Guido: WPIAL pairings place some notable schools on sideline
Pairings for the 102nd WPIAL basketball tournament were issued Tuesday night, and three of the Alle-Kiski Valley's most successful programs will be sitting at home for this year's postseason.
Ford City, which has made the playoffs 48 times in the past, fell short this season.
Springdale and Freeport, second best in local history with 31 playoff trips, also will be on the sidelines.
All three programs have a considerable amount of talented underclassmen, so their absences from the WPIAL tournament might be short-lived.
On the other hand, the Ford City girls extended their streak to 19 consecutive playoff appearances, a local record.
Coach Al Davis' Sabers will play Laurel at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Butler.
The longest current boys playoff streak belongs to St. Joseph. The Spartans have made 12 straight trips to the WPIAL playoffs.
Coach Kelly Robinson's Spartans will meet Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at 8 p.m. Friday at Northgate.
Some other streaks sustained include Monessen, now with a WPIAL-record 33 straight playoff appearances.
In girls basketball, North Catholic is in the playoffs for the 39th straight season.
One notable team missing from the playoff field this year is Oakland Catholic. This is the first time the school has not made the postseason in its 25-year history.
Two former area standouts now are in coaching.
Adam Petrosky, a key member of Kiski Area's 1986 state runner-up, is the first year coach at Summit Academy.
The Knights, winners of Section 1-AA, have three section titles in the last four seasons.
Summit is a school for court-adjudicated youth, but Petrosky hasn't had any personnel changes to deal with this season.
“The team that I started with on Nov. 18 is the team that I've had thus far,” Petrosky said. “Our first seven has been pretty much consistent. Our top two scorers, Devin Montgomery and Dasonte White, both arrived on Nov. 18.
“Besides them, all our others are first-year players. The fact that we had two players that were like coaches on the floor, from the City League, helped move along the process.”
Summit will play its first- round game next Wednesday against the winner of Saturday's Burrell-Washington game.
The Winchester Thurston boys, in the Class A playoffs, are headed by Bryan Brenneman, a member of several Yellowjackets playoff teams in the 1990s.
The Bears play North Catholic Friday at North Hills.
Also, Brice Flenory, a Valley standout from the late 1990s, is an assistant to coach Aaron Epps with the Hempfield girls.
Flenory coached in Pittsburgh for the last four years and played professional hoops with the Pittsburgh Xplosion.
Hempfield plays Upper St. Clair Tuesday in a first- round contest.
The 1989 Springdale High School boys basketball WPIAL championship team will have a most interesting reunion next week.
The team will convene and play this year's Dynamos squad in a charity game Feb. 21.
The contest will take place at 7 p.m. at Donald McGhee Fieldhouse.
Admission will be $5 for adults and $2 for students.
Proceeds will benefit the Dynamo Education Foundation, an organization designed to enhance and enrich programs, initiatives and activities for Allegheny Valley School District students.
The 1989 team members also hope to establish a scholarship fund for future Dynamos.
George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.