A-K Valley high school basketball playoff preview capsules for March 13, 2024

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | 10:36 AM


PIAA basketball playoffs

Boys

Class 3A

Second round

Deer Lakes (22-4) vs. Forest Hills (21-4)

5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Armstrong

District seeds: Deer Lakes 7-1; Forest Hills 6-2

Winner plays: Winner of 10-2 Franklin (21-5)/5-1 Chestnut Ridge (23-4) Saturday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Wayne Love, Deer Lakes; Dylan Stohon, Forest Hills

Layup lines: WPIAL champion Deer Lakes is coming off a 71-64 win over Mercyhurst Prep in which four players reached double figures. Wayne Love had 21 points, Nathaniel Moore added 17, Aiden Fletcher scored 15 and Billy Schaeffer tallied 12. The Lancers played an inside game to take control. Deer Lakes has shown an ability to play different styles and tempo throughout the postseason, scoring 84 points in an overtime win over Neshannock in the WPIAL semifinals and edging Ellwood City, 39-38, in overtime in a defensive battle in the WPIAL quarterfinals. Deer Lakes defeated Forest Hills, 50-46, in the PIAA second round in 2019. The Lancers are 7-3 all-time in PIAA games. … Forest Hills advanced to the second round with a 74-67 victory over Southern Columbia. Dylan Stohon had 20 points to lead the scoring. The Rangers won two games in the District 6 tournament before losing to Westmont Hilltop, 59-52, in the finals. Stohon, a freshman forward, averages 16.5 points and 6.4 rebounds, and sophomore Koy McGough adds 14.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg for the Rangers. Forest Hills has never reached the PIAA quarterfinals.

Girls

Class A

Second round

St. Joseph (22-4) vs. Berlin-Brothersvalley (22-5)

7 p.m. Wednesday at Hempfield

District seeds: St. Joseph 7-2; Berlin-Brothersvalley 5-1

Winner plays: Winner of 6-2 Williamsburg (25-3)/9-1 Elk County Catholic (26-2) Saturday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Julie Spinelli, St. Joseph; Coral Prosser, Berlin

Layup lines: St. Joseph beat the similarly named St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, 57-35, in the first round behind 23 points from Julie Spinelli and 14 from Emma Swierczewski. The Spartans jumped out to a 29-18 lead at halftime and surged to victory behind a 19-4 run in the third quarter. The Spartans have held teams to 38.6 points per game this season. … Freshman Coral Prosser tallied 21 points as Berlin rolled past Clarion, 52-29, in the first round. The District 5 champions rallied from a slow start to take a 21-12 halftime lead. Berlin, which claimed the Inter-County Conference championship in its first year in the conference, beat Northern Bedford, 51-18, to win the District 5 title. Regan Lauer and Taylor Hillegass provide secondary scoring and rebounding. Berlin-Brothersvalley is located in rural, eastern Somerset County. The school district is 156 square miles but only 5,400 people live there. The Mountaineers made the PIAA semifinals last season, losing to Union. Berlin was eliminated in the PIAA second round in 2022 and ‘20.

Bill Hartlep is the TribLive sports editor. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, he joined the Trib in 2004, covering high school sports. He held various editing roles before assuming his current position in 2019. He can be reached at bhartlep@triblive.com.

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