A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games of Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019
By: HSSN Staff
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | 8:02 PM
No. 3 North Catholic (19-4) vs. No. 6 Deer Lakes (16-6)
8 p.m. Thursday at North Allegheny
Winner plays: No. 2 Aliquippa (15-7) or No. 7 Neshannock (18-5) on Monday in semifinals
Coaches: Dave DeGregorio, North Catholic; Terence Parham, Deer Lakes
Points scored/allowed: North Catholic, 76.0/55.3; Deer Lakes, 57.6/48.5
Players to watch: Jackson Paschall, North Catholic (jr., G); Brad Perrotte, Deer Lakes (sr., G)
About North Catholic: The Trojans are coming off a 77-60 victory over Valley in the first round of the playoffs. Paschall scored a team-high 23 points. North Catholic won the WPIAL title in 2016 and ‘17 before falling in the semifinals last season. This is a homecoming game for DeGregorio, who is in his first year at North Catholic after previously coaching at North Allegheny.
About Deer Lakes: The Lancers’ 57-47 first-round win over Charleroi was their first postseason victory since 1985. Perrotte scored 17 points in the win. Deer Lakes’ scoring defense ranked second among Class 3A playoff teams this season. The Lancers won 13 of their 14 games when holding their opponents below 50 points this season.
No. 1 Vincentian (14-7) vs. No. 9 Leechburg (13-9)
8 p.m. Thursday at North Hills
Winner plays: No. 4 Monessen (14-8) or No. 5 St. Joseph (18-5) on Monday in semifinals
Coaches: Tim Tyree, Vincentian; Corey Smith, Leechburg
Points scored/allowed: Vincentian, 66.6/55.6; Leechburg, 59.8/51.0
Players to watch: Angelo Reeves, Vincentian (fr., F); Connor McDermott, Leechburg (jr., G)
About Vincentian: Top-seeded Vincentian is seeking its fourth WPIAL championship of the decade; the Royals were crowned in 2011, ‘13 and ‘18. Vincentian emerged as champion of the rugged Section 1-A, which also included Nazareth Prep and Cornell. The 6-foot-6 Reeves leads team in scoring.
About Leechburg: The Blue Devils advanced to the quarterfinals for a second consecutive season with a 59-40 win over Bishop Canevin, outscoring the Crusaders, 28-15, in the second half. They last made the semifinals in 2007, the year they won the WPIAL championship. The sharp-shooting McDermott scored 17 points against Bishop Canevin. He made six 3-pointers in a game earlier against St. Joseph.
No. 5 St. Joseph (18-5) vs. No. 4 Monessen (14-8)
8 p.m. Thursday at West Allegheny
Winner plays: No. 1 Vincentian (14-7) or No. 9 Leechburg (13-9) on Monday in semifinals.
Coaches: Kelly Robinson, St. Joseph; Dan Bosnic, Monessen
Points scored/allowed: St. Joseph, 65.6/53.0; Monessen, 71.6/51.9
Players to watch: Grant Bendis, St. Joseph (sr., G/F); Devin Whitlock, Monessen (fr., G)
About St. Joseph: A 78-45 first-round win over West Greene gave St. Joseph its first postseason victory since 2011. The Spartans are seeking their first semifinal appearance since 2005. Four players — Bendis, fellow seniors Matt Arvay and Daniel Fabregas and sophomore Andrew Sullivan — scored in double figures against West Greene. St. Joseph had a 25-0 run in that game. St. Joseph won six games last season, with Arvay and Fabregas sidelined with season-ending injuries.
About Monessen: Bosnic, the former Connellsville coach, is in his first season at Monessen after Joe Salvino, who led the Greyhounds to nearly 650 wins in more than 30 seasons, left for the coaching job at Belle Vernon. The Section 2-A champion Greyhounds had the second-best offense in Class A, behind only Cornell (74.4). Last season’s quarterfinal exit snapped a string of four consecutive semifinal appearances, which included WPIAL titles in 2015 and 2017 and a runner-up finish in 2014.