Monday, March 1, 2010

Playoffs in review, Prelims through quarters

Team of the tournament (so far)
South Fayette - As the No. 4 seed in the rugged Class AA bracket, South Fayette advanced to the semifinals with convincing victories over Laurel, 62-30, last Wednesday and perennial power Beaver Falls, 54-36, Saturday.

South Fayette (19-4) has won seven straight, six games by double digits or more, heading into its semifinal contest against top seed North Catholic (21-2), which pulled away from Washington in the final three minutes of its quarterfinal game.

South Fayette and North Catholic compete in Section 3 and the two split the season series. Both games went to overtime.

Starting five
Mike Burroughs, South Fayette
Mike Lamberti, South Fayette
Marquis Brown, Washington
Phil Horensky, Peters Township
Josh Valentic, Trinity
Off the bench
Craig Wolcott, Peters Township

Best games - Washington saw its double-digit lead evaporate in the second half against Freeport but the Prexies made several key plays early in overtime to advance with a first-round victory; Peters Township gave itself an opportunity to advance to the PIAA playoffs if North Allegheny wins the WPIAL title with a strong defensive effort against Butler in the first round.

Weird, wild stuff - The last time Trinity won a WPIAL playoff game came in 1984 when the district held an open tournament. The Hillers beat Ringgold in the Class AAAA prelims and Mt. Lebanon in the first round before losing to Ambridge in the quarterfinals. Until Trinity beat Center in the first round of this year's Class AAA playoffs, the Hillers had never advanced to the quarterfinals in a year they actually qualified for the playoffs.

In another Trinity oddity, the Hillers reached the 2001 PIAA playoffs without having to win a game because 10 WPIAL teams advanced. As long as Chartiers Valley reaches the WPIAL Class AAA final, Trinity will qualify for the state tournament.

Team of the tournament (so far)
Peters Township - The last two times Peters Township finished fourth in Section 4-AAAA (2008 and this year), the Indians knocked off a a slew of high-seeded teams to reach the WPIAL semifinals.

Two years ago, Peters Township beat Fox Chapel, Butler and Mt. Lebanon before losing to section rival Upper St. Clair in the championship game. So far this year, the Indians have edged Oakland Catholic and Shaler.

Up next for Peters Township is Mt. Lebanon, regarded as one of the top WPIAL girls teams in recent history. The Blue Devils already beat the Indians twice.

Peters Township, Mt. Lebanon, Baldwin and Bethel Park - all from Section 4 - are the semifinalists.

Starting five
Ellie Hanlon, Peters Township
Emily Matthis, Peters Township
Mariah Ward, Monessen
Jessie Merckle, Fort Cherry
Beka Bellhy, Fort Cherry
Off the bench
Lindsey Pisarcik, Peters Township

Best games - Peters Township rallies from a 14-point third-quarter deficit to upend fourth-seeded Shaler, 49-48, in Friday's quarterfinal; The Indians took out No. 5 seed Oakland Catholic in the first round, 44-40.

Weird, wild stuff - Several of the areas top Class A teams received significant contributions, which should improve next year's showing in the postseason.

Monessen, still in the postseason and playing top seed North Catholic in the semifinals, is led by Mariah Ward, the Greyhounds' leading scorer. Carmichaels started two freshmen in Anna Cree and Morgan Berardi. California guard Courtnee McMasters is a freshman.

Fort Cherry, which lost to Monessen in the quarterfinals, and Chartiers-Houston also are rife with underclassmen. Each team had just one senior on its roster.


Anonymous said...

In comment to Mr. Cypher coming to B_town. Remember spending father son time is important. You never know when it will be gone. Those moments and time are important. GOOD LUCK.

Anonymous said...

How right you are. Most of us look back and it was like last week our children were in pee wee leagues, and grade school. My mother as well as most parents told us all enjoy our children, they will be grown up and gone on their own in the blink of an eye, and how right they were.
Your comment of how important time with our children is, and never knowing when it will be gone, as life makes no promises, is the only reason that I am leaving C-H and taking the blessing from God to spend time daily with my son sharing the game we love, and ministering it with the young men at B-town. Thank you for the GOOD LUCK comment. I know it comes from your heart.

God bless and peace to all of you Coach Jerry Cypher