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Breaking down the WPIAL basketball finals

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Top high school sports
By Compiled By Chris Harlan
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, 9:27 p.m.
 

Class AAAA

New Castle vs. Hampton

7 p.m. Saturday, Palumbo Center

New Castle (25-0, No. 1 seed)

Coach: Ralph Blundo

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

3, Drew Allen, G, 6-0, Sr.

5, Jake McPhatter, G/F, 5-11, Sr.

22, Anthony Richards, G, 5-8, Sr.

23, Malik Hooker, G/F, 6-1, Sr.

32, Stew Allen, C, 6-3, Sr.

Hampton (22-3, No. 2)Coach: Joe Lafko

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

5, Jack Obringer, G, 6-1, Sr.

10, Ryan Luther, F, 6-8, Sr.

11, Collin Luther, G/F, 6-7, Sr.

23, David Huber, G, 6-2, Sr.

24, Joey Lafko, G, 5-10, Jr.

Scoring leaders: New Castle: Hooker 23.8; Hampton: Ryan Luther 22.3

Title-game record: NC: 9-3, H: 1-4

Notable: This is the seventh meeting in three seasons between these teams. New Castle has won the first six, including in the 2013 WPIAL AAAA final and the 2012 AAA final. NC won both matchups this season.

Predicted winner: New Castle

Class AAA

Chartiers Valley vs. Central Valley

9 p.m. Friday, Palumbo Center

Chartiers Valley (24-1, No. 1)

Coach: Tim McConnell

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

12, Jerrad Tuite, G, 5-9, Sr.

20, Haedyn Herzer, G, 5-8, Sr.

23, Matty McConnell, G, 6-0, Jr.

24, Joe Antonucci, F, 6-1, So.

25, Kyle Westover, G, 5-10, Sr.

Central Valley (21-3, No. 2)Coach: Brandon Ambrose

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

1, John George, G, 5-10, Jr.

2, Jacob St. George, G, 5-11, Sr.

5, Tony Gates, F, 6-4, Sr.

11, Mike Sims, G, 5-10, Sr.

44, Matt Kline, C, 6-8, Sr.

Scoring leaders: Chartiers Valley: McConnell 19.9; Central Valley: Kline 13.0

Title-game record: ChV: 5-4, CeV: 0-0

Notable: Chartiers Valley, which was runner-up last season to Montour, has reached its fourth WPIAL championship game in the past five seasons. This is the first for Central Valley. However, Monaca owned four WPIAL titles before it merged with Center in 2010.

Predicted winner: Chartiers Valley

Class AA

Seton-La Salle vs. Greensburg C.C.

1 p.m. Saturday, Palumbo Center

Seton-La Salle (24-1, No. 1)

Coach: Mark Walsh

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

11, Malik White, C, 6-4, Sr.

12, Christian DelGreco, G, 5-9, Jr.

23, Dale Clancy, G, 5-9, Sr.

24, Levi Masua, F, 6-6, Sr.

32, Ryan Norkus, F, 6-3, Jr.

Greensburg C.C. (22-2, No. 2)Coach: Greg Bisignani

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

3, Christian Hyland, G, 6-0, Sr.

12, Billy Hipp, G, 6-4, Sr.

15, Collin Bisignani, F, 6-8, Sr.

22, Romano Sebastiani, G, 6-3, Jr.

24, Brian Graytok, G, 6-1, Sr.

Scoring leaders: Greensburg CC: Graytock 17.6; Seton-La Salle: Clancy 16.3

Title-game record: S: 1-5, G: 0-1

Notable: GCC is in the finals for the first time since 2011. Seton-La Salle won its first 17 games before losing to Montour. GCC's only losses were to North Allegheny and McKeesport. Hipp scored 31 in the quarterfinals and Graytok had 20 in the semifinals.

Predicted winner: Seton-La Salle

Class A

Lincoln Park vs. Monessen

7 p.m. Friday, Palumbo Center

Lincoln Park (24-1, No. 1)

Coach: Mark Javens

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

0, Antonio Kellem, G, 6-1, Jr.

2, Ryan Skovranko, F, 6-7, Sr.

3, Nelly Cummings, G, 5-10, Fr.

5, Elijah Minnie, C, 6-9, Sr.

24, Maverick Rowan, G, 6-7, So.

Monessen (20-5, No. 3)Coach: Joe Salvino

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

1, Justice Rawlins, G/F, 6-1, Sr.

2, Javon Brown, G, 5-9, Sr.

3, Clintell Gillaspie, G, 6-1, Sr.

11, Noah Rullo, G, 5-9, Jr.

15, Tyler Yuille, F, 6-2, Sr.

Scoring leaders: Lincoln Park: Rowan 24.3; Monessen: Gillaspie 18.8

Title-game record: LP: 1-2, M: 5-7-1

Notable: Monessen is coming off a record-setting performance in the semifinals, where it scored a WPIAL playoff record 110 points in beating Vincentian. Rowan, a Pitt recruit, has averaged 31.7 ppg in the playoffs. Lincoln Park is the top ranked team in the state.

Predicted winner: Lincoln Park

Class AAAA

Penn-Trafford vs. Hempfield

9 p.m. Friday, Palumbo Center

Penn-Trafford (19-6, No. 7)

Coach: John Giannikas

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

3, Kaila Simcoviak, G, 5-5, Sr.

