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Bethel Park pulls P-T girls into state tourney

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Bethel Park's Mariah Penascino holds up the championship trophy after Bethel Park beat Chartiers Valley to win the WPIAL Class AAAA girls championship on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at Palumbo Center. (Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review)

Bethel Park's first WPIAL girls basketball championship was good news for Penn-Trafford.

With the Black Hawks' 48-34 win over Chartiers Valley in the final at the A.J. Palumbo Center on Saturday, the Warriors became the lucky quarterfinal losers to be pulled into the PIAA Class AAAA tournament by virtue of losing to the eventual champion.

Penn-Trafford (19-5) is seeded as the fifth-place team from the WPIAL, and it will face District 6 champ Hollidaysburg (22-2) in the first round at Altoona High School on Friday at 6 p.m.

“We practiced a couple times last week, in case it happened,” Penn-Trafford coach John Giannikas said.

“We knew Bethel Park had a good chance to win it all. Now, we're back to normal mode this week.”

In Hollidaysburg, the Warriors will face a team whose only two losses came against the WPIAL's two Class AA finalists, Bishop Canevin and Seton-La Salle. The team also boasts wins over Penn Hills and Seneca Valley on its schedule, so it is no stranger to P-T's local competition.

“They've got good size and a handful of shooters,” Giannikas said. “They're a real solid, aggressive team, and it will be a challenge, no doubt.”

While it will have been 14 days from P-T's last game to this one, Hollidaysburg also will be coming off a nine-day layoff after defeating Altoona for the District 6 crown, 71-53, on Feb. 27.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@tribweb.com.

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