Big 56 Conference WPIAL Title Game Recaps
Class 6A Boys Basketball
The Pine-Richland Rams (24-1) won their second straight WPIAL title and became the first ever champions in Class 6A with a 72-61 win over section rival Butler (17-9). The game was tied 29-29 at intermission but Pine-Richland surged ahead thanks in large part to Andrew Petcash who scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half. Phil Jurkovec, a Notre Dame football recruit, posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Butler’s freshman phenom Ethan Butler did his best to keep the Golden Tornado’s title hopes alive with a team-high 17 points but Pine-Richland was too efficient and too good on this night, pulling out an 11-point win for the WPIAL title.
Class 6A Girls Basketball
Atoning for a title game loss a season ago, the North Allegheny Tigers (24-1) achieved redemption with a 50-39 victory over the Bethel Park Black Hawks (19-7). The Tigers led most of the game but held a tenuous 36-35 lead early in the fourth quarter. North Allegheny pulled away with a game-ending 14-4 run to claim the WPIAL crown. The Tigers were paced by sophomore Rachel Martindale who totaled 23 points with five 3-pointers and closed out the game with six consecutive free throws. Bethel Park was led by senior Justina Mascaro’s 13 points.
Class 5A Boys Basketball
The Moon Tigers (20-5) fended off a feisty Hampton Talbots (16-10) squad for a 69-62 victory in the Class 5A boys’ championship game. The catalyst for the Tigers was University of Pennsylvania recruit Jarrod Simmons who delivered 22 points, eight blocked shots, three assists and two steals in a terrific all-around performance. Moon opened up a 26-13 lead in the second quarter and never trailed as Hampton was playing catchup the rest of the night. Antonio Ionadi caught fire with 25 points to bring the Talbots to within striking distance but Hampton could not overtake the Tigers in this WPIAL title tilt.
Class 5A Girls Basketball
Trailing by one point entering the fourth quarter, the Chartiers Valley Colts (19-7) went on a 20-3 run in the final stanza to capture a 52-36 win over the Oakland Catholic Eagles (22-4) and the first WPIAL title in CV program history. Sophomore guard Mackenzie Wagner led the late-game charge with eight points in the final quarter on her way to a 19-point performance. Haley Zoglman was the leading scorer for Oakland Catholic with eight points as the Eagles went cold in the fourth quarter, making just 1 of 7 shots.