Alle-Kiski Valley basketball playoff preview capsules: Games of Feb. 20, 2020

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020 | 7:09 PM


Today’s games

Girls

Class 4A quarterfinals

No. 2 Southmoreland (22-0) vs. No. 7 Freeport (17-6)

8 p.m. at Penn-Trafford

Winner plays: No. 3 Central Valley (17-3) or No. 6 Knoch (17-6) on Monday in semifinals

Coaches: Brian Pritts, Southmoreland; Fred Soilis, Freeport

Points scored/allowed: Southmoreland 57.7 ppg/29.9; Freeport 55.3/44.1

Players to watch: Gracie Spadaro, Southmoreland (So., F); Sidney Shemanski, Freeport (Sr., G/F)

About Southmoreland: Can the momentum from a historic regular season carry over into the postseason? The Scotties have been off since Feb. 10 after receiving a first-round bye, but they own a 63-23 win over Freeport in the Scotties’ season-opening tournament. Southmoreland, seeking its first semifinal trip, has the best points-allowed average in Class 4A — third-best in the WPIAL — and only has allowed 40 or more points three times. Spadaro averages 16.1 points and 6.3 rebounds. Freshman point guard Olivia Cernuto accounts for 11 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

About Freeport: The Yellowjackets were down two starters when they played Southmoreland in December, so a healthy lineup should allow them to do more on both ends of the court. On Monday, Freeport edged Belle Vernon, 44-38, in the first round at North Hills. Senior Maddie Clark had 13 points, and Shemanski added 12 and 11 rebounds. Clark scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter as the Yellowjackets eventually kept Belle Vernon at bay. Shemanski averages 12.6 points and 8.2 rebounds. Shemanski and senior Harley Holloway (10 ppg) are career 1,000-point scorers.


No. 3 Central Valley (17-3) vs. No. 6 Knoch (17-6)

8 p.m. at Fox Chapel

Winner plays: No. 2 Southmoreland (22-0) or No. 7 Freeport (17-6) on Monday in the semifinals

Coaches: Chris Andreassi, Knoch; Chris Raso, Central Valley

Points scored/allowed: Knoch, 52.3/43.2; Central Valley, 61.0/44.6

Players to watch: Nevaeh Ewing, Knoch (jr., G); Christiane Frye, Central Valley (sr., G)

About Knoch: The Knights’ 44-35 victory over New Castle on Monday was their first playoff win since a preliminary-round triumph over Laurel Highlands in the 2009 Class AAA tournament. Knoch will play a WPIAL quarterfinal game for the first time since 2005. The Knights clinched the win over New Castle from the foul line as they went 14 of 18 in the fourth quarter. Freshman Nina Shaw led the way as she was 7 of 9 from the charity strip in the final stanza. Sophomore Madilyn Boyer led the way with 15 points. The Knights have won nine of their past 10 games, with the only loss coming to 4A top seed North Catholic.

About Central Valley: The Warriors shared the Section 2 championship with No. 4 Blackhawk. The teams split their season series, with Central Valley winning the second meeting Jan. 30. The Warriors had a seven-game winning streak snapped by Class 3A No. 2 Mohawk, 69-67, in the teams’ regular-season finale. Frye leads Central Valley with 20.3 points per game. The Warriors are third in Class 4A in scoring (61.0) behind only Blackhawk (70.9) and top seed North Catholic (65.6). Central Valley, in the WPIAL playoffs for the eighth time since its first season in 2010-11, made it to the WPIAL 4A title game last year and was a semifinalist in 2018.

Class 2A quarterfinals

No. 2 Bishop Canevin (16-6) vs. No. 10 Riverview (15-8)

6:30 p.m. at Hampton

Winner plays: No. 3 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (18-3) or No. 6 Ellis (17-6) on Monday in the semifinals

Coaches: Keith Stitt, Riverview; Jim Kaczorowski, Bishop Canevin

Points scored/allowed: Riverview, 44.7/37.5; Bishop Canevin, 56.2/37.5

Players to watch: Sydney McDonough, Riverview (sr., G); Alyssa Pollice, Bishop Canevin (sr., G)

About Riverview: The Raiders punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with a 32-28 victory over No. 7 Burgettstown in the first round. Sydney McDonough scored 15 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, to lead her team back from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter. Riverview’s victory snapped a three-game losing streak in the WPIAL first round. The Raiders are in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2016, when they topped California in the first round of the Class A tournament before falling to North Catholic. Riverview has won five in a row, giving up just 31.2 points a game during that stretch. The Raiders are 11-3 in 2020.

About Bishop Canevin: The 2019 WPIAL semifinalist and PIAA qualifier captured this year’s Section 3 championship with a 12-0 record. Bishop Canevin is led by the scoring of Pollice (18.5 ppg.) and senior guard and St. Francis (Pa.) commit Diajha Allen (17.8). Pollice transferred from Seton LaSalle after last season. Bishop Canevin defeated Carlynton, the No. 3 seed in Class 3A, by 21 points Jan. 3. Its losses this season are to a pair of Ohio powers in a season-opening tournament, 3A playoff qualifiers Seton LaSalle and Derry, undefeated 1A power West Greene, and undefeated 5A No. 1 seed Chartiers Valley. The Crusaders won WPIAL Class AA titles in 2013 and ’16 and Class 3A crowns in ’17 and ’18.

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

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