Monday’s WPIAL semifinal results clinch PIAA berths for 8 teams

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Monday, February 24, 2020 | 10:08 PM


With their WPIAL quarterfinal victories, 24 boys and 24 girls basketball teams kept championship dreams alive.

They also secured automatic bids to the PIAA playoffs, which begin March 6-7.

Under the WPIAL’s follow-the-winner format for determining additional state playoff qualifiers, eight berths also were picked up Monday by teams who lost in the round of eight.

North Catholic, the top seed in girls Class 4A, pulled away from No. 4 Blackhawk, 71-51, and the win by the Trojanettes put No. 8 Quaker Valley (17-6) in the state playoffs.

Also in Class 4A, Freeport (17-7) clinched a spot in the PIAA playoffs as No. 2 Southmoreland, which edged the Yellowjackets by two points in the quarterfinals, remained undefeated at 24-0 with a 64-51 win over No. 3 Central Valley.

The winner of Friday’s title game between North Catholic and Southmoreland at the Petersen Events Center will determine the seventh and final PIAA berth from 4A, either Knoch or Indiana.

In girls Class 2A, No. 10 Riverview (15-9), which lost to Bishop Canevin in the quarterfinals last Thursday, gained a bid to states with the Crusaders’ 46-44 win over No. 6 Ellis on Monday at West Allegheny.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 4 Laurel knocked off No. 1 Serra Catholic, 48-32, at Peters Township, and the Spartans’ win pulls South Side (16-8) into the PIAA mix.

On the boys side, No. 2 North Catholic bested No. 3 South Allegheny, 51-40, in a Class 3A semifinal Monday at North Hills, and that lifted No. 10 Carlynton (15-9) into the state playoffs.

Lincoln Park, the top seed in 3A, took down No. 5 Aliquippa, 75-61, and that gave No. 9 Neshannock (16-8) new life at the PIAA level.

As with girls Class 4A, the WPIAL boys 3A title game Thursday between Lincoln Park and North Catholic will determine the seventh team to the PIAA tournament, either Seton LaSalle or Beaver Falls.

Boys Class A No. 1 Vincentian defeated section rival and No. 5 seed Nazareth Prep, 65-54, and Geibel Catholic (15-9), who fell to the Royals, 99-51, last Thursday, gained entry into their PIAA bracket.

Imani Christian (15-9) also wrapped up a berth when No. 3 Cornell rolled past No. 2 Bishop Canevin, 68-47.

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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