Plenty of PIAA playoff factoids as the 2nd round begins Tuesday

Monday, March 9, 2020 | 10:42 PM

Like an amateur surfer on a giant wave, six WPIAL Class 5A boys basketball teams got wiped out in the first round of the state playoffs Friday.

Laurel Highlands, Mars, Thomas Jefferson, Chartiers Valley, Penn Hills and South Fayette all were eliminated.

This leaves City League champion Obama Academy as the only area team remaining in boys Class 5A.

On Tuesday, the Eagles face District 3 runner-up Milton Hershey at Altoona.

The Spartans opening-round win over Chartiers Valley ended a two-game skid against WPIAL opponents.

This is the first time Obama Academy has reached the second round of the PIAA playoffs. Their only other win before Friday’s victory over Penn Hills was a 2012 preliminary-round win over Butler.

Boys second-round factoids

• Highlands is trying to make the PIAA quarterfinals for the third time in five years when they play Grove City, which is 7-15 all-time against WPIAL teams in the state playoffs.

• Belle Vernon faces District 3 champion Lancaster Catholic. It is the first time the Leopards will play a D-3 team in the state playoffs. Belle Vernon is trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1978.

• WPIAL Class A champion Vincentian Academy battles District 5 champion Berlin-Brothersvalley. The Mountaineers win over Geibel Catholic in the first round improved their all-time record against WPIAL teams in the state playoffs to 1-10. Vincentian beat Berlin-Brothersvalley, 57-50, in a 2012 state playoff game.

• WPIAL runner-up Cornell faces District 9 champion and HSSN top-ranked Elk County Catholic. It is the second time the two teams have met in the state playoffs, with the Crusaders beating the Raiders, 57-53, in a 1987 first-round game.

• Bishop Canevin is in the second round for the fifth time and will play District 9 runner-up Cameron County. The Crusaders are 2-2 in their previous four Round 2 contests, winning in 2006 and 2017. The Raiders are 1-4 against the WPIAL and have reached the state quarterfinals once after they beat West Mifflin South in 1972.

Girls second-round factoids

• WPIAL Class 6A champion North Allegheny will play District 6 runner-up State College at Indiana. The Little Lions first-round win over Upper St. Clair ended a four-game state playoff losing streak against WPIAL foes. North Allegheny beat State College, 58-44, in a 2014 first-round game.

• Bethel Park heads to Chambersburg, where they will play Upper Dublin. The Cardinals beat North Allegheny a year ago in the second round, then lost to eventual champion Peters Township in overtime in the quarterfinals.

• Baldwin brings its 13-10 record in Round 2 against 24-3 Plymouth-Whitemarsh in a game at Chambersburg. This is the Highlanders first trip to the second round since 2012. This is the Colonials third trip to the second round in the last four years.

• It’s a WPIAL battle in Class 3A when district champion Mohawk battles Carlynton at North Allegheny. These two teams met in the WPIAL semifinals, where the Warriors held on to beat the Cougars, 64-58. Mohawk led 18-5 after one quarter. Paige Julian scored 33 points for the Warriors, and Kendal Kline led Carlynton with 17 points.

• WPIAL runner-up Beaver will take on Penn Cambria at Hempfield. A year ago, Penn Cambria beat Washington in the opening round before losing to eventual state champion Delone Catholic in the second round.

• The Ellis School is the only WPIAL team to survive the first round in Class 2A. The Tigers will meet District 5 champion Everett at Pitt-Johnstown. The Warriors are led by one of the top scorers in the state in Kaitlyn Maxwell. She scored 36 points in a first-round win over Riverview. Ellis School also has a prolific scorer in Natalie Jasper.

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