Wednesday, February 17, 2010
WPIAL boys playoff capsules
Top seeds: 1. Mt. Lebanon (21-1), 2. North Allegheny (17-4), 3. Pittsburgh Central Catholic (16-4), 4. Plum (18-4)
Local teams: 10. Peters Township (12-9), 15. Canon-McMillan (9-11)
2009 champion: Peters Township
The skinny: Highly regarded Mt. Lebanon is the heavy favorite to win its first WPIAL championship since 2006. The Blue Devils lost to Peters Township in last year's championship. ... Teams from Section 4 have won five of the past six titles. ... Butler is coached by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement. ... Gateway, the sixth seed, will not have 6-9 sophomore forward Barrnett Harris, who quit the team.
Local players to watch: Craig Wolcott (Peters Township), Kionte Davis (Canon-McMillan)
Sleeper: Peters Township
Prediction: Mt. Lebanon over Pittsburgh Central Catholic
Top seeds: 1. Chartiers Valley (21-1), 2. Hampton (18-2), 3. Hopewell (16-6), 4. Laurel Highlands (20-1)
Local teams: 8. Trinity (14-4)
2009 champion: Hampton
The skinny: Chartiers Valley is the prohibitive favorite after beating Hampton, 87-68, on Saturday. The Colts' last WPIAL Class AAA title came in 1998 (they won two in Quad-A the past decade). ... CV senior T.J. McConnell became the 25th player in WPIAL history to top 2,000 career points last week. ... With six losses, Hopewell is a curious selection as the No. 3 seed over one-loss Laurel Highlands. The Vikings have some head-scratching losses but they did beat North Allegheny in late January.
Local players to watch: Josh Valentic (Trinity)
Sleeper: West Mifflin
Prediction: Chartiers Valley over Hampton
Top seeds: 1. North Catholic (19-2), 2. Greensburg Central Catholic (17-3), 3. Shady Side Academy (16-3), 4. South Fayette (17-4).
Local teams: 4. South Fayette, 8. Washington (17-4), 13. Monessen (16-4), 15. California (15-6), 21. Burgettstown (11-9)
2009 champion: North Catholic
The skinny: Somehow Beaver Falls (13-8) and Aliquippa (14-7) were seeded ahead of Washington. Both played strong non-section schedules but both have some bad losses. Considering the bottom three teams in Section 6 combined to win 10 games, the traditionally strong league does not appear as strong as usual. ... Despite a fight breaking out between fans at the last Washington-Monessen game, the Prexies and Greyhounds are on the same side of the bracket. They cannot meet until the semifinals. ... Section 1 champion Freeport was seeded ninth and must play a preliminary round game. Freeport has won 13 straight.
Local players to watch: Mike Lamberti, Pat Zedreck (South Fayette), Marquis Brown, Troy Wilson (Washington), Jaisen Irwin, Jalen Madison (Monessen), John Tyler (California), Tyler Pavan (Burgettstown)
Prediction: South Fayette over Shady Side Academy
Top seeds: 1. Sewickley Academy (18-2), 2. Lincoln Park (15-6), 3. Serra Catholic (18-2), 4. Clairton (10-3).
Local teams: 7. Bentworth (13-4), 13. Avella (9-10), 14. Beth-Center (8-12),
2009 champion: Sewickley Academy
The skinny: Mapletown plays West Greene today at 1 p.m. If the Maples win, they clinch fourth place in Section 2 and will play Monaca in a preliminary game on Saturday. The winner gets top seed Sewickley Academy, which is led by Davidson recruit Tom Droney. ... No WPIAL basketball team played fewer games than the 13 played by Clairton. .... Sewickley Academy hasn't lost to a WPIAL opponent. Among the wins are Aliquippa, Serra Catholic, Clairton and South Fayette.
Local players to watch: John Barker, Clay Roman (Bentworth), Joe Yamber (Avella), Lucas Diethorn (Beth-Center)
Prediction: Serra Catholic over Clairton