A-K Valley WPIAL basketball playoff capsules for Feb. 18, 2022

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Thursday, February 17, 2022 | 6:30 PM


Boys

Class 4A

First round

9-Blackhawk (12-9) at 8-Deer Lakes (15-5)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner plays: At 1-Quaker Valley (20-0), 7 p.m. Wednesday in quarterfinals

Lay-up lines: At 7-7, the Cougars finished fourth in competitive Section 2, behind Quaker Valley, Montour and Lincoln Park. They lost three of four games to end the regular season. Blackhawk is led by Lorenzo Jenkins, who averages 15.8 points. In a loss to Lincoln Park last week, Jenkins had 16 points, Carson Heckathorn added 15 and Jacob Patton had 12. The Cougars, who have won nine WPIAL championships, lost to Freeport in the preliminary round last year. … Armend Karpuzi (16.7 ppg) and Bryce Robson (15.6) lead the scoring for Deer Lakes. A WPIAL quarterfinalist last season, the Lancers finished third in Section 1 this year at 8-4 and have won four straight games, most notably Friday’s 74-72 upset of previously unbeaten North Catholic.

10-Elizabeth Forward (14-8) at 7-Burrell (13-8)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner plays: At 2-Montour (18-4) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in quarterfinals

Lay-up lines: Burrell is seeking its first postseason win since Feb 27, 2013, when it topped Quaker Valley in overtime. The win put the Bucs in the WPIAL Class 2A title game. Burrell won its final two Section 1 games to finish second behind North Catholic (17-3, 11-1). The Bucs swept third-place Deer Lakes and split with fourth-place Freeport. Burrell averages 59.0 points, and senior guard Brandon Coury paces the Bucs attack at 20.9 points per game … The Warriors hope to snap a three-game losing streak. Two of the three were competitive losses to the top two teams in Section 3 – Belle Vernon (18-3, 12-0) and Uniontown (14-8, 10-2). Junior guard Mekhi Daniels and sophomore guard Isaiah Turner are among the top players to watch. Daniels had a team-best 21 points against Belle Vernon. Elizabeth Forward is making its third straight WPIAL playoff appearance. It lost in the first round the past two years.

11-Freeport (12-9) at 6-Uniontown (14-8)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner plays: At 3-Belle Vernon (18-3) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in quarterfinals

Lay-up lines: Freeport seeks its first WPIAL playoff victory since 2010 when it topped Summit Academy in a preliminary-round contest. The Yellowjackets snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over rival Knoch in its Section 1 finale. Freeport defeated section runner-up Burrell and third-place Deer Lakes in consecutive games late last month to avenge earlier losses. Senior Vinnie Clark paces the Freeport offense at 15.3 points a game. … Uniontown is in the postseason for the 71st time, the best run in WPIAL history. The Red Raiders finished 10-2 in Section 3 with their only two losses coming to champion and No. 3 seed Belle Vernon. Uniontown has won seven WPIAL titles with the most recent coming in 2002 (Class 4A). Freshman point guard Notorious Grooms burst onto the scene as a dangerous offensive threat. He averages 19.2 points. The Red Raiders average 64.2 points.

Class A

First round

11-West Greene (7-15) at 6-Leechburg (17-3)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner plays: At 3-Union (20-2), 7 p.m. Wednesday in quarterfinals

Lay-up lines: The Pioneers finished third in Section 2 at 5-5 behind top-seeded Bishop Canevin and Geibel. They have won three of their past four games after enduring a four-game losing streak. The Pioneers lean on the scoring of Kaden Shields, Ian Van Dyne and Corey Wise. West Greene lost in the WPIAL first round to Rochester last season. … Rochester also defeated Leechburg in the playoffs last season, edging the Blue Devils, 58-55, in the semifinals. This year’s Leechburg team is led by Braylan Lovelace (18.4 ppg) and Eli Rich (17.7), who recently surpassed 1,000 career points. Leechburg started the season 7-0 before a 20-point loss at Imani Christian. The Blue Devils finished the regular season winners of six straight. Leechburg has won one WPIAL championship (2007).

Girls

Class 2A

Preliminary round

18-Ellis School (6-13) at 15-Springdale (5-14)

Friday, 7 p.m.

Winner plays: At 2-Neshannock (20-2)

Lay-up lines: The Dynamos hope to end a 24-year playoff-victory drought. The last win came Feb. 23, 1998, against Charleroi in a preliminary round contest. Springdale and Ellis finished tied for fourth place in Section 4 with 3-7 records. They split their season series. The Dynamos limited the Tigers to 21 points in a win Feb. 7 after giving up 55 in the first meeting. Juniors Grace Gent and Caity Stec and freshman Ashlyn Ferderbar have paced the Springdale offense this season … Ellis is in the playoffs for the sixth time. The Tigers opted out of the 2020-21 season because of covid concerns. Ellis made the WPIAL 2A semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals in 2020. The Tigers average 28.8 points, similar to Springdale’s 27.1 points a contest.

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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