Jeannette boys, Norwin girls hold out hope for PIAA playoff berths
Sunday, February 23, 2020 | 8:31 PM
The list might be short, but there are some Westmoreland basketball teams still in the hunt for spots in the PIAA playoffs.
Despite a rough start to the district postseason that saw area teams combine for a 4-13 record over the first round and quarterfinals, five teams could end up in state tournaments.
The Belle Vernon and Ligonier Valley boys, and Southmoreland girls are the only sure things, and two other teams are awaiting results of other games to see if they get pulled into the mix.
The WPIAL uses a follow-the-winner format for PIAA qualification when teams lose in the quarterfinals. Simply, a team can bring the team it beat into the state bracket.
For instance, Jeannette’s boys (15-8) lost to Shenango (18-5) in the Class 2A quarterfinals. With six state qualifiers in 2A, Jeannette needs Shenango to win its semifinal matchup against Sto-Rox (16-7) to make states.
And the Norwin girls (18-5), who fell to Upper St. Clair (14-7) in the Class 6A quarterfinals, need the Panthers to win the WPIAL title to advance. There are only five state qualifiers from the WPIAL in 6A.
Two teams remain the chase for district titles.
Sixth-seeded Belle Vernon (18-6) upset Quaker Valley (17-7) in the Class 4A quarterfinals to secure a state berth. The Leopards, under second-year coach Joe Salvino, will meet No. 7 New Castle (17-7) in the 4A final four Wednesday night. The winner move on to the WPIAL final 1 p.m. Saturday at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center.
Ligonier Valley (22-2), the top seed in the District 6 Class 3A boys tournament, will take on No. 5 Penns Valley (13-8) Tuesday night in the semifinals.
Southmoreland (24-0) will look to add to its historic run when the Scotties makes their WPIAL girls semifinal debut against Central Valley (18-6) at 8 p.m. Monday at Peters Township.
The winner goes to the Class 4A championship at 7 p.m. Friday night at Petersen Events Center.
The PIAA playoffs begin March 6-7 around the state.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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