Westmoreland County basketball playoff preview capsules: Games for Feb. 18, 2020
Monday, February 17, 2020 | 4:59 PM
No. 8 Hempfield (12-10) vs. No. 9 Peters Township (13-9)
8 p.m. Tuesday at Mt. Lebanon
Winner plays: No. 1 Butler (17-4) Saturday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Bill Swan, Hempfield; Gary Goga, Peters Township
Points scored/allowed: Hempfield 58.1 ppg/55.2; Peters Township 57.7/57.7
Players to watch: Marcus McCarthy, Hempfield (Sr., F); Sam Petrarca, Peters Township (Sr., F)
About Hempfield: The Spartans are back in the WPIAL postseason for the first time since 2015-16, but they have not won a playoff game or had a winning season since 2014-15.
About Peters Township: Peters Township lost at Hempfield on Jan. 17, 57-52.
No. 10 Penn-Trafford (14-8) vs. No. 7 Central Catholic (12-10)
8 p.m. Tuesday at Norwin
Winner plays: No. 2 Fox Chapel (21-1) Saturday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Jim Rocco, Penn-Trafford; Brian Urso, Fox Chapel
Points scored/allowed: Penn-Traffford 59.2/55.2; Central Catholic 58.1/56.4
Players to watch: Zach Rocco, Penn-Trafford (Sr., PG); Ben Sarson, Central Catholic (Sr., F)
About Penn-Trafford: The Warriors are seeking their first postseason victory since 2001, before senior point guard Zach Rocco was born. Rocco (23.7 ppg) is an Army commit and a 1,000-point scorer.
About Central Catholic: Sarson is one of the WPIAL’s top scorers who averages 25.7 points per game. The 6-foot-5 standout has an offer from Division II Shippensburg.
No. 6 Gateway (16-5) vs. No. 11 Penn-Trafford (15-7)
6:30 p.m. at Norwin
Winner Plays: No. 3 Trinity (17-4) Saturday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Curtis Williams, Gateway; John Giannikas, Penn-Trafford
Points scored/allowed: Gateway, 46.1/35.6; Penn-Trafford, 52.3/42.5
Players to watch: Lexi Jackson, Gateway (Sr., F); Bella Long, Penn-Trafford (Sr., G/F)
About Gateway: The Gators have the top defense in Class 5A. Jackson is a Kent State recruit.
About Penn-Trafford: The Warriors beat Gateway, 59-58, in an early season contest Dec. 10. Sophomore Maura Suman, who hit a buzzer-beater to beat the Gators, injured her shoulder in the season finale and is questionable for the postseason.
N0. 5 Greensburg Central Catholic (14-7) vs. No. 12 California (12-10)
8 p.m. Tuesday at Peters Township
Winner plays: No. 4 Clairton (18-3) or No. 13 Eden Christian (8-12) Friday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Sam Salih, GCC; Chris Niemec, California
Points scored/allowed: GCC, 44.5/40.8; California, 41.5/35.5
Players to watch: Gia Scala, GCC (Sr., G); Makayla Boda, California (Jr., G)
About GCC: The Centurions split the Section 3 title with Clairton. They’ll look to earn a playoff win after being upset by Quigley Catholic in the quarters last year.
About California: Boda leads the team in scoring, averaging 9.8 points per game.
No. 8 Monessen (15-7) vs. No. 9 Aquinas Academy (9-11)
6 p.m. Tuesday at Peters Twp.
Winner plays: No. 1 Rochester (21-1) Friday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Janine Vertacnik, Monessen; Chris Lebakken, Aquinas Academy
Points scored/allowed: Monessen, 47.8/37; Aquinas Academy, 36.5/40
Players to watch: Qitarah Hardison, Monessen (Sr., G/F); Elizabeth Russell, Aquinas Academy (So., F)
About Monessen: The Greyhounds are seeking their first playoff victory since 2012 after finishing third in Section 2. Breakthrough senior Hardison averages a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds).
About Aquinas Academy: Nine of the 11 girls on Aquinas Academy’s roster are freshmen or sophomores.
— By Bill Beckner Jr. and Jerin Steele
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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