Girls Class 6A WPIAL Quarterfinal Preview
It will be a bunch of unfamiliar faces battling against each other in the girls’ basketball Class 6A quarterfinals. None of the four match-ups will showcase any teams from the same section against each other.
All quarterfinals games will take place on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Below are capsules on each game.
No. 1 North Allegheny Tigers (22-0) vs. No. 9 Upper St. Clair Panthers (13-9) At Fox Chapel
The long wait of the top team in the state is finally over as North Allegheny will step back onto the court for live game action for the first time in 11 days. The Tigers have steamrolled through all the WPIAL opponents this year and won a couple of tough games against other top teams in the state and other states. They just cracked the USA Today Top 25 poll earlier this week at No. 25. They are averaging 58.6 points per game and are allowing 39.5 points per game. The Tigers placed three players on the Section 1-6A all-section team with seniors Madelyn Fischer and Piper Morningstar and junior Rachel Martindale. Senior Courtney Roman and freshman Lizzy Groetsch made second-team and junior Brynn Serbin was an honorable mention. In the quarterfinals last year, North Allegheny defeated Hempfield, 40-16, in a game that was also played at Fox Chapel…Upper St. Clair used defense to get into the quarterfinals with a 38-32 win against Butler in the first round. It was the fourth straight win for the Panthers. Senior Kate Groninger, a Section 3-6A second-team selection, led the team with 16 points. Senior Olivia McClelland, an honorable mention selection in the section, chipped in with 10 points. Junior Lindsay Meyer also received an honorable mention nod for the Panthers. Upper St. Clair last made the quarterfinals in 2012-13 when they lost to Chartiers Valley 55-52.
No. 2 Peters Township Indians (19-3) vs. No. 7 Hempfield Spartans (12-11) At Baldwin
Peters Township comes into the quarterfinals after a first round bye after winning the Section 3-6A regular season title. It is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The Indians have won nine of their last 10 games, with the only loss coming to top-seed North Allegheny. They are averaging 53.6 points per game and are allowing 45.5 points per game. Peters Township are led by its two first-team all-section picks, juniors Makenna Marisa and Isabella Mills. Senior Lillian Young made second-team and senior Olivia Ziegler was named as an honorable mention. The Indians are led by the Section Coach of the Year, Bert Kendall. The Indians lost to Penn Hills, 58-55, in the quarterfinals last year…Hempfield pulled away from Seneca Valley in the second half for a 64-40 win in the first round. The win snapped a two-game losing streak against a couple of tough opponents to end the regular season. Senior Allison Podkul, a Section 2-6A first-team all-section pick, led the Spartans in the first round game with 18 points. Sophomore Sarah Liberatore, a second-team pick, finished with 11 points, as well as junior honorable mention pick, Jessica Persin. As mentioned before, Hempfield lost to North Allegheny, 40-16, in last year’s quarterfinals.
No. 3 Bethel Park Black Hawks (16-5) vs. No. 6 Latrobe Wildcats (17-6) At Gateway
Along with North Allegheny and Peters Township, Bethel Park also received a bye into the quarterfinals. The Black Hawks did not win their section though, finishing second behind the Indians. This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Bethel Park is averaging 53.6 points per game and are allowing 43.2 points per game and have won its last five games. They put two players on the Section 3-6A first team with junior Maria Cerro and freshman Olivia Westphal. They had two more players on the second-team with senior Kam Lach and sophomore Maddie Dziezgowski. Bethel Park defeated Pine-Richland, 52-44, in the quarterfinals last year… Latrobe posed as one of the top teams in Class 6A all season and they proved that in its first round game, defeating Shaler, 44-31. It was the Wildcats second straight win after winning their regular season finale. Senior Laura Graytok, a first-team all-section pick, led the team with 18 points against Shaler. Senior Mackenzie Markle, a second-team pick, added 12 points. Senior Shelby Wetzel also made second-team all-section and juniors Carly Augustine and Bethany Havrilla were named as honorable mention. The last time Latrobe made the semifinals was in 2006-07. That year they lost to Bethel Park, 62-46.
No. 4 Norwin Knights (12-9) vs. No. 5 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils (12-11) At Peters Township
Norwin was the lone section champion in Class 6A that did not receive a bye, but that didn’t effect them in its first round win against Pine-Richland, 48-29. It was the Knights sixth win in their last seven games, with the only loss coming by a point to No. 2 seed Peters Township. In the first round win, junior Emily Brozeski led the team with 16 points. Senior Magen Polczynski, a Section 2-6A first-team selection, finished with 15 points. Joining Polczynski on the first-team was sophomore Jayla Wehner. Fellow sophomore Olivia Gribble made second-team and junior Jessica Kolesar was an honorable mention. The Knights are led by Section Coach of the Year, Brian Brozeski. Norwin and Mt. Lebanon opened the season against each other in the Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament at North Allegheny, with Mt. Lebanon winning the game, 65-58. This is also a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal game that saw Mt. Lebanon win, 47-44…Mt. Lebanon only score 31 points in the first round but it was enough to advance, as they defeated Penn Hills, 31-30. Senior Alyssa Hyland, a second-team all-section pick, finished with 15 points, including the game-winning free throws. Joining Hyland on the second team was junior Jamey Napoleon and sophomore Haley Sabol. Senior Jess Wilhelm was an honorable mention.
For a complete look at the updated bracket, click here.