The Quad-A Puzzle, Sorting Through The Title Contenders
By Steve Brodzinski
On any given night, there seems to be a new contender in class Quad A.
After Hempfield stumbled to Class AAA West Mifflin, losing 91-84, there were some questions as to how dominate they really were. They answered those questions over the past 10 days, with wins over Gateway, Norwin, and a twenty point victory over Latrobe. With 6’8” Anthony Pilato, and Division 1 recruit Kason Harrell, Hempfield is establishing itself as one of the favorites. However, they have been challenged in close ones with Norwin, Gateway, and Plum.
In Section 2, Plum sits at the top with McKeesport, but both teams have stumbled. Plum lost to Penn Hills, who sits at 2-4 in the section. McKeesport lost to Class AA Greensburg Central Catholic early in the year, and then also has losses to Hempfield and Plum so far, but has big wins over Gateway and Fox Chapel. Gateway who many thought to be a potential dominate team this season, has losses to Class AA North Catholic, Class AAA Indiana, and four losses to Quad A opponents so far.
Section 3 and Section 4 have caused some of the biggest head -scratchers so far. In Section 3, North Allegheny is the top dog. However, they squeaked by with last second wins over both Pine Richland and Mt. Lebanon, before getting upset by North Hills yesterday, 79-77. Was it really an upset though? This is the same North Hills team that just beat Pine Richland by 23 points, has a win over Central Catholic, and lost by two to Seneca Valley. It gets more interesting. Pine Richland, who lost by 23 to North Hills, beat Mt. Lebanon by one point, and then lost to Upper St. Clair by twenty. Last night, Mt. Lebanon defeated Upper St. Clair by twenty. This is the same Upper St. Clair team who went into Chartiers Valley, and dominated the entire game on their way to a 68-64 win, and the same Chartiers Valley team that beat Mt. Lebanon in a decisive 14-point victory.
What does it all mean? That there are about 16 teams that all have a legitimate chance to make it to the Peterson Events Center. Some teams not even mentioned – Bethel Park, Seneca Valley, Butler, all have real chances to contend. I do not think that there has been a season where you could feel that any of the four playoff teams from each section, could actually have a chance to make it to the WPIAL finals. Well, this is the year where that could happen. Buckle up and enjoy the ride, because on any night, Quad A could have a new favorite for the title.