Path to the Pete Recaps From Wednesday 2/24
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 | 10:32 PM
While it may not measure up to the incredible hardwood action on Tuesday, there was still plenty of excitement at the four venues hosting WPIAL Semifinals action on Wednesday. While the boys Quad-A #1-seed fell in double overtime, the favorites were winners in Boys AA, Girls AAA and Girls A as in those three tournaments, it will be #1 vs #2 at The Pete on Saturday afternoon. Here are summaries from all eight WPIAL Semifinals games on Wednesday.
A special thanks to Dennis Fischer, Tom Hays, Cory Campano, Steve Nagler, Aaron Anderson, Bob Gregg and Bob Barrickman for their help on these recaps.
BOYS WPIAL CLASS AAAA Semifinals:
Pine-Richland Rams 77 – Latrobe Wildcats 75 in Double Overtime
It took two overtimes, but the Pine-Richland Rams got Past the number 1 seeded Greater Latrobe Wildcats with a thrilling 77-75 win. Latrobe’s Austin Butler lead all scorers with 35 points and Phil Jurkovec lead Pine-Richland with 25. It was all Latrobe in the first half as scoring was scarce at first, but Latrobe held leads of 22-16 after one quarter, then a lead of 35-29 at the halfway point. From there, it was all even as quarter three ended 44-44, regulation finished up 55-55 and OT1 stood at 67-67. Pine-Richland standout Andrew Petcash was quiet during regulation, only putting up six points, but put together a fine overtime performance with 13 points between the two periods to lift the Rams.
North Hills Indians 77 – Penn Hills Indians 52
The North Hills Indians will have a chance to win their first WPIAL Championship in school history as they defeated Penn Hills in dominating fashion on Wednesday night. NH won 77-52 as the game was never really close. North Hills two man scoring combo in Ish Waldron and Nick Smith had carried them all year. Wednesday night was no different as Waldron had 27 points and Smith had 23 to combine for 50 of the teams 77 total. After out scoring Penn Hills 17-8 at the end of the first quarter on Waldron’s 8 points in the span, Smith decided to take over. He dropped 19 points in the second quarter including three shots from beyond the arc. North Hills went on to out score Penn Hills 30-14 in the second quarter. Although Penn Hills came out firing in the second half and forced their opponent to take some bad turnovers, the margin was far too big and North Hills cruised to victory. North Hills will take on section rival Pine Richland at 9 pm Saturday night in the final championship game of the year at The Petersen Events Center.
WPIAL CLASS AA Semifinals:
Aliquippa Quips 71 – Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 62
After GCC took a one point lead after the first quarter Aliquippa came back to take a 31-25 half time lead. With guard Jassir Jordan saddled with three fouls in the first half for the Quips, guard Sheldon Jeter took over the game in the second quarter. Aliquippa built a 57-41 advantage after three quarters but the Centurions did not quit and cut the deficit to four in the fourth quarter. Aliquippa got the lead back up to double digits before winning 71-62. The Quips were led by Sheldon Jeter with 19 points while Jassir Jordan had 18 and Kaezon Pugh finished with 14. Dom Rullo had a solid game for GCC with 19 points while Ben Hertzog had 12 and Tyler White tallied 11 points. Aliquippa will defend their class AA title against Lincoln Park Saturday afternoon at the Peterson Events Center at 1pm.
Lincoln Park Leopards 59 – Bishop Canevin Crusaders 53
Clutch foul shooting by Lincoln Park and a key 5-second violation against Bishop Canevin were difference makers as the Leopards won the Boys AA semifinal at the Ambridge Fieldhouse, 59-53. Another key against the Crusaders was point guard Walter Bonds fouling out with 35 seconds left in regulation. Soon after, Bishop Canevin was unable to get an inbounds pass in the allotted five seconds and with no time outs remaining, the Crusaders forfeited possession. Lincoln Park led at the half 25-17 and 40-35 after three quarters, but Bishop Canevin trimmed the margin to two before bowing at the end. Nick Aloi led the winners with 25 points while junior guard Nelly Cummings added 20 and freshman Keeno Holmes chipped in with 10. Junior guard Mitchell King made four shots from behind the arc and led the Crusaders with 16 points. Seniors Justin Dix and John Weldon each scored 12 and Bonds added 11. Lincoln Park has won seven straight and improved to 22-3. The number two seed will face undefeated and top seed Aliquippa on Saturday for the WPIAL title at the Petersen Events Center. Tip off is set for 1 p.m. Bishop Canevin dipped to 19-6 and will return to action March 5 to begin the PIAA playoffs.
