Westmoreland WPIAL basketball playoff capsules for Feb. 22, 2022
Monday, February 21, 2022 | 3:54 PM
15-Greensburg Salem (15-7) at 2-South Fayette (18-4)
Winner plays: Winner of 10-Mars (17-5)/7-Latrobe (17-3) 7 p.m. Friday in quarterfinals
Layup lines: Greensburg Salem is back in the postseason after losing in the first round last year. The Golden Lions are seeking their first playoff win since a 48-44 victory over Montour in the 3A preliminary round in 2011-12. This year’s team rallied around its pressure defense, holding opponents to 34.3 points. The Golden Lions started 8-0. They nearly beat 4A No. 2 seed Southmoreland ). Senior guard Abby Mankins (16 ppg) is a Seton Hill recruit. … South Fayette was the runner-up to top-seeded Chartiers Valley (20-1) in Section 1. The Lions lost both games against the uber-talented Colts but with close results (55-51 and 54-49). Junior Maddie Webber averages 17 points but her sister, 5-foot-11 Mia Webber, and 6-4 junior forward Ava Leroux, are a tough matchup. Maddie Webber scored 34 against Trinity.
10-Mars (17-5) at 7-Latrobe (17-3)
Winner plays: Winner of 15-Greensburg Salem (15-7)/2-South Fayette (18-4) 7 p.m. Friday in quarterfinals
Layup lines: Mars finished tied for second in Section 2 with Hampton, two games behind red-hot Indiana. The Fightin Planets are led by coach Dana Petruska, who recently notched her 500th win. Mars has a 54-49 win over 4A No. 3 Knoch and also beat No. 7 Highlands, 64-45. Its roster has six sophomores and six freshmen. … Latrobe is a returning semifinal team, and the Wildcats have size and complementary guard play. Senior Anna Rafferty is an IUP commit, and junior Emma Blair had a 20-point, 20-rebound game. Both average a double-double. Watch sophomore guard Elle Snyder. Two of the Wildcats’ three losses have come at home. Both teams allow fewer than 50 points a game.
9-Belle Vernon (15-7) at 8-Quaker Valley (11-10)
Winner plays: at No. 1 Blackhawk (21-0), 7 p.m. Friday in quarterfinals
Layup lines: Belle Vernon cooled off some after a solid first half of the season. Since Jan. 22, the Leopards are 4-5 and take a three-game losing streak into the tournament. A 62-54 loss to West Mifflin was a letdown after a win over 5A Gateway. Belle Vernon split with Section 3 foe Southmoreland, the No. 2 seed. Juniors Viva Kreis and Jenna Dawson are key backcourt players along with sophomore Tessa Rodriguez. Watch junior Farrah Reader, as well. … Quaker Valley came in fourth in Section 2, which was won by unbeaten Blackhawk (21-0). The Quakers score just 40.5 points, the lowest average among 4A playoff teams.
13-Hempfield (7-15) at 4-Mt. Lebanon (14-8)
Winner plays: Winner of 12-Penn-Trafford (9-12)/5-Upper St. Clair (15-7) 7 p.m. Friday in quarterfinals
Layup lines: Hempfield is looking to get to the quarterfinals for a second straight year. The Spartans dropped seven of their last 10 games, but that stretch includes losses to No. 1 seed North Hills (89-58), Mt. Lebanon (64-33), No. 2 Fox Chapel (60-49), No. 3 Central Catholic (64-52) and No. 7 Pine-Richland (85-61). The Spartans’ schedule was one of the most challenging in 6A. In the Pine-Richland loss, the teams combined for 25 3-pointers, 16 by Pine-Richland. Senior Sean Gordon is Hempfield’s top scorer (18 ppg). … Mt. Lebanon, which lost to Seneca Valley in the first round last year, takes a four-game winning streak into the tournament. That includes a win over Upper St. Clair, the No. 5 seed. The Blue Devils only beat Norwin by two (55-53). When the Blue Devils defeated visiting Hempfield earlier in the season, they took a 26-11 lead into halftime and scored 48 in the second half. Lucas Garofoli had 15 points, Christian Powers 13 and Joey Peters and Zach D’Alesandro 10 apiece in the win.
