Westmoreland basketball playoff preview capsule for games of Feb. 17, 2023

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Thursday, February 16, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Boys

Class 5A

First round

16-Penn-Trafford (7-15) at 1-Peters Township (18-3)

7 p.m. Friday, AHN Arena, Peters Township

Winner plays: Winner of 9-Shaler (16-6)/8-South Fayette (13-9) on Wednesday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Tyler Freas, Penn-Trafford; Jack Dunbar, Peters Township

Layup lines: Penn-Trafford went from last place in Section 3 to making the playoffs over the course of two weeks. The Warriors won three straight games — at McKeesport, at Latrobe and vs. Kiski Area — to qualify. They are 1-9 at home but 6-6 on the road. Their roster has only two seniors. … Peters Township won the Section 1 title while averaging a classification-best 74.1 points per game. The Indians beat Penn-Trafford in December, 74-45. The Indians also have a 68-63 win over Norwin. They have won 12 in a row, a streak that followed a 105-100 loss to Thomas Jefferson.

Class A

First round

11-Western Beaver (10-12) at 6-Monessen (20-2)

7 p.m. Friday, Monessen High School

Winner plays: At 3-Carlynton (15-6) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Levi Gray, Western Beaver; Lorenzo Gardner, Monessen

Layup lines: Western Beaver sneaked into the postseason as the fourth-place team in Section 1, where it had a 3-7 record. The Golden Beavers have lost five of six. They are scoring 56.5 points and allowing 58.4. Gray averages 24 points a game. He has over 1,000 points for his career. … Monessen had one of the more surprising seedings in the playoffs after winning 20 games and sharing the Section 2 title with Geibel. The Greyhounds have won 20 of their last 21 games and have made the WPIAL playoffs a record 42 straight times. Gardner is scoring 22 a game.

Girls

Class A

First round

13-California (10-11) vs. 4-Greensburg Central Catholic (18-4)

6 p.m. Friday, Furrie Sports Complex, Gateway

Winner plays: Winner of 12-Winchester Thurston (10-11)/5-Burgettstown (17-5) on Wednesday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Madyson Morton, California; Mya Morgan Greensburg Central Catholic

Layup lines: Despite dropping four of its last five, California secured third place in Section 4 behind Washington and Chartiers-Houston to make the playoffs. One common opponent is Monessen. The Trojans lost 55-33 to the Greyhounds, and GCC won, 55-29. … Greensburg Central Catholic, in the postseason for the 23rd straight time, shared the Section 3 title with Serra Catholic. Losses to McKeesport and Serra Catholic likely caused a dip in the seedings, although the Centurions recovered to beat playoff teams Clairton and Winchester Thurston to close the regular season. Morgan and fellow junior Avery Davis team with freshman Erica Gribble to form a talented scoring trio. GCC leads the classification in scoring at 58.6 points per game.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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