Armstrong coach shocked when WPIAL omits team from basketball brackets

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | 2:06 AM


Nobody was more surprised to see the WPIAL playoff brackets than Armstrong boys basketball coach Greg Hutcherson.

When the Class 5A bracket was revealed Tuesday night in Green Tree, his team wasn't listed anywhere. The mistake was a clerical error, said WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley, not an oversight by the basketball committee.

“I had every one of my players texting me,” said Hutcherson, who was among the coaches crowded into the DoubleTree ballroom. “Coaches, elementary boosters were texting me asking what's going on? I just think it's disrespectful, that's all. My kids worked hard to get here. They're having a little celebration back at Armstrong. And then we don't get listed?”

Armstrong (8-13, 3-7) tied with Greensburg Salem (12-10, 3-7) for fourth place in Section 3. Because the teams split their two head-to-head matchups, both qualified for the playoffs.

When the committee assembled the tournament, Armstrong was seeded last in a 13-team field and paired with No. 4 McKeesport, O'Malley said. Somehow, that information wasn't transferred to the official brackets.

The mistake was quickly fixed.

The two teams will play at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Gateway. McKeesport was initially credited with a first-round bye.

“We assumed we were playing them,” Hutcherson said. “But for that not to be announced? I'm not sure how that happens, but it's motivation for us, I know that.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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