GIRLS WPIAL CLASS AAA Semifinals:
South Fayette Lions 57 – Hampton Talbots 49
The #1 seed South Fayette Lions have advanced to the girls Triple A title game with a hard-fought, come-from-behind 57-49 win over the #5 seed Hampton Talbots on Wednesday night at West Allegheny High School. The Lions trailed the upset-minded Talbots at the end of the first quarter 14-12. After Hampton extended its lead to eight, South Fayette employed a man-to-man defense that enabled the Lions to pull even at the half, 24-24. The Lions jumped ahead early in the third period and led by five, 40-35, going into the final eight minutes. Hampton closed the gap to one with less than two minutes to play before South Fayette pulled ahead to win. The Lions were led by 6’4″ senior forward Emily Anderson, who had nearly half of the Lions points with 27. The Talbots were paced by sophomore Alison Collins with 19 and junior Jenna Lafko with 12. South Fayette (21-3) will take on Section 5 rival Trinity in the championship game on Saturday at 3:00 at the Peterson Events Center. Hampton (19-6) will next play in the PIAA tournament which will get underway next weekend.
Trinity Hillers 57 – Mars Fighting Planets 39
Trinity sprinted out of a 19-all tie early in the second and rolled on to a 57-39 win over Mars Area. Mary Dunn scored 11 of her 20 points during the second quarter as the Hillers (21-3) opened up a 36-24 lead at intermission. Sierra Kotchman hit two three-pointers 30 seconds apart in the third, part of her game-high 21 points, and Trinity coasted to its third comfortable win of the tournament. Lauren Wasylson hit three of Mars’ five treys prior to intermission, keeping the Planets in the game. Early on, the teams traded runs–Trinity scoring 11 straight to go up 13-6, Mars answering with a 13-6 streak to pull the game even at 19 with 5:30 remaining in the second quarter. From there, the Planets managed only six field goals the rest of the game, three in the final five minutes. Wasylson led the Planets (19-6) with 16 points. Nicole McCloud added 11. Trinity will face Section 5-AAA foe South Fayette in Saturday’s WPIAL Finals. If Trinity wins, Mars would open the PIAA tournament against either the Pittsburgh City League AAA entrty or District 9 champion Punxsutawney. If South Fayette beats Trinity for a third time this year, the Planets open up against the District 10 runnerup.
GIRLS WPIAL CLASS A Semifinals:
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 72 – Cornell Raiders 36
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic’s big frontcourt of Sam Breen, Kylie Huffman and Dani Short combined to score 62 of the 72 Trojan points as they easily slipped past the Cornell Raiders in the WPIAL Girls Class A Semifinals at North Allegheny High School on Wednesday night. Breen led the way with 29 points while Short poured in 21 points and Huffman added 12. Breen and Huffman did not play in the 4th quarter. After a strong start by Cornell saw the two teams tied at 8-8, midway through the 1st quarter, the Trojans went on a 9-0 run and had a 17-12 lead after eight minutes of play. A big 2nd quarter by CWNC allowed the Trojans to run out to a 39-16 halftime lead and they would cruise from there. Cornell was paced by Deaja Quick, the Moon Tigers transfer, who had 15 points on the night. Nysia Miles added 7 points for the Raiders. With the win, CWNC will face a very familiar foe in the Class A Finals at the Peterson Events Center, the Vincentian Academy Royals. The Vincentian Academy defeated the CWNC in the 2015 Championship game 74-35 in Breanna Wise’s swansong and the two teams split their two meetings in the regular season this year. Cornell will advance to the PIAA State Basketball Playoffs despite the loss.
Vincentian Academy Royals 91 – Quigley Catholic Spartans 50
Vincentian put on another dominating performance and waltzed to a 91-50 victory over Quigley Catholic in a Girls A semifinal. The Lady Royals led 25-11 after the first quarter before the two teams played relatively even in the second. But, a 28-9 outburst in the third period put Vincentian up 73-38 after three quarters. The mercy rule was invoked midway in the fourth and the Royals pushed the lead to as high as 44 points. Five players scored in double digits for the winners and were led Torrie Cash with 19 points. Fellow senior Kiersten Elliot connected for 18 tallies while IUP recruit Lexi Griggs added 13. Sophomore Caroline Elliot, Kiersten’s sister, provided 12 points and senior Marissa Muth came off the bench to score 11. Quigley senior Gabby Smith came into the game as the second leading scorer in the WPIAL at 29.8, led the Spartans with 26 points. Freshman Taylor Kirschner added 11. The number two seed Royals will meet number one seed Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic on Saturday in the WPIAL championship. Tip off is 11 a.m. from the Petersen Events Center. Quigley fell to 19-6 and will resume play on March 5 in the PIAA tournament.
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