2023 WPIAL Class A boys basketball championship breakdown: Imani Christian vs. Union

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | 10:34 PM

WPIAL Class A boys basketball final

No. 1 Imani Christian vs. No. 2 Union

5 p.m. Thursday, Petersen Events Center

Video livestream: TribHSSN.TribLive.com

WPIAL titles: Imani Christian 0, Union 1 (2003)

Imani Christian (17-6)

Projected starting lineup

Coach: Omar Foster

No., Name, Ht., Cl., Pos.

1, R.J. Sledge, 5-11, so., G

4, Avery Wesley, 6-0, jr., G

5, Dame Givner, 6-1, so., G

12, Alier Maluk, 6-11, so., C

30, Virgil Hall, 6-9, jr., F

Notable: These teams met in a WPIAL semifinal last season and Union won 66-54. … Imani is the second-smallest basketball-playing school in the WPIAL (29 boys in grades 9-11), but fields the league’s tallest lineup. … Maluk is a major-college recruit with offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Auburn, LSU, N.C. State, Ohio State, Oregon, Seton Hall and Texas A&M. Rivals.com ranks him the 16th-best sophomore prospect in the country. … The Saints have the highest-scoring offense in WPIAL Class A (69.9 ppg) with four double-digits scorers: Givner (15.9), Maluk (15.2) and Hall (12.7) and Sledge (10.5) … Imani’s regular-season schedule included a five-point win over WPIAL 6A finalist Central Catholic and a three-point loss to 4A finalist Lincoln Park. … Imani’s defense allows 53.1 ppg. … The team is coming off a 75-57 semifinal win over Geibel Catholic. … The Saints were WPIAL runners-up in 2017.

Union (22-2)

Projected starting lineup

Coach: Mark Stanley

No., Name, Ht., Cl., Pos.

5, Matthew Stanley, 5-11, sr., G

11, Cam Taylor, 5-11, sr., G

20, Kaden Fisher, 6-4, sr., G/F

33, Peyton Lombardo, 6-1, sr., G/F

35, Brennen Porter, 6-2, sr., G/F

Notable: Union is trying to win a WPIAL boys basketball title after celebrating a football title in the fall and a baseball title last spring. … The Scotties are in the basketball finals for the second straight year after losing to Bishop Canevin, 58-45, in 2022. … Matthew Stanley (15 ppg) and Lombardo (10) are Union’s top scorers. … This is Mark Stanley’s second stint as Union’s coach. His teams are 146-67 over the past nine seasons. Overall, he has coached 16 seasons at his alma mater and won a WPIAL title in 2003. He also coached three seasons at New Castle. … Three of Stanley’s sons are on the roster (Matthew, Mark and Lucas). … Union’s defense allows the fewest points among WPIAL Class A playoff qualifiers (42.5 ppg). The offense ranks third best at 67.6 ppg. … Union is coming off an 80-58 win over Carlynton.

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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