Charleroi, Deer Lakes boys looking for long-awaited playoff victory Saturday
Friday, February 15, 2019 | 1:30 AM
History will be made Saturday afternoon at Keystone Oaks in a Class 3A first-round matchup between two programs starving for a postseason win.
This is the seventh time this decade Charleroi has made the WPIAL boys basketball playoffs after finishing 11-10 and in third place in Section 4-3A.
However, the Cougars are 0-6 in opening-round games this decade and haven’t won a WPIAL playoff game in 22 years. The last Chareroi boys basketball playoff win was Feb. 15, 1997, when the Cougars beat Steel Valley.
If you think that’s a long time, consider their opponent, Deer Lakes.
The Lancers were 15-6 this season and won the Section 3 title, their first outright section crown since 1992.
But is this really the Year of the Deer?
Deer Lakes is searching for its first WPIAL boys basketball playoff victory since the Reagan administration.
In 1985, the Lancers advanced to the district semifinals and haven’t won a basketball playoff game since.
Boys’ day on court
Day 2 of the 2019 WPIAL basketball playoffs features an afternoon of boys on the hardwood with a dozen Class 3A and 2A first-round games.
Eight of those contests are Class 3A opening-round games. The 3A boys field is the only tournament of the 12 in the district that has a full 16-team bracket, which means it’s the only classification that has no first-round byes.
It is only the second district boys’ 16-team bracket since the expansion from four to six classes three years ago.
The lineup includes top-seeded Lincoln Park taking on Shady Side Academy and No. 2 Aliquippa facing Avonworth. The Leopards and Quips are the only top-two seeded teams in action prior to next week’s WPIAL quarterfinals.
Another interesting Class 3A first-round game is Steel Valley against Beaver Falls.
Jalen Vaughn (20 ppg) leads a Tigers team that finished fourth in Section 1 with only nine wins in 22 games as they face an Ironmen squad led by Camden Polak, who averages 24 points per game.
A day after running the three individual sectional tournaments, the WPIAL will crown its individual wrestling champions in Class AA Saturday at Canon-McMillan.
The day begins with the quarterfinals at 10 a.m., continues with the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. and concludes with the championship and consolation finals at 5 p.m.
The top seven wrestlers at each weight class will advance to the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional tournament at IUP next weekend.
Listen to full day coverage and watch the championship finals at TribHSSN.TribLive.com.
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.