Westmoreland girls basketball notes: All but 2 teams appear headed for playoff tournament

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021 | 6:00 PM


The playoff picture is clear for Westmoreland County girls basketball teams.

The WPIAL is having an open tournament this year where all teams are invited to compete. Their deadline to opt in is 3 p.m. Thursday.

Roll call in the county shows all but two girls teams will cap this “covid year” with entry into the postseason. Derry and Ligonier Valley have opted out.

Ligonier Valley coach Emily Daugherty said it was a “team decision.”

That means the local breakdown is as follows for girls playoff qualifiers:

Class 6A: Hempfield, Norwin, Penn-Trafford.

Class 5A: Franklin Regional, Greensburg Salem, Latrobe, Kiski Area.

Class 4A: Belle Vernon, Burrell, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, Yough, Valley.

Class 2A: Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette.

Class A: Monessen.

The WPIAL will reveal playoff brackets Tuesday, and the playoffs will begin next Friday or Saturday.

The finals will be March 12, 15 and 16 at high school gyms to be determined.

Let them play

Jeannette girls coach Jonathan Bass still is looking for his first win this season. The Lady Jays are 0-14, but they are headed to the playoffs.

While some less-competitive programs are avoiding the postseason opportunity, Jeannette is embracing it.

Jeannette is averaging 21.6 points and allowing 60.9. Greensburg Central Catholic beat them in back-to-back games by scores of 83-15 and 64-5.

“My philosophy is, play as much basketball as possible,” Bass said, also offering his words on Twitter. “You simply can’t get better unless you play.

“If everyone is permitted to play, why not give the girls the experience? I am all about building. I plan to use this as a teaching moment to motivate our team to get back there when things are normal.”

Game rescheduled

The much-anticipated nonsection game between Latrobe and Southmoreland that was postponed last week because of snowy weather will be played at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Southmoreland.

Latrobe is ranked No. 5 in Class 5A, and Southmoreland is No. 4 in 4A.

More for Zelmore

Quietly, Mt. Pleasant sophomore Tiffany Zelmore has been one of the top scoring forwards in the area this season. She recently posted the first 30-point game in the program since 2014.

The 5-foot-9 Zelmore made 12 field goals and 11 of 13 free throws on the way to 35 points in a win over Ligonier Valley. It was the first 30-plus game since Alexa Szelong did it twice in 2014 (35 vs. Burrell, 33 vs. Trinity).

Also during coach Scott Giacobbi’s 17-year tenure, Nicole Malara had 31 in a 2010 game against Uniontown, and Abbey Way scored 31 in 2006 against Saltsburg.

The Mt. Pleasant girls single-game record is 50 points by Kim Jacobs in 1973 (vs. GCC).

Unmasked

Yough decided to relax its face mask mandate so its teams could enter the WPIAL basketball playoffs. The WPIAL asked teams to comply for postseason inclusion.

During the regular season, Yough required opponents to wear masks at all times, even during play.

But like many schools who opted in to the postseason, Yough decided to lift its rule.

Mt. Pleasant would not play the Cougars in section play because of the guidelines.

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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