Boys Class 6A WPIAL Playoff First Round Preview
When the WPIAL Class 6A boys basketball playoff bracket was released earlier this week, the the top four seeds were revealed, along with the rest of the bracket.
There was seven teams that could have received byes, but the top four in that order were Mt. Lebanon, Woodland Hills, Fox Chapel and Central Catholic. Mt. Lebanon, Woodland Hills and Central Catholic all won their respective sections and Fox Chapel may be the hottest team out of them all, winning nine of its last 10 games and finishing in second place behind the Wolverines in Section 3-6A.
All first round games will be played on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Below are capsules on each of the first round games.
Butler Golden Tornado (18-4) vs. Latrobe Wildcats (15-7) At Fox Chapel
At the beginning of the season, both Butler and Latrobe were contenders to win their respective sections. Although they were unable to complete the task, both pose as a serious threat to cut down the nets in the WPIAL Championship Game. The Golden Tornado finished in third place in Section 1-6A after losing its final two section games of the season. They are averaging 68.3 points per game and are allowing 59.2 points per game. Butler was led by sophomore Ethan Morton, who finished the regular season averaging 24 points per game. Butler lost in the Class 6A WPIAL Championship Game last season and the PIAA quarterfinals…Latrobe also lost its final two section games of the season and finished in fourth place in Section 3-6A. The Wildcats are averaging 72.5 points per game and are allowing 67.3 points per game. Through 21 games, junior Reed Fenton led Latrobe with 23.3 points per game. Junior Bryce Butler averaged 20.9 points per game. Latrobe lost in the WPIAL quarterfinals last year to Butler, 70-64. They also lost in the PIAA first round to Pine-Richland.
Penn Hills Indians (19-3) vs. Upper St. Clair Panthers (11-11) At Baldwin
Penn Hills was the last boys team in 6A to suffer a loss, but was unable to crack the top four seeds and get a bye. They finished tied for second place with Fox Chapel in Section 3-6A and won three of its final four section games of the season. They are averaging 68.5 points per game and are allowing 55.9 points per game. Through 22 games, senior Daivon Stephens led the Indians with 18.2 points per game. Penn Hills lost in the WPIAL quarterfinals last year…Upper St. Clair finished fourth in Section 2-6A and lost its final two games of the regular season. The Panthers are averaging 62.3 points per game and are allowing 60.5 points per game. Upper St. Clair was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs last year.
Canon-McMillan Big Macs (20-2) vs. Seneca Valley Raiders (14-8) At West Allegheny
Canon-McMillan was a game away from winning its first section title in over 40 years and was the only team in Class 6A to reach 20 wins in the regular season, but still find themselves in a first round matchup. They finished behind Mt. Lebanon by a game in Section 2-6A and won 16 of its last 17 games in the regular season. Its lone loss was to Baldwin, which cost them the section. The Big Macs are averaging 62.7 points per game and are allowing 47.3 points per game. Senior Jason Fowlkes led the team with 17.8 points per game through the regular season. Canon-McMillan lost in the WPIAL quarterfinals and PIAA first round last year…Seneca Valley finished fourth in Section 1-6A, but is one of the hottest teams entering the playoffs. The Raiders won six of their last seven games in the regular season, including wins at Butler and Pine-Richland. They are averaging 55.5 points per game and are allowing 53 points per game. In 19 games, senior David Ritchie led the team with 15.7 points per game. Seneca Valley missed the playoffs last season.
Pine-Richland Rams (17-5) vs. Bethel Park Black Hawks (13-9) At North Hills
The two-time defending WPIAL champion Pine-Richland is back to defend its title, but will have to do so without receiving a bye this year. They finished second behind Central Catholic in Section 1-6A and won four of its last five games in the regular season. They are averaging 72.4 points per game and are allowing 56.9 points per game. In 21 games, junior Dan Petcash led the Rams with 17.9 points per game. Senior Phil Jurkovec averaged 15.8 points per game in 14 games…Bethel Park finished in third place in Section 2-6A, winning three of its last four games entering the playoffs. They are averaging 57.7 points per game and are allowing 53 points per game. The Black Hawks have made the playoffs after finishing tied for last in the section a year ago.
For a complete look at the bracket, click here.