PIAA basketball second round to kick off in Tuesday’s 3 things to watch in high school athletics

Monday, March 12, 2018 | 11:06 PM

On opening night of the PIAA basketball playoffs last Friday, Class 3A girls teams from the WPIAL enjoyed the most successful debut as a group of all the district teams. The six WPIAL teams in 3A were a combined 4-2 with only the top two teams from District 6 denting the D7 armor when Penns Valley knocked off Seton LaSalle and Neshannock fell to Everett.

Now, how will the second act go for the four remaining WPIAL teams Tuesday?

The district is guaranteed one team into the PIAA quarterfinals as section rivals Mohawk and Laurel square off for a third time this season in a 6 p.m. game at Aliquippa. The Warriors cruised to a couple of one-sided victories in the regular season, winning 55-20 over Mohawk in January then crushing the Spartans, 53-26, in February at Laurel.

The other two WPIAL teams in 3A left standing after the opening round are three-time district champion Bishop Canevin and this year's runner-up East Allegheny. The Crusaders face Everett at Central Cambria at 6 p.m. while the Wildcats challenge District 9 champion Brookville at 5 p.m. at Armstrong.

Other WPIAL girls second-round contests

The only two WPIAL Class 6A girls basketball teams remaining will battle the top two teams from District 6 in a pair of second-round games Tuesday.

WPIAL champion North Allegheny takes on Altoona at 6:30 p.m. at Hempfield. This will be the second meeting of the year between the two as the Tigers beat the Mountain Lions 54-43 in mid-January. Olivia Hudson led all scorers with 16 points for Altoona, while Rachel Martindale scored 15 to lead the Tigers. Martindale, however, was lost for the season in the WPIAL title game with a torn ACL.

After losing to Peters Township twice in the regular season and again in the district semifinals, Bethel Park finally knocked off the Indians in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and now will take on District 6 champion State College at 7:30 p.m. at Central Cambria. Maria Cerro scored 23 points for the Black Hawks in their 44-35 first-round triumph over Peters Township.

Three District 7 Class 2A teams are in action Tuesday as they also square off against District 6 foes. WPIAL champion Vincentian Academy takes on Blairsville, Brentwood faces Penns Valley and Chartiers-Houston take on District 6 champion Bishop McCort. All three of those games can be heard here on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Class 5A, 4A and A boys take second shots on the Road to Hershey

Four area teams are set to go head-to-head Tuesday in the PIAA boys Class 5A second round, with the winners facing off in the state quarterfinals Friday.

WPIAL champion Mars will take on Trinity at 7 p.m. at Moon. The two teams met in the district semifinals where Robby Carmody scored 30 points in the Fightin' Planets 56-39 win over the Hillers. While many are talking about the pending WPIAL vs City League boys basketball game in 6A on Wednesday between Penn Hills and Allderdice, there is another D7 vs. D8 contest on Tuesday in 5A as Highlands battles Carrick at 7:30 p.m. at Gateway.

Another battle of WPIAL teams is set in Class 4A as district champ New Castle takes on South Fayette. The Red Hurricanes disposed of the Lions in the district quarterfinals 55-45. Marcus Hooker led all scorers with 17 points for NeCa High, while Tim Locher led South Fayette with 13 points. The Lions actually led 27-21 at the half before New Castle turned the tide by outscoring South Fayette, 22-10, in the third quarter.

Quaker Valley heads north to Slippery Rock University on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. game against Hickory. It's the second game in a row the Quakers are matched up against a District 10 team after beating Grove City in the first round 54-48.

Speaking of District 10, that is where Class A defending state champion Kennedy Catholic resides and will be a heavy favorite Tuesday when the Golden Eagles play WPIAL runner-up Union. Kennedy Catholic destroyed Propel Andrew Street in the first round 73-26 after shutting out the Panthers in the first quarter 17-0.

Also on Tuesday, Eden Christian Academy will take on Shanksvile-Stonycreek and WPIAL champion Vincentian Academy will battle District 5 champion Shade.

Don Rebel is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at drebel@tribweb.com.

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