Breaking down the PIAA girls basketball playoffs
By Compiled By Chris Harlan
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
WPIAL/City League: Bethel Park (23-2), Chartiers Valley (18-7), Gateway (20-5), Mt. Lebanon (22-3), Penn-Trafford (19-5) and Allderdice (12-13).
Around the state: Spring-Ford (25-2) used a 27-0 run to defend its title in District 1 (suburban Philadelphia) and extend a 19-game winning streak.
• Cardinal O'Hara (21-5), the District 12 winner from the Philadelphia Catholic League, has a frontcourt with two Division I recruits: 6-foot-1 senior Shanice Johnson (Delaware) and 6-3 senior Lisa Mintzer (La Salle).
• Wilson West Lawn (23-2) won its first Section 3 title since 2008, led by 5-6 junior Avery Marz's 19 points.
• Philadelphia's Archbishop Carroll (19-6) has two D-I recruits to defend its 2012 PIAA title: 6-foot forward Sarah Curran (Drexel) and 5-5 guard Kristie Costantino (Stony Brook).
• Mount St. Joseph (26-3) lost twice to Spring-Ford, including 51-30 in the District 1 final. The team's only other loss was to Cumberland Valley, which awaits a rematch in the PIAA first round.
Don't overlook: Hollidaysburg (22-2), which rejoined Class AAAA this season, won the District 6 title behind 6-foot senior Morgan Griffith (15 ppg), a Shippensburg recruit.
Notable: The state's two largest cities have owned this bracket. A WPIAL team has reached the final in each of the past five seasons (Mt. Lebanon, 2008-11; Oakland Catholic, 2012). District 12, Philadelphia's Catholic and public schools, has reached the past four (O'Hara, 2009; Ryan, 2010; Carroll, 2011-12). ... Cardinal O'Hara beat Philadelphia Central, 60-10, in the District 12 title game. ... North Penn (22-4) has American recruit Lauren Crisler, a 6-2 forward.
Finals prediction: Cardinal O'Hara over Wilson West Lawn
WPIAL/Heritage: South Park (23-2), Elizabeth Forward (22-3), Hopewell (21-4), Blackhawk (24-1), Hampton (18-6), Central Valley (18-5) and Ligonier Valley (16-7).
Around the state: Prep Charter (17-2), a PIAA semifinalist in 2012, won Philadelphia's public school league for the third straight season.
• Palmyra (25-0), a first-time District 3 champion, hopes to avoid a repeat of last season's first-round exit.
• Archbishop Wood (17-9), the three-time defending PIAA champion, enters with consecutive losses in the Philadelphia Catholic League final (31-25 to Cardinal O'Hara) and the District 12 final (48-41 to Prep Charter).
• Franklin (24-1), the District 10 champion, was undefeated except for a Jan. 5 loss to WPIAL Class AA champion Bishop Canevin.
• Erie's Villa Maria Academy (19-4), a newcomer to Class AAA, and Malvern's Villa Maria Academy (22-3), the District 1 champ, could create a confusing title game matchup.
Don't overlook: Lancaster Catholic (25-1) was PIAA runner-up a season ago, but it enters states as the fifth seed from District 3 after a loss (59-53 to lower-seeded Susquehannock) in the district quarterfinals.
Notable: Blackhawk and South Park both reached the quarterfinals in 2012, and Hopewell made the second round. ... Chartiers Valley, a returning semifinalist, has moved to Class AAAA. ... Erie Villa Maria's Karlee McBride, a 5-10 senior averaging 13.1 points, is an Indiana recruit. ... Franklin made a free throw with no time left to beat Villa Maria, 48-47, in the District 10 final. ... Lancaster Catholic's Porscha Speller (17 ppg) and Hopewell's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough were first-team all-state last season.
Finals prediction: Prep Charter over Blackhawk
WPIAL/Heritage: Bishop Canevin (22-4), Seton-La Salle (24-2), Burrell (22-3), Jeannette (17-7), Mohawk (17-7), Greensburg Central Catholic (17-7), McGuffey (20-3) and Blairsville (24-1).
