Southmoreland girls await outcome that could produce first PIAA berth

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Thursday, February 28, 2019 | 3:37 PM


Southmoreland coaches and players will be tuned in to the broadcast of the WPIAL Class 4A girls basketball championship Friday night.

The Scotties will be held in suspense — they have been since losing in the quarterfinals Feb. 21 — until they know who wins the title game at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center.

And that determination could mean school history: The Scotties’ first trip to the PIAA playoffs.

It’s all part of the waiting game that leads up to the PIAA playoffs.

The WPIAL uses a follow-the-leader format for entry into the state postseason so opponents that defeat teams hold state-playoff fates in their hands. Southmoreland (18-6) will clinch if second-seeded Central Valley defeats No. 1 North Catholic in the 4A final.

“You never want your fate in someone else’s hands,” Southmoreland junior guard Charity Henderson said. “You want to control your own destiny, so it’s been hard.”

The top seven WPIAL teams in that class go to states. Southmoreland lost to Blackhawk in the quarterfinals, and Blackhawk lost to Central Valley in the semis.

Central Valley pulled McKeesport, its quarterfinal opponent, into the state bracket by reaching the finals. Now the Warriors could extend a hand to the upstart Scotties. A win Friday and Southmoreland would become the seventh-place team.

“We were really hoping Blackhawk would’ve won so we would have a definite idea of what is going on,” Scotties coach Brian Pritts said. “It has been a little weird. We had a shoot-around (Tuesday) and a very light workout (Wednesday), just to keep the ball in our hands a bit.”

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

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