5, Athena Biondi, G, 5-5, Fr.

12, Maria Palarino, G/F, 5-11, Jr.

13, Casey Aunkst, G, 5-7, Jr.

34, Katy Abreu, F, 5-9, Jr.

Hempfield (17-8, No. 12)Coach: Aaron Epps

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

10, Michele Burns, G, 5-5, Fr.

11, Leah Knizner, G/F, 5-10, Jr.

13, Monica Burns, G, 5-7, Sr.

15, Lexi Irwin, G/F, 5-10, Jr.

24, Aubree Halusic, G, 5-5, So.

Scoring leaders: Hempfield: Mo. Burns 20.1; Penn-Trafford: Palarino 18.1

Title-game record: H: 0-0, P-T: 0-0

Notable: After starting the season 6-5, Hempfield has won 11 of 14 games. Penn-Trafford won both Section 1 meetings, 63-62 and 53-49. For Hempfield, Monica Burns has averaged 20.3 ppg in the playoffs, and Knizner and Irwin each had a double-double in the semifinals. Palarino scored 28 points for P-T in the semifinals.

Predicted winner: Hempfield

Class AAA

Blackhawk vs. South Park

3 p.m. Saturday, Palumbo Center

Blackhawk (22-2, No. 1)

Coach: Steve Lodovico

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

1, Bridgette Shaffer, G, 5-9, Jr.

2, Chassidy Omogrosso, G, 5-5, Jr.

13, Danielle Levato, F, 6-0, Jr.

21, Halle Denman, G, 5-7, Sr.

23, Courtney Vannoy, F, 6-1, Jr.

South Park (21-4, No. 3)Coach: Reggie Wells

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

4, Lindsay Noss, G, 5-6, Sr.

14, Amanda Quinn, G, 5-3, Sr.

21, Halie Torris, F, 5-11, Sr.

35, Allison McGrath, F, 5-10, So.

42, Samantha Miller, C, 5-8, Jr.

Scoring leaders: Blackhawk: Omogrosso 21.7; South Park: McGrath 17.1, Torris 16.7

Title-game record: B: 5-1, SP: 3-1

Notable: Defending WPIAL and PIAA champion South Park has won 15 straight games, while Blackhawk has won 11 of 12. South Park's losses came to finalists Hempfield and Seton-La Salle, as well as Class AAAA No. 1 North Allegheny and Moon. Denman missed time with an ankle injury but is back to full strength. Omogrosso is a Duquesne recruit. Torris has scored nearly 1,500 career points.

Predicted winner: Blackhawk

Class AA

Seton-La Salle vs. Burrell

5 p.m. Friday, Palumbo Center

Seton-La Salle (21-4, No. 1)

Coach: Spencer Stefko

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

3, Shaunay Edmonds, G, 5-0, So.

5, Nicolete Newman, G, 5-6, Jr.

12, Cassidy Walsh, G, 5-7, Jr.

20, Naje Gibson, F, 6-0, Sr.

24, Yacine Diop, G, 5-10, Sr.

Burrell (25-0, No. 2)Coach: Meghan Ziemianski

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

12, Jaila Manga, G, 5-7, Sr.

13, Jessica Cercone, F, 6-1, Sr.

21, Sydney Bordonaro, G, 5-7, Jr.

23, Kelsey Oddis, G, 5-7, Sr.

24, Natalie Myers, F, 5-11, So.

Scoring leaders: Burrell: Bordonaro 15.7; Seton-La Salle: Diop 11.2, Newman 11.2

Title-game record: S: 5-7, B: 0-0

Notable: Seton-La Salle, which won titles in 2011 and '12, has reached six straight finals. This matchup features four Division I recruits, including three Rebels committed to Pitt: Diop, Gibson and Walsh. Their AAU teammate, Bordonaro, has committed to Pepperdine. Burrell was the only girls team enter the playoffs unbeaten.

Predicted winner: Seton-La Salle

Class A

Vincentian vs. Serra Catholic

11 a.m. Saturday, Palumbo Center

Vincentian (21-3, No. 1)

Coach: Ron Moncrief

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

4, Torrieonna Cash, G, 5-7, So.

12, Ally Bartoszewicz, G/F, 5-11, Sr.

14, Kayla Key, G, 5-6, Sr.

23, Maia Joiner, G, 5-6, So.

50, Brenna Wise, G/F, 6-1, Jr.

Serra Catholic (23-2, No. 2)Coach: Bill Cleary

No., Name, Pos., Ht., Yr.

5, Katie Sieg, G/F, 5-6, Jr.

21, Leslie Hoye, G, 5-6, Sr.

22, Danielle Dindak, G/F, 5-8, Sr.

24, Nicole Pero, C, 6-0, Sr.

34, Megan Sieg, G, 5-7, Sr.

Scoring leaders: Vincentian: Wise 18.6; Serra Catholic: Dindak 12.2

Title-game record: V: 6-2, SC: 4-6

Notable: This is a rematch of last season's WPIAL Class A championship game that Vincentian won 53-46. The Royals, two-time defending WPIAL champions, also beat Serra Catholic, 70-60, when the teams met earlier this season in McKeesport. Wise, a Terrific 10 selection a year ago, has numerous Division I offers. Vincentian was a PIAA runner-up last season.

Predicted winner: Vincentian

 

 
 


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