Second-seeded GCC to play at No. 18 Serra Catholic

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Sunday, February 28, 2021 | 6:58 PM


Size matters this year in the WPIAL basketball playoffs, but it has nothing to do with height.

The WPIAL said there might be cases where lower-seeded teams would host playoff games because their gymnasiums have more room to put up a percentage of spectators than their opponents.

That will be the case for a boys’ Class 2A first-round game.

No. 2 seed Greensburg Central Catholic (13-3) will be on the road for the duration of its postseason run because its gym is too small to host playoff games. That much was clear when the brackets were released.

But the Centurions learned Sunday they will play at Serra Catholic (4-11), the No. 18 seed in the bracket.

The teams will tip at 6 p.m. Wednesday in McKeesport.

Serra Catholic, a section opponent of GCC, will be home for back-to-back playoff games after hosting No. 15 Carmichaels Saturday. Carmichaels’ gym could not host.

The WPIAL this year is allowing higher-seeded teams to host through the semifinals, but with a caveat.

Gyms must have 700-or-more capacity according to WPIAL criteria, and can utilize 10% of its seating for playoff games. Teams were given an equal number of tickets for fans at Saturday’s preliminary-round games.

GCC’s gym can hold 625.

GCC athletic director Dan Mahoney said the WPIAL did not look at a neutral site because Serra Catholic’s gym can handle the spectator guidelines set by the league.

If playoff opponents both have gyms too small for home games, the WPIAL will pursue a neutral site. Serra athletic director Bill Cleary said his gym “easily accommodated” 70 fans Saturday.

GCC coach Christian Hyland said the site decision was not a surprise and does not see it as a big deal.

“We have to play well regardless of where the game is,” Hyland said.

The Centurions swept Serra in two section games, including 72-50 at Serra.

The Serra girls are hosting a Class 2A first-round game at 6 p.m. Tuesday against South Side.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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