Class 5A Girls Basketball First Round Preview
The Class 5A girls basketball playoffs are underway tonight with the first round. The 12 team field will feature byes for the top four seeds, Chartiers Valley, Oakland Catholic, Gateway, and Penn Hills, respectively.
All games will be played on a neutral court.
No. 5 Franklin Regional Panthers (16-6) vs. No. 12 South Fayette Lions (13-9) At Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m.
Franklin Regional finished a game behind Gateway for the section title, just missing out on a first round bye. The Panthers have won seven out of their last nine games entering the playoffs. They have been led by senior transfer Cali Konek and senior forward Jordan Yaniga. Both were named first-team all-section. Konek recorded 1,000 points in her freshman season while at Imani Christian. She is averaging 15.6 points per game. Franklin Regional missed the playoffs last year…South Fayette finished in a fourth place tie in Section 1 but were the lone team to enter the playoffs after sweeping the regular season series against Moon. The Lions have lost their last three games entering the playoffs. They are led by senior first-team all-section guard, Maura Castelluci. South Fayette lost in the first round last year to Oakland Catholic, 63-42…This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.
No. 6 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (16-6) vs. No. 11 Plum Mustangs (11-11) At North Allegheny, 6:30 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson was stuck in the same section with undefeated and top-seed Chartiers Valley, pushing them to finish second in the section. The Jaguars are peaking at the right time, winning five straight games entering the first round. They are led by senior first-team all-section guard, Jenna Clark. Clark is averaging 20.5 points per game. Thomas Jefferson defeated Montour in the first round last year, 84-45…Plum beat out Armstrong by a game for the final playoff spot in the section to extend its season. The Mustangs are also clicking at the right time, winning four out of their last five games. They are led by sophomore first-team all-section forward, Kennedie Montue. Montue is averaging 18.3 points per game. Plum lost to Trinity in the first round last year, 54-31…This is the first meeting of the season between the teams.
No. 7 Mars Planets (17-5) vs. No. 10 Woodland Hills Wolverines (12-10) At Hampton, 8 p.m.
The path will be tougher this time around, but the reigning PIAA champion is in the field to defend its title after finishing third in its section. The Planets are entering tonight’s game on a four game win streak. They are led by senior first-team all-section guard, Tai Johnson. Johnson is averaging 19 points per game. Mars defeated Uniontown in the first round last year, 54-33…Woodland Hills rallied from an 0-4 start to the season to finish in fourth place in the section. The Wolverines have won six out of their last eight games entering the playoffs. They are led by sophomore first-team all-section forward, Peyton Pinkney. Woodland Hills lost in the first round last year to West Allegheny, 58-41…This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.
No. 8 Penn-Trafford Warriors (13-9) vs. No. 9 Trinity Hillers (11-11) At Mt. Lebanon, 6:30 p.m.
Both of these teams finished in third place in their sections. Penn-trafford was in a section with Oakland Catholic and Penn Hills, two teams that received byes. The Warriors have won three straight games entering tonight’s first round matchup. They are led by their two second-team all-section selections, junior Bella Long and senior Stephanie O’Donnell. Penn-Trafford missed the playoffs last year in Class 6A…Trinity finished third but received a huge boost late in the season when last year’s first-team all-section pick Riley DeRubbo returned from an ACL injury. The Hillers have lost four of six games entering the postseason. Trinity is led by its two second-team all-section picks, sophomore Kaylin Venick and senior Julia Chakos. Trinity defeated Plum in the first round last year, 54-31…This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.
For a complete look at the Class 5A bracket, click here.