Boys Basketball Class 5A Semifinal Preview

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There was only one minor upset in the quarterfinals in Class 5A last Friday with No. 5 Chartiers Valley topping No. 4 Woodlands Hills. The top three seeds who received byes had no problem dusting off the rust after a long layoff to come away with easy wins.

Both semifinal games tonight will be played at 8 p.m. on neutral courts.

No. 1 Mars Planets (22-1) vs. No. 5 Chartiers Valley Colts (18-5) At Fox Chapel

Top-seed Mars started and ended strong in its quarterfinal win against No. 8 Shaler at North Allegheny, 76-60. It was the third win of the season for the Planets against the Titans, who jumped out to 11-2 advantage after the first quarter. The game belonged to junior forward, Michael Carmody. Carmody finished with 23 points and 27 rebounds to lead the Planets. A couple of other first-team all-section picks in seniors Khori Fusco and Andrew Recchia finished with 19 and 16 points, respectively. Senior Brandon Caruso added 10 points. Mars defeated Trinity in the semifinals last year, 56-39…Chartiers Valley survived its first two playoff games after defeating Woodland Hills in the quarterfinals, 62-49. Both wins in the playoffs have been by double digits. The Colts opened the game up in the second quarter after trailing by one after win. They led 31-20 at the break. Senior Joe Pipilo led the way with 25 points. Junior Jared Goldstrom finished with 15. Chartiers Valley lost to Moon in its last trip to the semifinals two years ago. 65-43…This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.

No. 2 Penn Hills Indians (20-3) vs. No. 3 Moon Tigers (21-1) At North Hills

The other semifinal team pits a couple of 20-win section champions. Penn Hills won its eighth straight game with a 62-50 win against No. 7 Montour in the quarterfinals. The Indians started out slow down by three after the first quarter but took a 29-25 halftime lead and never trailed after that. Senior Tyree Spencer led the way with 21 points. Sophomore Wes Kropp finished with 16 points and junior Kyree Hairston-Mitchell added 10. Penn Hills defeated Mt. Lebanon 69-66 in the Class 6A semifinals a year ago…Moon once again held an opponent under 50 points, defeating No. 6 Franklin Regional, 64-48. Defensive adjustments at halftime were key as the Tigers held the Panthers to two points in the third quarter. Junior Donovan Johnson led the way with 22 points. Senior Jioni Smith finished with 12 and seniors Connor Ryan and Austin Ryan added 11 points apiece. Moon defeated Chartiers Valley in the semifinals two years ago, 65-43…This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.

For a complete look at the Class 5A bracket, click here.