Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WPIAL girls basketball playoff capsules

Class AAAA
Top seeds - 1. Mt. Lebanon (17-5), 2. Shaler (20-2), 3. Bethel Park (18-4), 4. Oakland Catholic (14-8)
Defending champion - Mt. Lebanon
Leading scorers - Belma Nurkic (Baldwin) 19.5, Madison Cable (Mt. Lebanon) 17.4, Kelly Brennan (North Allegheny) 16.0, Val McQuade (Shaler), Candace Martino (Bethel Park) 15.0
Bits and pieces - Mt. Lebanon is trying to become the first three-time champion since Oakland Catholic won four consecutive titles from 1999-2002. ... Last year, Section 4 produced all four semifinalists in Mt. Lebanon, Baldwin, Bethel Park and Peters Township. ... Cable is the WPIAL's top recruit this year. She is headed to Notre Dame.
Sleeper - Baldwin
Championship - Mt. Lebanon over Bethel Park

Class AAA
Top seeds
- 1. Indiana (21-1), 2. New Castle (19-3), 3. South Park (19-3), 4. Chartiers Valley (17-5)
Defending champion - New Castle
Leading scorers - Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (Hopewell) 20.7, Ashley Stoner (Thomas Jefferson) 20.6, Kelsey Sleighter (Uniontown) 19.5, Nicole Malara (Mt. Pleasant) 18.7, Christina Talbert (New Castle) 18.1
Bits and pieces - All six teams from Section 1 and Section 4 qualified for the playoffs. Ringgold was among three teams that tied for fourth place in Section 4 with 2-8 records. ... South Fayette reached the PIAA Class AA playoffs in each of the past two seasons and head coach Matt Bacco has the Lions in this tournament as the third place team from battle-tested Section 5. ... Chartiers Valley beat Bethel Park in its regular season finale.
Sleeper - South Fayette and Uniontown could both find ways to the quarterfinals.
Championship - New Castle over Chartiers Valley

Class AA
Top seeds - 1. Seton-La Salle (20-2), 2. Riverside (19-3), 3. Deer lakes (20-2), 4. Bishop Canevin (18-4)
Defending champion - Jeannette
Leading scorers - Ciara Gregory (Jeannette) 20.3, Lauren Mayerik (Avonworth) 19.3, Erin Waskowiak (Bishop Canevin) 19.3, Catherine Costa (Avonworth) 18.2, Jessica Dorazio (Bentworth) 16.7
Bits and pieces - Top-seed Seton-La Salle is coached by former Peters Township girls coach Dennis Squeglia, who guided PT to one WPIAL championship game appearance. ... If Bentworth can beat Greensburg Central Catholic in the preliminary round, the Bearcats play Section 4 foe Washington in the first round. ... Charleroi is 20-1 and its lone loss came when leading scorer Shannon Flament was not playing. ... Washington will go as far as senior Aujuwa Moore can take it.
Sleeper - Beaver Falls
Championship - Seton-La Salle over Deer Lakes

Class A
Top seeds - 1. Vincentian Academy (20-1), 2. Monessen (22-0), 3. North Catholic (15-7), 4. Fort Cherry (19-3)
Defending champion - Vincentian Academy
Leading scorers - Amanda Temple (Avella) 22.0, Mary Andrejko (Riverview) 18.7, Drew Meeker (Quigley Catholic) 16.4, Hayden Kimbrough (Rochester) 16.1
Bits and pieces - Since Courtnee McMasters left the team at California, the Trojans have received increased production inside from Felicity Macosta. ... Fort Cherry may be the most balanced offensive team in the field, capable of scoring outside and inside. ... Avella is led by Temple, who led the WPIAL in scoring. ... Monessen is the lone undefeated team in the WPIAL and the Greyhounds beat Carmichaels, 61-19, at the end of January. The two meet in the first round. ... Chartiers-Houston is one of the younger teams in the tournament but should give two-loss Aliquippa a stern test.
Sleeper - Aliquippa
Championship - Monessen over Fort Cherry

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