Westmoreland basketball playoff capsules: Games for Monday, March 8, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021 | 2:21 PM
8-South Park (9-5) at 1-Belle Vernon (12-1)
6 p.m. Monday
Coaches: Jason Dolak, South Park; Joe Salvino, Belle Vernon
Winner plays: Winner of 5-North Catholic (16-4) at 4-Quaker Valley (13-4), 6 p.m. Thursday
About South Park: The Eagles gave the Leopards one of their closest Section 3 games, falling 76-67. Four players from each team scored in double figures that night, including Harper Conroy (19 points), Aidan Rongaus (15), Luke Rider (12) and Keith Hutton for the Eagles. South Park kicked its offense into high gear for a 90-72 win over Ambridge in the first round as Rongaus scored 30 and Conroy added 20. It was the Eagles’ first playoff win since 2012-13.
About Belle Vernon: The fast-paced Leopards took the court after a 12-day layoff, a precautionary pause because of a covid-19 case on the team, and handled Freeport in the first round 80-49. Freshman Quinton Marton had a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, junior standout Devin Whitlock had 23 points and 10 assists and junior guard Daniel Gordon added a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Belle Vernon, the WPIAL runner-up last year, has won 12 in a row and has scored 76 or more in four straight games. Senior guard Jake Haney is expected back after missing the playoff opener.
6-Latrobe (13-2) at 3-Hampton (15-5)
6 p.m. Monday
Coaches: Mark Burkhardt, Latrobe; Tony Howard, Hampton
Winner plays: Winner of 7-McKeesport (16-4) at 2-Chartiers Valley (20-3), 6 p.m. Thursday
About Latrobe: The upstart Wildcats held off South Fayette in the first round 52-47 as they sank 7 of 8 free throws for their only offense in the final 2 minutes, 36 seconds but protected the basketball and lead to seal a second playoff win in 15 years. Junior 6-foot-2 forward Anna Rafferty had 16 points, 6-1 sophomore Emma Blair added 12 and nine rebounds and senior guard Rachel Ridilla had 10, five in the fourth. Freshman Elle Snyder made three key free throws down the stretch. Latrobe has won four in a row and 10 of 11. Latrobe last made the semifinals in 1998. The Wildcats also made it in ’97.
About Hampton: Junior 5-10 forward Sophia Kelly had 20 points, 5-8 junior guard Kayla Hoehler added 18 and freshman guard Meghan Murray and senior guard Liv Bianco chipped in 10 apiece for the Talbots, who were coming off back-to-back losing seasons. They won Section 2 but lost two games to eighth-seeded Fox Chapel. Their other losses are to Class A No. 1 seed Rochester; Quaker Valley, the No. 2 seed in 4A; and Knoch, the No. 4 seed in 4A. Hampton last made the semifinals in 2016-17 and lost to Oakland Catholic.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More High School Basketball• After going winless, Ligonier Valley girls basketball showing improvement as season approaches
• Ligonier Valley boys basketball hopes for smoother sailing in 2nd season back in WPIAL
• Knoch girls basketball team motivated by unfinished business
• Knoch boys basketball excited about improved depth alongside top scorer Ryan Lang
• Promising Kiski Area girls team coming together