Westmoreland basketball playoff capsules: Games for Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Monday, March 1, 2021 | 3:43 PM

Here’s a look at Tuesday’s WPIAL basketball playoff games involving Westmoreland County teams:


First round

Class 6A

14-Baldwin (6-12) at 3-Hempfield (11-5)

6 p.m. Tuesday

Coaches: Jeff Ackermann, Baldwin; Bill Swan, Hempfield

Winner plays: Winner of 11-Peters Township (6-8) at 6-Pine-Richland (11-5), 6 p.m. Friday

About Baldwin: Baldwin, under first-year coach Ackermann, who won multiple WPIAL titles at Moon and Pine-Richland, is seeking its first playoff win since 2003. The Highlanders lost to two teams in Hempfield’s section, Fox Chapel (69-45) and Central Catholic (61-58).

About Hempfield: The Spartans, looking for their first win in the postseason since 2015, are led by a talented group of seniors. Christian Zilli and Michael Hosni are double-figure scorers, but junior Sean Gordon is streaky and often sparks the offense.

13-North Hills (4-9) at 4-Penn-Trafford (12-5)

6 p.m. Tuesday

Coaches: Buzz Gabos, North Hills; Doug Kelly, Penn-Trafford

Winner plays: Winner of 12-Norwin (7-13) at 5-Butler (10-8), 6 p.m. Friday

About North Hills: The Indians finished last in Section 1. They have wins over North Allegheny, Norwin, Butler and Franklin Regional. Royce Parham is a talented guard who averages 19 points.

About Penn-Trafford: A solid outside-inside lineup has kept the Warriors in just about every game, and many of them have been decided by single digits. The Warriors have impressive wins over North Allegheny, Fox Chapel and Chartiers Valley.

12-Norwin (7-13) at 5-Butler (10-8)

6 p.m. Tuesday

Coaches: Buddy Valinsky, Norwin; Matt Clement, Butler

Winner plays: Winner of 13-North Hills (4-9) at 4-Penn-Trafford (12-5), 6 p.m. Friday

About Norwin: Back in the postseason for the first time since 2015-16, the Knights have battled lineup changes to stay competitive with a lot of teams. They beat defending WPIAL champion Butler, 63-58, last month as Jayden Walker scored 20 to lead four double-figure scorers.

About Butler: Junior guard Devin Carney is one of most prolific scorers in the WPIAL this season. He had a 49-point game against Pine-Richland. He had 24 in the nonsection loss to Norwin. Mattix Clement is a career 1,000-point scorer for Butler, which has won seven straight.


First round

Class 4A

11-Mt. Pleasant (10-7) at 6-Freeport (10-2)

6 p.m. Tuesday

Coaches: Scott Giacobbi, Mt. Pleasant; Fred Soilis, Freeport

Winner plays: Winner of 14-Deer Lakes (6-6) at 3-Southmoreland (14-4), 6 p.m. Friday

About Mt. Pleasant: The Vikings won 5 of 6 late in the season, powered by sophomore Tiffany Zelmore, who has two 35-point games. They are allowing just under 40 points per game.

About Freeport: Freeport went 8-1 in section play but a champion was not determined in Section 1 due to unbalanced records. Melaina DeZort, Ava Soilis and Grace Soilis have piloted the offense of late for the Yellowjackets. All three are scorers.

14-Deer Lakes (6-6) at 3-Southmoreland (14-4)

6 p.m. Tuesday

Coaches: Dave Petruska, Deer Lakes; Amber Cernuto, Southmoreland

Winner plays: Winner of 11-Mt. Pleasant (10-7) at 6-Freeport (10-2), 6 p.m. Friday

About Deer Lakes: The Lancers recently returned from a covid-19-related pause and went 14 days between games. High-scoring games are not their forte as they rely on defensive play. They lost to North Hills, 23-18.

About Southmoreland: The returning WPIAL runner-up Scotties take a 30-game home winning streak into a postseason where higher-seeded teams are allowed to play at home through the semifinals. Sophomore point guard Olivia Cernuto and junior forward Gracie Spadaro are seasoned playoff performers.

10-Belle Vernon (9-7) at 7-Montour (12-9)

6 p.m. Tuesday

Coaches: Kaitlyn Slagus, Belle Vernon; Jenn O’Shea, Montour

Winner plays: Winner of 15-New Castle (5-11) at 2-Quaker Valley (13-4), 6 p.m. Friday

About Belle Vernon: A guard-oriented team that builds off its defense, the Leopards lost to Freeport in the first round last year. When Slagus played for Belle Vernon, the Leopards made four straight playoff trips (2011-15).

About Montour: The fourth-place team in Section 2, Montour is back in the playoffs after two years away. O’Shea is the former Fox Chapel coach who took over the Spartans in 2019.

Class 2A

12-Greensburg Central Catholic (8-4) at 5-Burgettstown (15-2)

6 p.m. Tuesday

Coaches: Sam Salih, GCC; Megan Zitner, Burgettstown

Winner plays: Winner of 13-Seton La Salle (6-5) at 4-Sewickley Academy (11-5), 6 p.m. Friday

About Greensburg Central Catholic: Junior forward Bailey Kuhns had 24 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Centurions to a 60-point win over Northgate in the preliminary round. GCC is now allowing 29.6 points a game.

About Burgettstown: The Blue Devils will try to add to a nine-game winning streak that includes victories over 5A Lincoln Park, 3A Charleroi and Keystone Oaks and a good Class A Bishop Canevin team. Opponents are scoring just 37.5 points against Burgettstown.

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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