Westmoreland County high school basketball playoff preview capsules for Feb. 16, 2024

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Thursday, February 15, 2024 | 11:01 AM


WPIAL basketball playoffs

Boys

Class A

First round

13-Summit Academy (4-13) at 4-Monessen (17-4)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner plays: 5-Union (13-10) Wednesday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Section finish: Summit Academy T-4th, Section 3; Monessen 1st, Section 2

Players to watch: Austin Hindman, Summit Academy; Lorenzo Gardner, Monessen

Layup lines: Summit Academy has lost eight of its past nine heading into the postseason. It tied Hillel Academy for fourth place to make the postseason. Hindman is a 3-point threat. … Monessen is in the WPIAL playoffs for a record 43rd consecutive season and the 68th time overall. Gardner, who has more than 1,400 career points, scored 64 in a recent game at California to tie Highlands’ Micah Mason for the second-most points in a game in WPIAL history. The Greyhounds are second in Class A in scoring at 64.4 points.

Class 4A

First round

10-Belle Vernon (12-8) at 7-South Allegheny (16-6)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner plays: Winner of 15-Central Valley (14-8)/2-Hampton (19-3) Wednesday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Section finish: Belle Vernon 2nd, Section 2; South Allegheny 3rd, Section 4

Players to watch: Zion Moore, Belle Vernon; Drew Cook, South Allegheny

Layup lines: Belle Vernon is one of four teams in Section 3 that are averaging more than 65 points (68.4 ppg). The Leopards reached the quarterfinals last year and went 0-2 in the playback tournament for states. Moore has 1,563 career points, including 1,157 in just two years at Belle Vernon. Trevor Kovatch and Alonzo Wade are key all-around pieces to the game plan. … South Allegheny, which averages 63 points, has won six of seven, including a 74-71 win over Shady Side Academy in overtime. The Gladiators edged Belle Vernon, 59-58, earlier in the season at the MVI Shootout.

14-Southmoreland (16-6) at 3-Montour (18-3)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner plays: Winner of 11-Highlands (14-7)/6-Avonworth (15-7) Wednesday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Section finish: Southmoreland 4th, Section 3; Montour 1st, Section 4

Players to watch: Ty Keffer, Southmoreland; Jake Wolfe, Montour

Layup lines: Playing in one of the highest-scoring sections in the WPIAL, Southmoreland pushed through to return to the playoffs, averaging 65.7 points. Keffer, who has more than 1,500 career points, averages 22.3 a game. Noah Felentzer averages 15. The Scotties started 10-0. … Montour is 10-1 since Jan. 12, with its only loss coming against 5A No. 1 seed Moon. Wolfe leads the Spartans with an 18-point average, and Ama Tening Sow scores 15 a game.

Girls

Class 2A

First round

16-Northgate (6-14) at 1-Greensburg Central Catholic (16-5)

7 p.m. Friday

Winner plays: Winner of 9-Rochester (14-7)/8-Burgettstown (13-9) Wednesday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Section finish: Northgate 4th, Section 1; GCC 1st, Section 3

Players to watch: Nia Salih, Northgate; Mya Morgan, GCC

Layup lines: Northgate has lost seven of its past eight and has struggled to put up points. The Flames are the lowest-scoring team in the playoffs with an average of 23.9 points. … GCC, a state semifinalist last year, is scoring over 60 points a game led by the trio of Morgan, Erica Gribble and Avery Davis. The Centurions give up only 39.4 points. Coach Chris Skatell is 58-16 in three seasons.

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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