Veteran, championship-winning boys basketball coaches to lead P-T vs. PT on Tuesday night

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Monday, February 18, 2019 | 6:23 PM


Ten years ago, one coach was hoisting WPIAL gold. Sixteen years ago, the other coach was winning a district championship.

On Tuesday, the two veteran coaches meet in a Class 6A boys basketball first-round contest when Peters Township takes on Penn-Trafford.

On one side, Gary Goga leads his Indians back into the postseason after a two-year absence. Peters has a 15-7 record after finishing fourth in Section 2-6A.

Now in his 14th season at Peters Township, Goga led the Indians to their only WPIAL boys basketball crown in 2009.

The other bench is manned by Jim Rocco, who led Penn Hills to championships in 2000 and again in 2003.

Rocco left Penn Hills to take the Penn-Trafford job in 2016 and led the Warriors to a one and done postseason that year.

Like Peters Township, Penn-Trafford missed the playoffs the last two years and is back after a 14-8 campaign and a third-place finish in Section 3-6A.

Boys Class 6A big day

Peters Township vs. Penn-Trafford is one of four Class 6A first-round boys basketball playoff games set for Tuesday.

Ethan Morton leads Butler against a Connellsville team that finished 8-14.

Canon-McMillan faces North Allegheny in the first round for the second time in three years. The Big Macs beat the Tigers, 70-67, in the opening round of the 2017 WPIAL Class 6A playoffs.

Fox Chapel battles Seneca Valley for the second time this season. The Foxes beat the Raiders, 52-45, on Dec. 14.

The top four seeds, Pine-Richland, Latrobe, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair, all received first-round byes and will play first-round winners in the quarterfinals Saturday.

The ‘A’ game

No. 2 Rochester will be an interested spectator Tuesday when Aquinas Academy faces Avella in a Class A first-round girls basketball playoff game. The Rams await the winner in the quarterfinals.

This is the second straight trip to the playoffs for Aquinas Academy after playing the previous seven years as an independent.

The Crusaders were part of the WPIAL in 2009-10 but finished 3-18 with none of the victories coming against WPIAL opponents.

Two of their losses were to Avella. The Eagles won lopsided games, 57-11 and 70-12.

Avella is looking for its first playoff win since 2012.

Listen to all 12 WPIAL basketball playoff games Tuesday at TribHSSN.TribLive.com.

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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