A-K Valley basketball playoff preview capsules: Games for Feb. 18, 2020
Monday, February 17, 2020 | 7:30 PM
No. 8 Penn Hills (11-11) vs. No. 9 Plum (14-6)
6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fox Chapel
Winner plays: No. 1 Chartiers Valley (22-0) on Saturday in the quarterfinals
Coaches: Robert Cash, Penn Hills; Steve Elsier, Plum
Points scored/allowed: Penn Hills 44.6/37.7; Plum: 47.5/42.1
Players to watch: Amoni Blackwell, Penn Hills (jr., G); Mackenzie Lake, Plum (sr., G)
About Penn Hills: The Indians won four straight to close out the regular season, averaging 53.3 points in those contests. Included in that were victories over 5A No. 2 seed Woodland Hills and No. 4 seed Oakland Catholic in Section 3-5A. Blackwell, one of Penn Hills’ top scoring threats, tallied 23 points in the win over Oakland Catholic. The Indians are in the playoffs for the eighth year in a row.
About Plum: The Mustangs are in the playoffs for the 10th time in the past 11 years. Plum is seeking its first playoff victory since 2002. The Mustangs finished as the Section 2 runner-up to Gateway. They fell to the Gators on a last-second shot in a winner-take-all game for the title Feb. 7. Plum is 11-2 in 2020. Junior forward Kennedie Montue ranks fifth in the WPIAL in scoring at 22.1 points per game. Lake, a Towson softball commit, also has led the Mustangs in scoring in games this season. Plum and Penn Hills, former section foes, will play for the first time since January 2016.
No. 11 St. Joseph (3-19) vs. No. 6 Sewickley Academy (12-10)
6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Northgate
Winner plays: No. 3 Vincentian Academy on Friday in the quarterfinals
Coaches: Dennis Jones, St. Joseph; Mark Gaither, Sewickley Academy
Points scored/allowed: St. Joseph 28.8/49.9; Sewickley Academy 42.5/40.0
Players to watch: Stella Swanson, St. Joseph (soph., G); Bre Warner (jr., F)
About St. Joseph: The youthful Spartans, with one senior on the roster, return to the WPIAL playoffs after a one-year hiatus. St. Joseph finished 3-7 in Section 3, tied for fourth with Propel Andrew Street. Junior Ally Swierczewski and sophomore Trinity Lockwood-Morris are two of the team’s top scorers this season. Eleven of St. Joseph’s 12 nonsection games were against teams from higher classifications, and of those eleven, seven qualified for the WPIAL playoffs.
About Sewickley Academy: The Panthers are one of the youngest teams in the WPIAL without a senior on their roster. A group of four juniors, including Warner, lead the team with experience from last year’s trip to the PIAA quarterfinals. Sewickley Academy, the third-place team in Section 1 behind top-seeded Rochester and No. 3 Vincentian, is in the WPIAL playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More Basketball• Cheswick Christian Academy pastor and ex-basketball coach ‘doing well’ after heart transplant
• Quaker Valley’s Bailey Garbee commits to American, turns teammates into rivals
• Trib HSSN June Madness quarterfinals: Lauryn Williams, Rochester vs. Christa Harmotto, Hopewell
• Trib HSSN June Madness quarterfinals: Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette vs. A.Q. Shipley, Moon
• Trib HSSN May Madness: Hunter Robinson, Avonworth vs. Rachel Martindale, North Allegheny