High school notebook: Lincoln Park looking forward to rematch with Johnsonburg
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Lincoln Park wanted at some point this postseason a rematch with Johnsonburg, the team that ended last season's playoff run.
Well, here it is.
WPIAL champion Lincoln Park (25-1) and District 9's Johnsonburg (21-4) will meet in a PIAA Class A boys basketball first-round game Friday night at North Hills. Johnsonburg won 59-53 in last year's semifinal and returns its two top scorers from that state runner-up lineup.
“These guys wanted to play them again in the playoffs,” said Mike Bariski, Lincoln Park athletic director and assistant coach. “Johnsonburg took away what they thought was theirs.”
The teams already met once this season: a 77-59 victory by Lincoln Park on Dec. 17 at Johnsonburg. The Leopards trailed by double figures in the second half until a 19-2 run in the fourth quarter.
“Playing them in the regular season is one thing,” Bariski said, “but playing them in the playoffs again is big for these guys.”
But few expected the state playoff rematch to come in the first round. An upset loss Feb. 26 to Elk County Catholic, 67-66, in the District 9 semifinals left Johnsonburg as the third of four qualifiers.
“They're the best team out of that district,” Bariski said.
Another intriguing first-round matchup will be City League champion Allderdice vs. WPIAL runner-up Hampton at Obama Academy on Saturday in the Class AAAA bracket. The Dragons (19-5) put together a strong late-season run and were the only team to defeat Obama Academy (22-1) — a 55-54 victory in the City title game. Hampton (22-4) features Pitt recruit Ryan Luther and a tall, talented lineup that stayed close with Quad-A champ New Castle (26-0) to the final buzzer in the WPIAL title game.
Rematches from the WPIAL quarterfinals include New Castle vs. Bethel Park (18-6) on Saturday at Chartiers Valley in Class AAAA and Central Valley (24-2) vs. Mars (15-9) Friday at Moon in Class AAA. WPIAL champion New Castle won the earlier meeting 73-46, and WPIAL champion Central Valley won 74-61.
In the girls bracket, WPIAL Class AAAA champion Penn-Trafford (20-6) was rewarded for its first title with a first-round game Friday night at Baldwin against North Allegheny (22-2), the WPIAL's No. 1 seed which was upset by Hempfield (17-9) in the semifinals. Hempfield will play City champion Obama Academy (14-6) on Friday at Allderdice in the first round.
WPIAL Class AAA runner-up South Park (21-5) will again face Trinity (17-7) at Moon on Saturday. The Eagles won a quarterfinal meeting 67-41.
The WPIAL sold more than 12,000 tickets for this past weekend's basketball championships at Palumbo Center, said executive director Tim O'Malley. The ticket total included 5,150 for Friday's games and around 7,000 combined for Saturday's two sessions. The 4,400-seat arena was near capacity for the Class AAAA boys final between New Castle and Hampton.
Laurel coach resigns
After one season at Laurel, football coach Pat Cuba resigned last week, according to athletic director Mike Tinstman. Laurel, which went 7-3 last season in Class A, will move up to Class AA for the WPIAL's next two-year cycle.
Other WPIAL and City League schools with coaching vacancies include Deer Lakes, Norwin, Perry, Ringgold and Sto-Rox.
Spring sports start
Despite the weekend snowstorm and frigid temperatures, spring sports practices for baseball, softball, track and field, boys and girls lacrosse, boys volleyball and boys tennis began Monday across Western Pennsylvania.
Boys tennis teams will begin WPIAL play March 10, while the other sports can start playing games March 21.
Central Catholic defensive end Angelo Natter recently committed to West Point. The senior originally committed to Robert Morris.
The top 74 boys and girls bowlers from the WPIBL have qualified for the Western Pennsylvania Regional championships Friday at North Versailles Bowl. The regional team competition will be Saturday, at North Versailles Bowl, which also will host the state championships March 14 (singles) and 15 (team).
Wrestling, swimming online
The PIAA has posted to its website, www.piaa.org, pairings for this week's state wrestling tournament and psych sheets for next week's swimming and diving championships.
The PIAA Class AAA and AA wrestling tournament starts Thursday in Hershey and runs through Saturday night.
The swimming and diving championships are March 12-15 at Bucknell.
For high school basketball fans who were unable to attend the WPIAL championships Friday and Saturday, Comcast is offering replays of all eight games via its Xfinity On Demand feature.
To watch any game, Comcast digital cable subscribers can select Get Local, Sports, High School Basketball and WPIAL Finals from the On Demand menu.
• PCN will televise the PIAA wrestling championships live Saturday, with the Class AA matches at 1:30 p.m. and Class AAA at 6:30.
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.
- High school roundup: WPIAL coaches reach milestone victories
- Sporio leads EF past Ringgold, 48-41
- Norwin’s Perz scores 32 in nonsection win over McKeesport
- Mars girls basketball team goes on defensive
- Serra Catholic’s Sieg learning to lead in senior season
- Health the key to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic girls’ season
- Ford City defeats South Allegheny, clinches playoff spot
- Area basketball teams embrace opportunities to play for championships
- High school basketball notebook: Playoff picture comes into focus
- Trib Cup: Baldwin girls basketball team stands by motto
- Gorman: Quips finding victory amid great loss