What’s coming up: 2/22/24

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by: Don Rebel

Despite splitting their two head-to-head matchups, the Panthers won the Section 3-5A title by two games over the Gators.

In the first meeting in Murrysville, Gateway leaned on its defense to keep high-scoring Franklin Regional to 15 points below its season average to win 58-48.

Seniors Taili Thompson scored 14 points and Alec Dunsmore added 12 to lead the Gators to victory.

In the rematch three and a half weeks later in Monroeville, Franklin Regional avenged its only section loss with a 49-41 win.

The Panthers outscored the Gators in the second half 23-14 as senior Cam Rowell led the way with a game-high 14 points.

Franklin Regional is 20-2 and has won 10 straight, including a first-round win over Mars, 67-50. Senior Colin Masten led the Panthers with 20 points.

Gateway also enjoyed a 10-game winning streak earlier this season. Its current streak is at three in a row after knocking out defending champion Penn Hills in the opening round, 70-59. Sophomore Mykel Bruce-McCrommon scored 23 points in the win for the Gators.

The game at Norwin tips off at 8 p.m.

The other three boys 5A quarterfinals games Thursday are:

• Top-seed Moon (20-3) faces No. 8 Fox Chapel (13-10) at North Hills at 8 p.m. in a game you can watch on Trib HSSN. The Tigers crushed Woodland Hills in the first round, 73-39, as senior Elijah Guillory scored 19 points. The Foxes won the wildest first-round game in the district when they outlasted North Hills, 94-84 in double overtime, thanks to 27 points by senior Jefferson Moorefield-Brown.

• No. 4 Thomas Jefferson (20-3) will be challenged by one of two surprise teams remaining in the 5A bracket, No. 12 Kiski Area (15-7), at Gateway at 7 p.m. The Jaguars rolled past Penn-Trafford in the opening round, 72-53, with senior Evan Berger scoring 18 points. The Cavaliers stunned No. 5 Peters Township, 58-51, behind 15 points from senior Isaiah Gonzalez.

• No. 3 Shaler (21-2) will take on the other surprise team in 5A, No. 11 Bethel Park (12-11), at Mt. Lebanon with video on Trib HSSN. The Titans struggled but overcame an upset bid by Chartiers Valley in Round 1, 73-71, with senior Sam Himrod scoring 20 points. The Black Hawks used a stifling zone defense to upset No. 6 South Fayette, 34-32, when senior Shawn Davis drove the lane and beat the buzzer with a layup.


It has been a while, but the eight teams that made the Class 6A girls basketball playoffs finally hit the court to begin the postseason Thursday.

One of the four games pits two teams that are very familiar with each other in the postseason spotlight.

No. 6 Upper St. Clair will visit No. 3 North Allegheny as the 6A powers collide in the playoffs for a seventh straight season.

The Tigers have had the better of the last six postseason fights, beating the Panthers in five of them.

2018 quarterfinals: North Allegheny 45, Upper St. Clair 26

2019 quarterfinals: North Allegheny 33, Upper St. Clair 26

2020 semifinals: North Allegheny 39, Upper St. Clair 27

2021 championship: North Allegheny 70, Upper St. Clair 36

2022 semifinals: Upper St. Clair 48, North Allegheny 44

2023 championship: North Allegheny 71, Upper St. Clair 45

This season, outside of two losses to top-seeded Norwin, North Allegheny has been perfect.

The Tigers are 20-2 and have won six straight games.

Upper St. Clair lost star junior Rylee Kalocay in early January to a torn ACL but scratched and clawed their way into the playoffs.

The Panthers are 12-10 and won five of their last seven games in the regular season.

You can watch the game on Trib HSSN at 6 p.m.

The other three 6A girls basketball second round games are:

• Top-seeded Norwin (18-3) will host a familiar face in Section 1 foe No. 8 Seneca Valley (12-10) at 6 p.m. The Knights have won nine games in a row and defeated the Raiders twice by scores of 46-35 and 46-39.

• No. 4 Mt. Lebanon (12-10) will welcome No. 5 Chartiers Valley (15-6) at 6 p.m. in a game you can see on Trib HSSN. It is also the third meeting of the year between these Section 2 rivals as the Colts won the first contest, 52-39, while the Blue Devils captured the rematch, 52-42. These teams met in the quarterfinals a year ago with Mt. Lebanon pulling off a big comeback win over Chartiers Valley, 47-46.

• No. 2 Peters Township (21-1) will be home to No. 7 Pine-Richland (8-13) at 7 p.m. The Indians won their first 20 games this season before being stunned by Canon-McMillan in their section finale. The Rams finished 3-3 in their last six regular season games. The two met way back on Dec. 2 with Peters Township edging Pine-Richland, 55-46.