Thursday, February 17, 2011
Varsity playoff leftovers
Seeding the WPIAL boys and girls basketball tournaments must be a difficult, arduous task. With 161 teams in the postseason, the sheer number of qualifiers makes it an unenviable place to be, and a spot where it's impossible to please everyone.
Washington High School girls basketball coach Mike Maltony sure didn't mind getting the No. 8 seed in the WPIAL Class AA pairings. That's about where Maltony projected his Prexies to land.
"It's about what I figured. I have no problem with it," Maltony said.
What Maltony finds weird is whom Washington (15-7) might face in its first-round game. The Prexies draw the winner of Friday night's preliminary-round game between Greensburg Central Catholic (16-6) and Bentworth (12-9).
Bentworth plays in Section 4-AA with Washington. The WPIAL frowns upon section opponents in first-round games and this is the only instance in any of the brackets where the possibility could happen.
"I feel like the Steelers playing the Ravens," Maltony said. "It's disappointing to an extent but, then again, what do you do? There's only so many slots."
Washington swept the season series against Bentworth.
The question is, what message is this sending? Since the WPIAL does everything possible to avoid section opponents playing in the first round and this is the only occurrence - boys or girls - where it can happen, did the committee say Bentworth has no chance of winning?
* Avella, Carmichaels, Bentworth and Jefferson-Morgan – the four qualifiers from Section 3-A boys – got little love from the committee.
Avella and Carmichaels were co-champs. The Eagles (12-9) and the Mikes (12-10) received the No. 11 and 12 seeds, an extremely low number for a section champ.
But Section 3 struggled this season, winning just 11 non-section games compared to 58 losses. It's tough to put either team higher even if it put Avella and Carmichaels against opponents who also split a section title.
Avella plays St. Joseph and Carmichaels plays Serra Catholic. They were co-champs of Section 4.
* If I could go to any first round game, I might pick Chartiers Valley vs. Norwin in Class AAAA boys. I think the Colts advance but it would be interesting to see if they'd be willing to run up-and-down with the high-scoring Knights or slow the game's pace.