What’s coming up: 2/15/24

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Photo Credit: @MoonTigersBB

by: Don Rebel

The WPIAL had dominated boys 5A through two rounds.

All four teams in the “western” semifinals are from District 7.

There is little surprise that section champions Moon, Franklin Regional and Shaler have reached the third round of the state playoffs. Those three teams have a combined overall record of 75-9 with each owning a record of 25-3.

If there is a darkhorse in the chase for gold, it’s the Black Hawks.

Bethel Park finished in third place in Section 1, four games behind champion Thomas Jefferson. The Hawks’ longest win streak was six in a row and their longest losing skid was four straight.

Bethel Park brings an overall record of 15-13 into its game against WPIAL champion Moon on Friday at Chartiers Valley at 7 p.m.

The game will be a battle of styles.

Moon has size and speed and likes to get up and down the floor, averaging 62.3 points per game.

Bethel Park likes a slower, half-court pace in which they grind out wins. In six playoff games, the Black Hawks have averaged 43 points per game.

The other PIAA quarterfinal on the western side of the bracket is a rematch of a WPIAL semifinal as Franklin Regional faces Shaler at Gateway at 7:30 p.m.

In that district final four matchup, the Panther jumped all over the Titans in the opening quarter and led after one, 17-5.

After Shaler closed the gap to 10 points by halftime, Franklin Regional again came out of the locker room flying and put the game away by outscoring the Titans 16-7 in the third quarter to cruise to a 28-point win, 68-40.

Fin Hutchinson scored 16 points and Connor Crossey added 14 for the Panthers while Keegan Smetanka had 15 points for the Titans.

The teams also met in the regular season with Franklin Regional beating visiting Shaler in January, 72-62.


Entering the second round of the PIAA playoffs Tuesday, Norwin was one of four WPIAL teams alive for state gold after all four District 7 teams in 6A girls were perfect in the opening round.

However, following second-round losses by Chartiers ValleyPeters Township and North Allegheny, the Knights are all alone from the WPIAL in the 6A bracket.

Friday, Norwin (23-3) heads east to square off with Spring-Ford (23-5) at State College at 6:30 p.m.

Spring-Ford is one of four teams out of eight remaining in the highest classification from District 1.

The Rams lost to Perkiomen Valley in the D-1 finals, but rebounded with state playoff wins over Northeastern York by 34 points and Peters Township by 21 points.

Norwin has won 14 straight games.

The Knights-Rams victor will take on the winner of Lansdale North Penn (24-4) against Garnet Valley (23-5) at Bensalem at 7 p.m.

North Penn eliminated North Allegheny in the second round, 56-54 in overtime.