Girls Class 5A WPIAL Playoff First Round Preview
The 16-team field in the girls basketball Class 5A bracket will feature every team playing in the first round and the top four seeds receiving a bye.
Below are capsules on each first round matchup that will take place on Friday.
No. 1 Trinity Hillers (19-3) vs. No. 16 Plum Mustangs (6-16) At West Allegheny, 8 p.m.
The Section 3-5A champions are the heavy favorite in this matchup. The Hillers advanced to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA championship last year, but lost both games. Trinity enters the playoffs on a 12-game win streak, and are allowing only 40.4 points per game. They are averaging 58.5 points per game. Through Feb. 4, sophomore Riley DeRubbo was leading the Hillers with 17.5 points per game…Plum was knocked out of the first round of the playoffs last year in the first round by Trinity, 61-20. The Mustangs only had six wins on the season, but two of those came in the final four games of the season. They finished fourth in Section 4-5A. They are averaging 37.7 points per game and are allowing 50 points per game.
No. 8 Oakland Catholic Eagles (14-8) vs. No. 9 South Fayette Lions (12-8) At Upper St. Clair, 6:30 p.m.
Both teams finished third in their respective sections and did not meet in the regular season. Oakland Catholic won three of its final four regular season entering the playoffs. The Eagles are averaging 51.8 points per game and are allowing 39 points per game. Oakland Catholic was the Class 5A WPIAL runner-up last season and lost to South Fayette, 53-35, in the PIAA Quarterfinals last year…South Fayette is limping into the playoffs, losing its last four regular season games. Prior to that, they went on a six-game win streak. The Lions are averaging 57.8 points per game and are allowing 49.5 points per game. South Fayette advanced to the WPIAL Quarterfinal and PIAA Semifinals last season.
No. 4 Mars Planets (17-5) vs. No. 13 Uniontown Red Raiders (7-12) At Gateway, 6:30 p.m.
Mars was the Section 4-5A co-champions and are entering the playoffs winning eight of its last nine games. The Planets are averaging 56.8 points per game and are allowing 43.8 points per game. The Planets advanced to the WPIAL Quarterfinals and PIAA Second Round last season. Through Feb. 4, senior Lauren Wasylson led the team with 17.9 points per game. Junior Tai Johnson had 16.8 points per game…Uniontown tied for fourth place in its section, and was the fifth team in their section to enter the playoffs due to the tiebreaker rules. The Red Raiders lost their last three games of the regular season. They are averaging 42.3 points per game and are allowing 48.4 points per game. Uniontown did not qualify for the playoffs last season.
No. 5 Hampton Talbots (18-4) vs. No. 12 Connellsville Falcons (11-11) At Gateway, 8 p.m.
Hampton was the co-section champions with Mars in Section 4-5A and are entering the playoffs winning five out of its last six games. The Talbots are averaging 55.5 points per game and are allowing 42.8 points per game. Through Feb. 4, senior Laryn Edwards led the Talbots with 21.5 points per game. Senior Ali Collins was averaging 19.7 points per game. Hampton advanced to the WPIAL Semifinals and PIAA Second Round last year…Connellsville won four of its last five games to get to .500 and into the WPIAL playoffs. The Falcons are averaging 46.4 points per game and are allowing 47 points per game. Connellsville lost in the first round last year.
No. 2 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (19-3) vs. No. 15 Montour Spartans (9-13) At Upper St. Clair, 8 p.m.
A year after barely making the playoffs, Thomas Jefferson put no doubt in its spot this season by winning the Section 2-5A championship. The Jaguars enter the playoffs on a six-game win streak, including a 63-39 win against the Spartans on Feb. 5. They are averaging 64.4 points per game and are allowing 47.2 points per game. Junior Jenna Clark led the team in scoring with 17.6 points per game through Feb. 4. Senior Marina Petruzzi was at 15.3 points per game. The Jaguars lost in the first round last season…Montour went 3-2 in its final five games of the regular season. The Spartans are averaging 48.5 points per game and are allowing 52.7 points per game. Junior Courtney Tomas led the team in scoring with 18.3 points per game through Feb. 4. Montour also lost in the first round last season.
No. 7 Gateway Gators (19-3) vs. No. 10 Ringgold Rams (16-6) At Baldwin, 6:30 p.m.
Gateway is one of the hottest teams entering the playoffs, winning its last 11 games of the regular season. On the season, they are averaging 47.4 points per game and are allowing 35 points per game. The Gators were the top defensive team in Class 5A this season. Gateway lost in the WPIAL Quarterfinals last season…Like Gateway, Ringgold finished second in its section. The Rams won seven of their last eight games entering the playoffs. They are averaging 49.4 points per game and are allowing 41.5 points per game. Ringgold lost in the first round last season.
No. 3 West Allegheny Indians (16-6) vs. No. 14 Woodland Hills Wolverines (10-12) At Fox Chapel, 6:30 p.m.
The Indians won the battle in Section 1-5A to take home the section title with a 9-1 record. They enter the playoffs winning five of their last seven games. West Allegheny is averaging 58.5 points per game and they are allowing 47 points per game. The Indians lost in the first round of the playoffs last year…Woodland Hills finished in fourth place in its section and have lost five of its last seven games of the regular season. The Wolverines are averaging 48.5 points per game and are allowing 46.5 points per game. Woodland Hills made the playoffs after going winless in the section a year ago.
No. 6 Chartiers Valley Colts (16-6) vs. Armstrong River Hawks (15-7) At Fox Chapel, 8 p.m.
The defending Class 5A WPIAL champion is back to defend its title. The Colts also made it to the PIAA Second Round last year. The Colts are getting hot at the right time, winning its final eight games of the regular season. They are averaging 55.7 points per game and allowed 46.9 points per game. Through Feb. 4, sophomore Megan McConnell was leading the Colts with 19.7 points per game. Junior Mackenzie Wagner was scoring 18.2 points per game…Armstrong finished in third place in its sections and enter the playoffs winning four out of its last six games. They are averaging 46.5 points per game and are allowing 39.2 points per game. Senior Kenzie Lasher was leading the River Hawks with 17.6 points per game. Armstrong missed the playoffs last year, making it the first playoff appearance in school history.
For a complete look at the bracket, click here.