A-K Valley basketball playoff preview capsules for games of Feb. 16, 2023

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 | 2:39 PM

WPIAL basketball playoffs


Class 4A

Preliminary round

17-West Mifflin (9-12) at 16-Knoch (8-14)

7 p.m. Thursday at Knoch High School, Saxonburg

Winner plays: 1-Lincoln Park (21-1), 7 p.m. Monday at Lincoln Park

Players to watch: Jordan Lucas-Johnson, West Mifflin; Teegan Finucan, Knoch

Layup lines: West Mifflin tied for fourth in Section 4 with Avonworth after both teams finished 4-6. The Titans have lost five straight games after back-to-back wins over Ringgold and Montour. Lucas-Johnson, a 6-foot-7 senior center, averages a double-double with 14.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Lucas-Johnson had 19 points in Monday’s nonsection loss to Penn Hills. Junior guard Joseph Fleming averages 10.7 ppg, and senior forward Todd Harrison scores 9.7. Senior point guard Shai Newby has been a good distributor at nearly 3 assists per game, along with 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds. … Knoch tied for third in Section 1 with Freeport after both teams finished 5-5. The Knights averaged 53.4 points and allowed 60.5. They have won three of their past five games, including a 56-53 victory over Class 3A No. 3 seed Shady Side Academy on Monday. Finucan leads the Knights in scoring at 17.0 ppg. He and Jackson Bauman each had 15 points in Monday’s win.


Class 5A

Preliminary round

17-Montour (8-14) at 16-Plum (12-10)

7 p.m. Thursday at Plum High School, Plum Borough

Winner plays: 1-South Fayette (20-2), 8 p.m. Tuesday at South Fayette High School

Players to watch: Jordyn Wolfe, Montour; Megan Marston, Plum

Layup lines: Plum returns to the playoff after a one-year hiatus. The Mustangs finished in a three-way tie for third place in Section 1 with Penn Hills and Kiski Area at 6-6. They secured their playoff berth with a 58-52 victory over section champ Indiana last Thursday. Plum won its last playoff game, a 44-31 home triumph over Lincoln Park in a preliminary round contest in 2021. Covid issues, however, forced the Mustangs to forfeit their first-round game against Chartiers Valley. Marston, a junior guard, leads Plum in scoring at 18.2 points a game. … The Spartans finished fourth in Section 4 behind No. 1 South Fayette, Trinity and Lincoln Park. Montour swept section foes West Allegheny and Moon. The Spartans won two straight to end the regular season, and that included a 47-44 victory over No. 7 Mars (15-6) on Monday. Wolfe is Montour’s leading scorer at 16 points a game. The junior guard tallied 17 to front all scorers against the Planets. Senior guard Raegan Kadlecik added 13 points in the victory. The Spartans advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals and PIAA playoffs last year. Montour won the first-ever WPIAL girls basketball championship in 1971.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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