2024 WPIAL Class 6A boys basketball championship breakdown: Upper St. Clair vs. Baldwin

Friday, March 1, 2024 | 5:07 PM

WPIAL Class 6A boys basketball championship

No. 3 Upper St. Clair vs. No. 4 Baldwin

7 p.m. Saturday at Petersen Events Center

On the air: Audio broadcast: TribLive HSSN; Video livestream: NFHS Network

WPIAL titles: Upper St. Clair 3 (1996, 2005, 2021), Baldwin 0

Upper St. Clair (19-5)

Coach: Danny Holzer

Projected starting lineup

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

1, Brett Meinert, 6-0, sr., G

2, Julian Dahlem, 5-10, jr., G

4, Kaamil Jackson, 6-6, jr., F

5, Christian Ito, 6-0, sr., G

20, Tyler Robbins, 6-9, jr, F

How they got here: Upper St. Clair defeated No. 6 Butler, 78-71, in the quarterfinals; and No. 2 Central Catholic, 61-46, in the semifinals.

Notable: Upper St. Clair split two regular-season games with Baldwin, losing the first, 55-54 on Jan. 18, and winning the rematch, 57-52 on Feb. 9. The Panthers are trying to win their second WPIAL title in four years and the fourth overall, all under coach Danny Holzer, who is closing in on 500 career wins. Holzer, in his 29th season, needs seven wins to reach the milestone. The team has had five different scorers reach double figures in the playoffs. Christian Ito had 19 and 17 points in the team’s two wins. In the semifinals, Tyler Robbins had 19 rebounds and six blocks. The team averages 58.5 points per game and allows 47. This is USC’s sixth appearance in the WPIAL finals with wins over Franklin Regional, 60-53, in 1996, Mt. Lebanon, 57-55, in 2005, and Pine-Richland, 56-53, in 2021.

Baldwin (18-6)

Coach: Jeff Ackermann

Projected starting lineup

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

2, Caden Cherico, 6-1, jr., G

3, Nate Richards, 5-11, sr., G

11, Nate Wesling, 5-11, jr., G

12, Max Marzina, 6-0, so., G

30, Matt Schenk, 6-4, jr., F

How they got here: Baldwin defeated No. 5 North Allegheny, 55-49, in the quarterfinals; and No. 1 Mt. Lebanon, 54-52, in the semifinals.

Notable: This is Baldwin’s second appearance in the WPIAL finals and its first in 39 years. The Highlanders in 1985 lost to Latrobe, 67-59, in the Class 4A final. The team’s quarterfinal win this season was its first playoff victory since 2003. Coach Jeff Ackermann has five WPIAL titles and could win one at three different schools. Ackermann won three titles at Moon (2004-06) and two at Pine-Richland (2016-17). Nate Wesling averaged 16 points per game in the regular season. He scored 19 and 25 in the team’s two playoff wins. Baldwin averages 62.2 points per game and allows 55.

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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