Boys Class 6A WPIAL Quarterfinal Preview
One of the deepest Class 6A boys’ basketball brackets in recent history will resume on Saturday with four quarterfinal games.
Neither game is featuring teams that play in the same section.
Below are capsules on each quarterfinal game.
No. 1 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils (19-3) vs. No. 9 Latrobe Wildcats (16-7) At Canon-McMillan, 3 p.m.
Mt. Lebanon received the nod to be the top team in the bracket after winning the Section 2-6A regular season title. They received a by into the quarterfinals. There last game was a 76-54 win against Upper St. Clair on Feb. 9. They are averaging 71.3 points per game and are allowing 52.8 points per game. The Blue Devils enter Saturday’s game on a five game winning streak. Mt. Lebanon and Latrobe did not play each other in the regular season. The Blue Devils put three players on the all-section first team with the selections of seniors Antonio Garofoli and Caden Hinckley and junior Hayden Mitchell. Junior Michael Palmer was an honorable mention. Mt. Lebanon last made the quarterfinals in 2014-15, where they lost to North Hills 37-33…Latrobe enjoyed the week off between the first round and quarterfinals after enduring a battle of heavyweights against Butler, defeating the Golden Tornado, 73-66. Junior Reed Fenton, a all-section first-team pick, led the Wildcats with 24 points. Junior Bryce Butler, a second-team pick, had 23 points and senior Marcus Dudzenski finished with 15 points. The win was the second straight year the Wildcats knocked out Butler in the playoffs, as they beat them in the quarterfinals 70-64 last year.
No. 2 Woodland Hills Wolverines (19-3) vs. No. 7 Canon-McMillan Big Macs (21-2) At Baldwin, 1:30 p.m.
In a brutal Section 3, Woodland Hills came out on top with the regular season championship, earning them a bye into the quarterfinals. Their last game was a 55-37 win at Penn-Trafford on Feb. 9. The Wolverines are averaging 70.8 points per game and are allowing 56.6 points per game. Woodland Hills put two players on the all-section first team with senior Amante Britt and junior Keandre Bowles. Junior Olson Nicholson was an honorable mention and O’Dell Miller was named the Section Coach of the Year. Woodland Hills defeated Fox Chapel, 52-47, in the quarterfinals last season…Canon-McMillan has the most wins out of any team in Class 6A this season and still find themselves trying to prove that they can play with the big dogs. The Big Macs passed their first test in the first round with a 57-52 win against Seneca Valley. Senior Kenyon Lewis, a all-section second team pick, led the team with 16 points. Junior Drew Engel, an honorable mention selection, finished with 13 points and junior Ethan Beachy, a second-team pick, added 12. The Big Macs also have senior Jason Fowlkes, who was the team’s lone first-team selection, honorable mention selection, junior Elliott Walker, and are led by Section Coach of the Year, Rick Bell. Canon-McMillan lost to Pine-Richland in the quarterfinals last year, 67-64.
No. 3 Fox Chapel Foxes (17-5) vs. No. 6 Pine-Richland Rams (18-5) At North Hills, 12 p.m.
Both of these teams qualified to get the one at-large seed to receive a bye after not winning their section championship, and it was Fox Chapel that was awarded with it. The Foxes finished tied for second in Section 3. The Foxes last game was a 52-45 loss against Central Catholic. The loss snapped a 10-game win streak. They are averaging 62.1 points per game and are allowing 49.2 points per game. They landed two players on the all-section first-team with seniors Carson Cohen and Dom McGriff. Junior Ben Kelly was named to the second team. Fox Chapel lost to Woodland Hills in the quarterfinals last year…The fact that the two-time defending WPIAL champion is the No. 6 seed shows you how deep the classification is this year. The Rams will be making a return trip to North Hills after defeating Bethel Park there in the first round, 66-62. Senior Phil Jurkovec a first-team all-section pick, led the team with 23 points. Junior Dan Petcash, also a first-team selection, added 18 points in the win. Junior Greg Shulkosky was named to the second-team all-section this year. As mentioned before, Pine-Richland defeated Canon-McMillan in the quarterfinals last year.
No. 4 Central Catholic Vikings (14-8) vs. No. 5 Penn Hills Indians (20-3) At Canon-McMillan, 12 p.m.
It was a rough start to the season in non-section for Central Catholic, but the Vikings were able to turn it on to win the tough Section 1 championship to earn a first round by. Its last game was a 52-45 win at Fox Chapel on Feb. 12. The Vikings have won four of their last five games entering the playoffs. The Vikings are averaging 55.1 points per game and are allowing 53.9 points per game. The Vikings had two players make all-section first-team with seniors Luke Nedrow and Cole Mason. Junior Maurice Shipman was named to the second team and senior Justin Tarrant was an honorable mention. Chuck Crummie was named as the Section Coach of the Year. Central Catholic last made the quarterfinals in 2015-16, where they lost to Pine-Richland, 56-46…Penn Hills was the last Class 6A team to suffer a loss this season, but still had to sneak by Upper St. Clair, 52-51, in its first round game. Senior Cory Fulton, a all-section second-team pick, led the Indians with 15 points. Senior Daivon Stephens, a first-team pick, added 14 points. Also making first-team for Penn Hills was senior Cam Wiley. Seniors Keyshawn Adams and Myles Yarbrough were named honorable mentions. Penn Hills lost to North Hills in the quarterfinals last year, 59-58.
For a complete look at the updated bracket, click here.