A-K Valley WPIAL basketball playoff capsules for Feb. 21, 2022

By:
Sunday, February 20, 2022 | 5:18 PM


Monday’s games

Boys

First round

Class 5A

9-Kiski Area (15-7) at 8-Hampton (12-10)

7 p.m. Monday

Winner plays: Winner of 1-Laurel Highlands (21-0)/16-Woodland Hills (8-14) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Layup lines: Kiski Area already tripled its win total from a year ago under first-year coach Corey Smith, who played for the Cavaliers in the early 2000s. The Cavaliers, who opened the season 9-1, finished third in Section 3 at 6-6. Balanced scoring helped Kiski Area lock up a playoff berth in a season-finale win over Latrobe, as Isaiah Gonzalez, James Pearson, Joe Lukas and Brayden Dunmire were in double figures. Lebryn Smith and Jason Flemm also have been key contributors. Kiski Area lost to Trinity in the preliminary round last season when it was 5-15. … Hampton is in the WPIAL playoffs for the 18th consecutive season. It tied for third in Section 4 at 7-5 and was bolstered by a four-game winning streak late in the season. The Talbots rely on the scoring of Liam Mignogna and Matt DeMatteo. Hampton lost to McKeesport in the preliminary round last season.

12-Albert Gallatin (10-11) at 5-Highlands (16-6)

7 p.m. Monday

Winner plays: Winner of 4-Penn Hills (17-4)/13-Chartiers Valley (8-14) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Layup lines: The 2020 WPIAL champion Golden Rams won four of their past five games and have outscored opponents 71.5-51.7 this season. They finished second to Mars in Section 4 at 10-2 under first-year coach Corey Dotchin. Jimmy Kunst leads the scoring at 21.4 points per game, and Carter Leri (11.1) and Braydn Foster (11.9) also average in double figures. … Albert Gallatin finished second in Section 1 at 7-3. The Colonials, who lost to Gateway in the first round last season, are led by Jamire Braxton (18.1 ppg). Nick Pegg, Blake White, Caleb Matzus-Chapman and Mykell Belt are key contributors.

Girls

First round

Class 2A

9-Apollo-Ridge (15-5) at 8-Fort Cherry (15-6)

7 p.m. Monday

Winner plays: Winner of 1-Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (18-4)/16-Frazier (8-14) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Layup lines: Apollo-Ridge is paced juniors Sydney McCray and Brinley Toland and sophomore Sophia Yard, who frequently reach double figures in scoring. The Vikings went 6-4 in Section 4, placing third behind No. 4 Greensburg Central Catholic and No. 7 Winchester Thurston. Apollo-Ridge makes its fourth postseason appearance in the past five years and is hoping to snap a three-game playoff losing skid. … Fort Cherry finished as runner-up to No. 6 Burgettstown in Section 3. The Rangers finished the regular season with six straight wins. The six-game run started with a three-point win over Class A power Monessen and a six-point victory over Burgettstown. Fort Cherry also scored a win over Class 5A West Allegheny. Senior 5-foot-10 forward Dana Sinatra is a scoring leader for the Rangers. She had a team-best 14 in the win over Burgettstown.

Class A

12-Riverview (5-13) at 5-Monessen (16-5)

7 p.m. Monday

Winner plays: At 4-Aquinas Academy (12-6) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Layup lines: Riverview finished fourth in Section 3 at 2-6 with a sweep of Leechburg. The Raiders also scored victories over Propel Montour and Class 2A Springdale and Northgate. Riverview is in the WPIAL playoffs for the 13th straight year. It is 7-16 over its past 12 playoff appearances. Maddie Deem, the Raiders’ lone senior, is one of the team’s top contributors … Monessen (16-5) has won four in a row and 11 of 13 with its only setbacks coming to West Greene and Class 2A playoff qualifier Fort Cherry. The Greyhounds, led in scoring by senior guard Mercedes Majors (19.7 ppg.), is averaging 53.5 points a game this season and is giving up 32.6. Monessen is in the WPIAL playoffs for the third straight season.

9-St. Joseph (8-13) vs. 8-Mapletown (11-9)

6 p.m. Monday at Gateway

Winner plays: At 1-Rochester (16-4 ) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Layup lines: This matchup is one of the few first-round games placed at a neutral site … The youthful Spartans won three of its final four regular-season games and placed third in Section 3 (4-4) behind No. 4 Aquinas Academy (12-6, 8-0) and No. 6 Clairton (15-3, 6-2). Sophomore Julie Spinelli leads St. Joseph in scoring at 14.4 points a game. She tallied a career-high 33 in a 52-49 upset of Class 4A Freeport on Jan. 21. Trinity Lockwood-Morris, the lone senior in the rotation, is averaging 9.0 points. … Mapletown finished third in Section 2 behind No. 2 West Greene and No. 5 Monessen. The Maples are in the WPIAL playoffs for the second year in a row. They won 11 games this year, just two years after winning only three games. Senior guard/forward Taylor Dusenberry is one of the top scorers in the WPIAL at 20.4 points a game. Junior Krista Wilson complements Dusenberry at 12.4 points a game while averaging 7.5 rebounds.

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

More Basketball

Hempfield girls get off to quick start with hustle, composure
Landon Urcho scores 1,000th point in Bentworth win over Jefferson-Morgan
Foster, Highlands boys race past Shady Side Academy
Norwin girls top Penn-Trafford to remain undefeated
Aquinas Academy tops St. Joseph, makes early statement in Class A girls basketball