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Saturday's A-K Valley WPIAL quarterfinal basketball capsules

Dan Speicher | For Valley News - Ryan Sciullo (2) of Kiski Area pushes up court against Plum during the first round of the playoffs at Penn Hills High School on Fabruary 19, 2014. The hard fought game ended with a score of Kiski Area 50, Plum 40.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Dan Speicher  |  For Valley News</em></div>Ryan Sciullo (2) of Kiski Area pushes up court against Plum during the first round of the playoffs at Penn Hills High School on Fabruary 19, 2014. The hard fought game ended with a score of Kiski Area 50, Plum 40.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch - Kiski Area's Mike Simmons drives past Hempfield's Logan Swan during the basketball game at Kiski Area High School on Tuesday, February 4, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Erica Dietz  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Kiski Area's Mike Simmons drives past Hempfield's Logan Swan during the basketball game at Kiski Area High School on Tuesday, February 4, 2014.
Nick Mitrakos | For the Valley - Sally Ackerman sets up a drill for the girls basketball team during a practice at St. Joseph High School in Harrison Twp.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Nick Mitrakos  |  For the Valley</em></div>Sally Ackerman sets up a drill for the girls basketball team during a practice at St. Joseph High School in Harrison Twp.

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Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 12:51 a.m.
 

Class AAAA boys

Quarterfinals

No. 13 Kiski Area (16-5) vs. No. 12 Gateway (14-9)

2:30 p.m. at Plum

Winner plays: No. 1 New Castle (23-0)/No. 9 Bethel Park (18-5) winner.

Layup lines: Kiski Area picked up its first playoff win since 2010, making 16 of 23 free throws in the fourth quarter, and 22 of 32 for the game, to down No. 4 seed Plum, 50-40. Junior guard Mike Simmons scored nine of his game-high 17 points in the fourth, and Ryan Sciullo was a glue player with 13 points. The Cavaliers had lost in the first round the last two years, including last year against Gateway. The Gators also knocked out the Cavaliers in the 2010 quarters. ... Deceptively talented Gateway also hit the upset trail Wednesday with a 68-50 win over No. 5 Upper St. Clair. Delvon Randall scored 21 points while Tom Kromka and Shomari Thomas each had 17 in the first-round win. Injuries and illnesses have hindered the team's chemistry, but it appears fully stocked again. Randall battled pneumonia and Thomas sat out four games with a concussion he suffered against Plum. Kromka, who had back issues and a broken nose, can take over games in the paint. Michigan State football recruit Montae Nicholson also provides valuable minutes. The Gators, strong under the basket, have won two of the last three WPIAL titles.

Class A girls

Quarterfinals

No. 4 St. Joseph (19-4) vs. No. 5 Quigley Catholic (17-5)

1:30 p.m. at Ambridge

Winner plays: No. 1 Vincentian (19-3)/No. 9 Frazier (16-5) winner.

Layup lines: In the quarterfinals for the fourth straight year, St. Joseph will be called for traveling before the game even starts. Quigley is the lower seed but is about five minutes away from Ambridge, while St. Joseph is an hour away by bus. St. Joseph is seeking its first trip to the semifinals. The Lady Spartans fell to Quigley, 60-31, in last year's quarterfinals when they were the No. 12 seed and Quigley No. 4. Both teams cruised in the first round by a combined score of 119-31. St. Joseph senior forward Mallory Heinle scored 23 points and Julie Hetu added 11 in a 61-14 rout of Jefferson Morgan. Heinle is the second-leading scorer in Class A. ... Section 1 champ Quigley rolled over West Greene in its playoff opener 58-17, as 5-9 junior guard Kaitlyn Smith scored 21 points and 5-9 senior guard Kristin Jackson added 17. West Greene didn't score in the second quarter. Quigley relies heavily on defensive pressure. It allows just 35.1 points per game. Two sets of sisters make the team go: The Smiths and the Jacksons. Gabrielle Smith is a 6-foot guard and Brittany Jackson a 5-6 senior guard. In last year's win over St. Joseph, Quigley scored the game's first 13 points and Kristin Jackson scored 22.

— Bill Beckner Jr.

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