12-Penn-Trafford (9-12) at 5-Upper St. Clair (15-7)
Winner plays: Winner of 13-Hempfield (7-15)/4-Mt. Lebanon (14-8) 7 p.m. Friday in quarterfinals
Layup lines: Penn-Trafford lost five of its last seven but ended the regular season with a 71-40 win over Woodland Hills. The Warriors are guard-oriented and often rely on their defense to dictate tempo. The Warriors, led by senior guards Nick Crum and Noah Wright, reached the quarterfinals before falling to Butler on a crushing, buzzer-beating 3-pointer. … Upper St. Clair led Section 2 with a 60-point average, tallying 88 in a win over Winchester Thurston to end the regular season. Section co-champs with Mt. Lebanon, the Panthers split with the Blue Devils. Upper St. Clair nearly knocked off Fox Chapel, falling 54-53.
11-Norwin (9-10) at 6-Butler (12-9)
Winner plays: At 3-Central Catholic (17-5) 7 p.m. Friday in quarterfinals
Layup lines: Norwin earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2015-16 and will go against a team it already beat once this season, 69-61, at Butler. The Knights capped the regular season with a 63-54 win at Franklin Regional as junior guard Adam Bilinsky poured in 31 points. The Knights are 5-2 in their last seven games. They have not won a playoff game since 2007-08. … Butler beat the visiting Knights in the first round last year, 59-46. Senior Devin Carney, an Elon commit, has more than 2,000 career points. The Golden Tornado tied for second in Section 1 behind North Hills, which won the division by a brow-raising seven games. Butler, coached by former Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement, averages 69.3 points.
13-South Side Beaver (8-14) at 4-Greensburg Central Catholic (16-3)
Winner plays: Winner of 12-Jeannette (10-11)/5-Monessen (18-4) Friday in quarterfinals
Layup lines: South Side Beaver finished fourth in Section 1 behind top-seeded Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Springdale and Shenango. The Rams have only two wins since Jan. 20. They only lost 54-52 to No. 2 seed Fort Cherry and 58-48 to No. 3 Carlynton. They lost to Riverview (6-16) and Shenango (8-14). Nine of their losses have come on the road. … Greensburg Central Catholic dropped from a potential No. 2 seed to No. 4 after losses to Class A No. 1 Bishop Canevin and Serra Catholic. GCC is the returning WPIAL runner-up. A senior-strong lineup features Brevan Williams, Ryan Appleby and Dylan Parsons. Sophomore Tyree Turner is a fast-rising guard who can make the offense go.
2-Jeannette (10-11) at 5-Monessen (18-4)
Winner plays: Winner of 13-South Side (8-14)/4-Greensburg Central Catholic (16-3) Friday in quarterfinals
Layup lines: Jeannette dropped four of its final five games and finished fourth in Section 3, which was won by Greensburg Central Catholic. The Jayhawks have played much of the season without senior guard Nas Thompson, who has been out of the lineup for an undisclosed reason. Senior Anton Good is the go-to scorer. … Monessen is one of the hottest teams in the state, winning 15 straight. The Section 4 champion Greyhounds are allowing 47.1 points per game and have depth to match their defensive approach. Sophomore Lorenzo Gardner is the top scorer (16 ppg), but senior Kody Kuhns is a key leader on both ends of the floor. The Greyhounds have made the playoffs 41 straight years.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
Tags: Belle Vernon, Butler, Greensburg C.C., Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Jeannette, Latrobe, Mars, Monessen, Mt. lebanon, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Quaker Valley, South Fayette, South Side, Upper St. Clair
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