Around the state: York Catholic (25-2), the PIAA runner-up in 2012, enters states for the eighth consecutive season as the District 3 champion.
• Dunmore (20-6), the state runner-up in 2011, won its seventh District 2 title in the past eight years.
• North East (22-3) capitalized on Villa Maria's rise to Class AAA and claimed the District 10 title with Mercyhurst recruit Alex Artise (5-9 junior, 17 ppg).
• Mount Carmel (22-4) won its third straight District 4 title, led by 5-9 senior Christina Perles (17 ppg).
• Notre Dame Green Pond (20-5) won the District 11 title with a victory over No. 1 seed Pine Grove (22-4), the district's two-time defending champion.
Don't overlook: Neumann-Goretti (13-11) barely has a .500 record, but the Saints of District 12 do own a 46-45 victory over Class AAAA contender Cardinal O'Hara.
Notable: Seton-La Salle is defending PIAA champion; the Rebels beat York Catholic, 71-47, in last season's final. ... The last girls team to win consecutive Class AA titles was Erie's Villa Maria, which won in 2009, 2010 and 2011. ... Bishop Canevin, the WPIAL champion, reached the PIAA second round last year ... Blairsville, which has won 24 in a row, earned its first District 6 title with a 71-61 victory over Bellwood-Antis. ... York Catholic, the 2008 state champion, won the District 3 title with a 57-26 victory over Delone Catholic.
Finals prediction: Seton-La Salle over York Catholic
WPIAL: Vincentian Academy (25-1), Serra Catholic (23-3), Quigley Catholic (18-6), North Catholic (15-10) and Winchester Thurston (13-9)
Around the state: Steelton-Highspire (23-4) could defend its PIAA title with Hampton recruit Malia Tate-DeFreitas (5-10, senior), a 3,000-point scorer who had at least 30 in all three District 3 playoff victories.
• Tri-Valley (23-3), the District 11 champion, features 6-5 senior Tara Nahodil (18.8 ppg), a Seton Hall recruit.
• Old Forge (24-0), which reached last year's quarterfinals, won the District 2 girls title for the first time in the history of the Scranton-area school.
• Kennedy Catholic (22-2) won its third straight District 10 title with 5-11 senior Alex Ricketts (17 ppg), an Akron recruit.
• Bishop Guilfoyle (24-2) extended its District 6 title streak to seven with a 61-36 victory over Portage.
Don't overlook: Conemaugh Valley (21-4) was third entering the District 5 playoffs before upsetting higher-seeded Berlin-Brothersvalley (22-4) and Southern Fulton (23-3) to win the district title.
Notable: Tate-DeFreitas has 3,272 career points, third in PIAA history behind Monessen's Gina Naccarato (3,364 in 1992-96) and Mt. Carmel's Maria Fantanarosa (3,823 in 1981-1985). ... Steelton-Highspire outscored its District 3 quarterfinal opponent Veritas Academy, 112-26. ... Vincentian Academy holds a 70-53 victory (Jan. 26) over Kennedy Catholic, a likely quarterfinal opponent. ... North Catholic was runner-up a season ago, losing to Steelton-Highspire, 66-59, in the PIAA championship game. North Catholic had beaten Vincentian, 71-58, in the semifinals.
Finals prediction: Steelton-Highspire over Vincentian
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.
- West Mifflin ponders late breakdowns in PIAA playoff loss
- Serra Catholic’s PIAA path and foe familiar
- Seton-La Salle girls cruise past Blairsville
- Hampton, Luther prove too tall a task for Allderdice
- Derry’s Phillippi upset in PIAA quarterfinals
- Palarino scores 28 points to lead Penn-Trafford to first WPIAL finals berth
- Ligonier Valley basketball is a team effort for Hepner family
- Ligonier Valley girls exit playoffs
- Burrell girls to begin PIAA championship quest
- Defensive stop sets tone in Erie McDowell win over Kiski Area
- Free-throw shooting keys Fox Chapel’s opening-round win