Three Quad-A Teams Reach PIAA Sweet Sixteen
New Castle 71, Bethel Park 64
Prior to Saturday, the Red Hurricanes and Black Hawks met in the WPIAL quarterfinals and New Castle won by 27. In the rematch in the PIAA first round, the final score was much closer but the end result was the same as WPIAL champion New Castle topped Bethel Park, 71-64. Malik Hooker netted 25 points and Stew Allen added 18 to help the ‘Canes to a 52-31 lead after three quarters. Bethel Park’s Joey Mascaro led a furious rally in the fourth quarter but the comeback bid ultimately fell short. Mascaro finished with a game-high 38 points. New Castle advances to face Section 3 rival North Allegheny in the Sweet 16.
North Allegheny 82, Altoona 57
North Allegheny forced District 6 champion Altoona into 22 turnovers as the quick-footed Tigers outran the Mountain Lions on Saturday evening, 82-57, in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs. North Allegheny won the turnover battle, 13-1, and never allowed the much taller Mountain Lions to benefit from their height advantage. Four Tigers finished in double figures with Cole Constantino leading the way with 16 points. Senior Joe Mancini added 15 points and four treys. Altoona’s Tony Acrie and Manny Span both tallied double-doubles, but most of their damage was done with the game well at hand. Acrie scored 19 points with 13 rebounds. Span scored a dozen with 11 boards. North Allegheny led 48-29 at halftime.
McDowell 65, Kiski Area 46
The District 10 champion Trojans opened up a double digit lead in the second quarter and never looked back as McDowell topped Kiski Area in the PIAA first round, 65-46. McDowell’s Michael Beck led all scorers with 28 points. Teammates Andrew Stromenger and Dalton Grafius added 12 and 11 points, respectively. For the Cavaliers, Joe Brungo netted 11 points and Michael Simmons chipped in with 10. McDowell will face the Hampton Talbots on Wednesday night at Slippery Rock University.
Hampton 58, Allerdice 43
The Hampton Talbots eliminated the City League champion Allderdice Dragons from the PIAA playoffs on Saturday with a 58-43 victory. Bouncing back from a loss in the WPIAL title game last Saturday, Hampton disrupted Allderdice with its zone defensive schemes and prevented the Dragons from developing a rhythm from beyond the arc. With the Dragons shooters on ice, Ryan Luther and David Huber led the way for the Talbots. Luther poured in a team-high 16 points and Huber added 15. The Dragons Ramon Creighton tallied a team-best 16 points.