Westmoreland basketball playoff capsules: Games for Thursday, March 11, 2021
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 | 3:55 PM
6-Latrobe (14-2) at 2-Chartiers Valley (21-3)
6 p.m. Thursday
Coaches: Mark Burkhardt, Latrobe; Tim McConnell, Chartiers Valley
Winner plays: Winner of 5-Woodland Hills (13-6) at 1-Trinity (20-1), 8 p.m. Monday in WPIAL championship at Peters Township
About Latrobe: The Wildcats won their fifth straight, four of which have been decided by six points or less. They held off South Fayette in the first round, 52-47, and third-seeded Hampton in the quarterfinals, 53-48. In the quarterfinal, sophomore Emma Blair had seven points and 18 rebounds, but boosted the defense with three fourth-quarter steals to turn back the Talbots, who had strung together several scoring runs. Junior forward Anna Rafferty had a team-high 17 points and added 10 rebounds, while steady-as-she-goes senior Rachel Ridilla scored 12. Latrobe hasn’t made it this far in a season since 1998. It reached the semis in ‘97 and ‘98 but lost to Woodland Hills and McKeesport, so the program never has made the finals.
About Chartiers Valley: The high-powered Colts, ranked third in the state and in search of a WPIAL three-peat, average 65 points and allow 38. The Colts are primed for a rematch with Trinity, the team that ended their state-record 64-game winning streak earlier this season. They also lost to Class 6A North Allegheny and Oakland Catholic. After accepting a forfeit win against Plum in the first round, the Colts ran to a 65-47 win over McKeesport in the quarters. Junior Columbia commit Perri Page had 20 points and junior Aislin Malcolm, a Pitt recruit, added 17. Malcolm and Rafferty are slated to be AAU teammates this season with the Western PA Bruins. McConnell has more than 600 coaching wins, including seven WPIAL titles and a PIAA championship.
5-North Catholic (17-4) at 1-Belle Vernon (13-1)
6 p.m. Thursday
Coaches: Dave DeGregorio, North Catholic; Joe Salvino, Belle Vernon
Winner plays: Winner of 3-Montour (14-7) at 2-Lincoln Park (16-5), 8 p.m. Monday in WPIAL championship at North Allegheny
About North Catholic: Seeking a third straight WPIAL title, the Trojans were two wins away from the PIAA finals last season when covid-19 arrived in the state. In an 84-56 win over Quaker Valley in the quarterfinals, guard Owen DeGregorio made seven 3-pointers for 21 points, while Andrew Ammerman (19) and Max Rottman (11) also scored in double digits. While a lot of teams boast how good they are at home, the Trojans seem to like traveling. They have won 23 straight away from Cranberry. The Trojans’ losses are to Class 2A No. 1 OLSH (80-74), 5A Penn Hills (68-64) and 6A teams Central Catholic (48-25) and Seneca Valley (72-68). Trojans’ coach Dave DeGregorio is the brother of former Belle Vernon coach Kyle DeGregorio.
About Belle Vernon: Top-seeded Belle Vernon, ranked No. 2 in Pennsylvania, rolled to a quarterfinal win at home, 78-52 over No. 8 South Park as junior standout Devin Whitlock had 31 points (5 3-pointers), to go with 7 assists and 7 steals. Junior Daniel Gordon scored 19, and freshman Quinton Martin had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Leopards, who have not lost since the opening night of the season. They advanced to the finals last season and lost to Highlands in the championship. Highlands moved to 5A. Salvino has numerous WPIAL finals trips. He won six titles as the longtime coach at Monessen and has 680 career wins.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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