; No. 8 Greensburg Central Catholic, 66-43; and No. 5 Jeannette, 73-38. Bishop Canevin beat No. 15 Neshannock, 65-28; No. 7 Mohawk, 56-44; and No. 3 Burrell, 55-19.

Title-game record: S: 4-7, BC: 0-1.

Notable: Seton-La Salle, the defending WPIAL and PIAA champion, has won eight in a row against its Section 3 rival including a 73-60 victory in last season's WPIAL title game. The Rebels also won, 61-38, in the 2011 semifinals. This season's victories were 66-35 on Jan. 14 and 66-58 on Feb. 7. Seton's Heintz and Bishop Canevin's Waskowiak both have committed to Duquesne.

Predicted winner: Seton-La Salle

Class A

No. 1 Vincentian vs. No. 2 Serra Catholic

11 a.m., Saturday, Palumbo Center

Vincentian (24-1)

Coach: Ron Moncrief

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

4 Torrieonna Cash G 5-7 Fr.

10 Amanda Bigi G 5-8 Jr.

12 Ally Bartoszewicz G/F 5-11 Jr.

15 Abbey Bartoszewicz G 5-6 Sr.

50 Brenna Wise F 6-1 So.

Serra Catholic (23-2)

Coach: Bill Cleary

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

5 Katie Sieg G 5-6 So.

14 Jessica Manfredi G 5-6 Sr.

21 Lindsay Hoye G 5-6 Jr.

24 Nicole Pero C 6-0 Jr.

34 Megan Sieg G 5-7 Jr.

Scoring leaders: VA: Wise 22.8; SC: M. Sieg 12.

How they got here:Vincentian beat No. 16 West Greene, 59-15; No. 8 Winchester-Thurston, 76-59; and No. 4 Quigley, 57-38; Serra Catholic beat No. 15 Jefferson Morgan, 85-45; beat No. 10 Rochester, 61-42; and beat No. 3 North Catholic, 56-45.

Title-game record: VA: 5-2, SC: 4-5.

Notable: Wise was a freshman starter for Vincentian Academy last season when the Royals won the Class A title over North Catholic. She had 22 points and 20 rebounds in Wednesday's semifinal victory. Unlike Vincentian, Serra Catholic doesn't have a player averaging more than 12 points, but the Eagles do have four scoring at least 10. Vincentian beat Serra Catholic, 67-59, on Dec. 8.

Predicted winner: Vincentian

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