Class 5A Girls Basketball Quarterfinal Preview

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There are still a few teams that have yet to play a playoff game, but the long wait will finally come to an end today in the Class 5A girls basketball quarterfinals.

The top four seeds who received byes, will finally hit the court for their quarterfinal games.

All games will be played on a neutral court in the afternoon.

No. 1 Chartiers Valley Colts (22-0) vs. No. 9 Trinity Hillers (12-11) At Canon-McMillan, 12 PM

Tim McConnell’s first season as the Chartiers Valley girls coach couldn’t have gone any better. The Colts are one of two teams in the WPIAL in girls basketball to not lose a game. Chartiers Valley is led by a duo of first-team all-section picks in senior guard Mackenzie Wagner and junior guard Megan McConnell. Wagner is leading the team with 17 points per game. McConnell was also named the Section Coach of the Year. Chartiers Valley defeated West Allegheny is the quarterfinal round last year, 49-42…Trinity has been a different team since the return of junior Riley DeRubbo after an ACL injury. The Hillers have won back-to-back games with DeRubbo, including a 55-26 drubbing against No. 8 Penn-Trafford in the first round. DeRubbo led the team with 15 points in the win and sophomore Courtney Dahlquist chipped in with 11. Trinity lost to Oakland Catholic in the quarterfinal round last year, 55-46…This is the third meeting of the season between the section rivals, with Chartiers Valley winning 72-46 on Jan. 3 and 67-55 on Jan. 28. Both games were with DeRubbo in the lineup.

No. 2 Oakland Catholic Eagles (19-3) vs. No. 7 Mars Planets (18-5) At North Hills, 1:30 PM

Oakland Catholic is once again a favorite to make it to the Petersen Events Center and the WPIAL Championship Game. The Eagles only lost one section game all year and won their section by two games. Oakland Catholic have won nine out of 10 games entering the playoffs. They are led by a trio of first-team all-section picks with seniors Jayde Boyd, Alexis Sestric and Sierra DeAngelo. They are also led by Section Coach of the Year, Brianne O’Rourke-Kelly. Sestric leads the team with 17.2 points per game. Oakland Catholic defeated Trinity in the quarterfinals last year, 55-46…The defending PIAA champion Mars passed its first test in the playoffs, defeated No. 10 Woodland Hills, 56-50, in the first round. Senior Tai Johnson led the Planets with 21 points in the win. Junior Bella Pelaia finished with 16 points. Mars defeated Hampton, 48-41 in last year’s quarterfinal round, which was also played at North Hills…This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.

No. 3 Gateway Gators (19-3) vs. No. 6 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (17-6) At Hampton, 2:30 PM

The long awaited title defense for defending WPIAL champions, Gateway, begins this afternoon. The Gators earned a bye after winning their section by a game over Franklin Regional. Gateway enters the playoffs on a nine game win streak. They are led by two first-team all-section picks in senior forward Mary Kromka and junior center Lexi Jackson. Head Coach Curtis Williams was named the Section Coach of the Year. Jackson is leading the team with 15.6 points per game. This is a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal round that the Gators won, 57-54…Thomas Jefferson cruised into the quarterfinals, evoking the running clock in its first round win against No. 11 Plum, 79-32. Junior Alyssa DeAngelo and senior Jenna Clark served as a two-headed monster, recording 26 and 25 points, respectively, in the win…This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

No. 4 Penn Hills Indians (15-6) vs. No. 5 Franklin Regional Panthers (17-6) At Norwin, 1:30 PM

Penn Hills dropped down to Class 5A this season and the move has paid off as the Indians finished in second place in its section and received a first round bye. The Indians won three out of four games to end the regular season. They are led by a couple of first-team all-section players in seniors Adia Brisker and Tayonna Robertson. Penn Hills last made the quarterfinals two years ago when they defeated Peters Township, 58-55…Franklin Regional used a stout defensive game to advance into the quarterfinals with a 46-35 win against No. 12 South Fayette in the first round at Keystone Oaks on Tuesday. Senior Cali Konek and junior Noelle Boyd finished with 10 points apiece. It has been over 15 years since the last time the Panthers were in the quarterfinals…This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.

For a complete look at the bracket, click here.