Westmoreland PIAA basketball capsules: Games for March 8-9, 2019

Thursday, March 7, 2019 | 7:44 PM

Boys basketball

Class 5A

First round

Franklin Regional (17-7) vs. Lower Dauphin (24-3)

6:30 p.m. Friday at Milton Hershey HS

Winner plays: Winner of Johnstown (19-2)/Elizabethtown (16-12) on Tuesday

Coaches: Steve Scorpion, Franklin Regional; Rick Attivo, Lower Dauphin

Players to watch: Nick Leopold, Sr., G, FR; Luke Hedrick, Sr., G, Lower Dauphin

About Franklin Regional: The Panthers, who placed sixth in the WPIAL, will look to get going again after a 64-48 loss to Moon in the WPIAL quarterfinals. This will be their third straight trip to states.

About Lower Dauphin: The champions of District 3, top-seeded Lower Dauphin held off No. 7 Muhlenberg, 64-60, in the title game at Hershey’s Giant Center, the site of the PIAA finals. The district finals appearance was the first for Lower Dauphin since 1991. Hedrick had 26 in the win. He is a 1,000-point scorer and a 3-point threat.

Class 3A

First round

Ligonier Valley (22-3) vs. Beaver Falls (10-14)

4 p.m. Saturday at Greater Johnstown HS

Winner plays: Winner of Sharon (21-4)/Washington (14-9) on Wednesday

Coaches: John Berger, Ligonier Valley; Carliss Jeter, Beaver Falls

Players to watch: Marrek Paola, Sr., F-C, LV; Gage McKelvey, Sr., G, Beaver Falls

About Ligonier Valley: The high-scoring Rams return to PIAAs after finishing runner-up to Richland in District 6. Paola is the engine that drives the team. A 6-7 Seton Hill recruit, he averages 26 points and 17 rebounds.

About Beaver Falls: The Tigers have lost six of their last eight games, including an 82-54 setback to Lincoln Park in the WPIAL quarterfinals at New Castle. They played a tough nonsection schedule with games against Highlands, Pine-Richland and Blackhawk. They beat Highlands, a WPIAL 4A semifinalist, 71-63.

Class A

First round

Monessen (15-9) vs. Jamestown (12-11)

6:30 p.m. Friday at Edinboro University

Winner plays: Winner of North Clarion (21-3)/Bishop Carroll (19-5) on Tuesday

Coaches: Dan Bosnic, Monessen; Scott Vannoy, Jamestown

Players to watch: Devin Whitlock, Fr., G, Monessen; Austin Smith, Sr., 6-5, Jamestown

About Monessen: The Greyhounds enter the state tournament as the fourth-place team from the WPIAL after losing to Vincentian, 61-49, in the semifinals. Monessen is the second-highest scoring team in WPIAL Class A at 71.0 points.

About Jamestown: The Huskies are coming off their first District 10 championship. While the team’s record does not seem suitable for framing, Jamestown is a staunch defensive team and plays a patient, deliberate style, which could slow down get-it-and-go Monessen.

Girls basketball

Class 6A

First round

Norwin (21-2) vs. Altoona (16-7)

6:30 p.m. Friday at Hollidaysburg HS

Winner plays: Winner of Northhampton (24-4)/ Methacton (21-6) on Tuesday

Coaches: Brian Brozeski, Norwin; Miriam Colledge, Altoona

Players to watch: Olivia Gribble, Jr., G, Norwin; Brigid Fox, Sr., C, Altoona

About Norwin: The Knights return to the state bracket after two years away. A still-budding group is eager to start another playoff run after losing a 37-36 heartbreaker in the WPIAL semifinals to North Allegheny.

About Altoona: Senior point guard Olivia Hudson is a proven scorer and is back to form after tearing her ACL last summer.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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