Unbeaten Burrell girls basketball team gets Class AA No. 2 seed
TribLIVE Sports Videos
As soon as she heard WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley conclude the boys and girls basketball playoff pairings meeting Tuesday night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Green Tree, Burrell girls coach Meghan Ziemianski headed to the lectern where O'Malley stood.
No, Ziemianski didn't want to complain about the Bucs' seeding in the Class AA tournament — she found Burrell's No. 2 seed quite satisfying, particularly once she looked at who else sat on the Bucs' side of the 25-team bracket.
Ziemianski strode over to O'Malley so she could correct an erroneous announcement made by the director, who, prior to releasing the pairings, declared New Castle's boys team to be the only unbeaten program left in the WPIAL.
“When they said, ‘One,' we were like, what?” Ziemianski said.
Apparently Burrell's 22-0 regular-season record slipped WPIAL officials' minds. That reality should add even more fuel to the fire for the Bucs, who plan to follow up a 2012-13 campaign in which they reached the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals by claiming titles this season.
Returning WPIAL finalist and PIAA semifinalist Seton-La Salle (18-4) received the No. 1 seed.
Burrell will begin its postseason against the winner of the preliminary-round game between Charleroi (17-5) and Shenango (12-9) next Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
The Bucs ended the first perfect regular-season record in program history with a spate of blowout wins. Their margin of victory was at least 10 points in all but five games.
A 63-61 comeback win over Class AAA Mt. Pleasant (14-8) on Saturday served as a reality check for Burrell.
“That last glimmer at the end of that game, that helped,” Ziemianski, whose Bucs rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter. “The 3 1⁄2 quarters prior to that, not so much. But if you think about it, (the Bucs) are winners, and that just goes to show it.”
Fox Chapel coach Meghan Meabon hopes a similarly humbling game might lead to sharper performances from her players in the postseason. The Foxes (17-4), who won Section 2-AAAA and received the No. 3 seed, lost to Plum, 33-29, on Feb. 4 in their final section game of the season.
“If it was going to happen, it happened at a great time,” said Meabon, whose Foxes will play No. 14 Pine-Richland (14-8) in the first round Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. “We knew we had things to work on all season, and when you get that ‘L' up there, you pay a little more attention to them.”
In Class A, St. Joseph (18-4) grabbed the No. 4 seed and will play No. 13 Jefferson-Morgan (12-10) in the first round at noon Saturday at Elizabeth Forward. WPIAL officials thought highly of Section 2-A; the Spartans received the No. 4 seed despite finishing third in the section standings. First-place finisher and defending WPIAL champ Vincentian Academy (18-3) earned the No. 1 spot, while second-place finisher North Catholic (15-7) received the No. 3 seed.
“I thought they gave St. Joseph exactly what we deserved,” said coach Sally Ackerman, whose Spartans beat North Catholic, 80-66, on Feb. 3. “Because of the way the section ran out, with us able to beat North, and North able to beat Vincentian, that really helped us.”
St. Joseph has not lost since Jan. 16, and only one of its past 10 wins was by fewer than 10 points.
“(The North Catholic win) opened their eyes,” Ackerman said of her players. “They knew they were decent and that they were a good team. After that game, they realized they can play with anybody.”
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.