What to watch for in high school sports for March 14, 2023: PIAA basketball second round tips off

Monday, March 13, 2023 | 10:46 PM

The second round on the Road to Hershey tips off Tuesday.

The first round of the PIAA basketball postseason was a clean sweep for the four Class 6A girls basketball teams from the WPIAL.

North Allegheny, Upper St. Clair, Norwin and Mt. Lebanon were all victorious by an average margin of victory of 17 points.

It is the second time in the last three full tournaments that the WPIAL has been perfect in the opening round in the highest classification.

In 2019, Peters Township, North Allegheny, Bethel Park and Norwin were all first-round winners.

The 6A girls teams from District 7 split last year, going 2-2. The state playoffs weren’t finished in 2020 because of the covid-19 outbreak and only district champions qualified in 2021.

Two of the four winners from Friday will collide Tuesday when Mt. Lebanon (18-8) takes on district champion North Allegheny (21-5) at North Hills at 7:30 p.m.

The other two first-round winners from the WPIAL head east as Norwin (22-4) plays Lebanon (27-2) from District 3 at Bald Eagle at 5:30 p.m., and District 7 runner-up Upper St. Clair (22-3) battles Pennsbury (21-8) from District 1 at Chambersburg at 5:30 p.m.

You again?

It’s not unusual this time of year to see two district teams squaring off for a third time.

However, in the case of one PIAA Class 3A second-round girls basketball postseason game, it will be the fourth meeting of the season.

Avonworth and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart met twice in the regular season as Section 1-3A foes, then again in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

The Antelopes are looking for the rare four-game sweep of the Chargers.

Avonworth beat OLSH by seven points at home and by 11 points on the road to finish one game ahead of the Chargers for the section crown.

The Antelopes also won the district quarterfinal, 43-25.

The battle for a state quarterfinals spot takes place at North Hills at 6 p.m.

The other two 3A girls second-round games Tuesday involving WPIAL teams include Mercyhurst Prep (20-5) vs. Shady Side Academy (24-3) at Slippery Rock University at 6 p.m. and Laurel (24-3) vs. River Valley (26-2) at Armstrong at 7 p.m.

D-7 vs D-10

Three WPIAL girls basketball teams are still alive in Class 2A, and all three will be facing opponents from District 10 on Tuesday.

WPIAL champion Shenango (23-4) will battle the No. 3 team from District 10, Lakeview (19-7), at Westminster College at 7:30 p.m.

Greensburg Central Catholic (22-5) will face District 10 runner-up Maplewood (21-5) at Slippery Rock University at 7:30 p.m.

Finally, Burgettstown (21-6) goes up against D-10 champion Kennedy Catholic (22-4) at New Castle at 7 p.m.

Planets vs. Prep

Mars was the No. 6 seed out of the WPIAL following the district boys basketball 5A consolation games.

The Fightin’ Planets wasted little time making their mark on the state playoffs with a victory over District 3 runner-up Manheim Central in the opening round by 12 points.

Now the task for Mars (17-10) to reach the quarterfinals is to knock off District 10 champion and state power Cathedral Prep (22-3).

The Ramblers’ only losses this year came to two teams from Illinois and New York and District 10 6A runner-up McDowell.

Cathedral Prep did struggle in the opening round before eliminating South Fayette, 47-45.

The teams tip off at Westminster College at 6 p.m.

The other two 5A boys second round games Tuesday involving WPIAL teams are at Altoona High School — Penn Hills (22-3) vs. Hershey (20-7) at Altoona at 7 p.m. and Lampeter-Strasburg (20-7) vs. Peters Township (23-4) at Altoona at 5:30 p.m.

Success leads to District 7 matchups

What a first round for the Class 4A boys basketball teams from the WPIAL.

They were a combined 6-1 in the opening round with the only loss coming when South Allegheny lost to Lincoln Park in a battle of District 7 teams.

That kind of success in Round 1 has led to a pair of head-to-head WPIAL contests in Round 2.

WPIAL champion Lincoln Park (26-1) will once again stay within the district when it takes on Highlands (22-5) at North Allegheny at 7 p.m.

The Leopards cruised past the Golden Rams in the WPIAL semifinals, 87-64.

The other district contest features Laurel Highlands (23-3) against Hampton (24-3) at Norwin at 7 p.m.

These two teams did not play each other in the 2023 district playoffs, but they did square off in last year’s WPIAL postseason. The Mustangs defeated the Talbots, 52-44, in the district quarterfinals.

The other two 4A boys second-round games Tuesday involving WPIAL teams are North Catholic (20-7) vs. Valley View (22-4) at Central Mountain at 6 p.m. and Littlestown (21-6) vs. Uniontown (21-5) at Bedford at 7 p.m

The other Union

WPIAL boys basketball champion Imani Christian may be excited for another shot at Union in the state playoffs.

But before they look ahead, they must first get past Union in the second round.

Union-Rimersburg that is.

The Knights are the District 9 runner-up and despite a record of 15-12, they beat Turkeyfoot Valley in the first round by 36 points.

The Saints also were impressive in the opening round, taking care of Clarion by 35 points to improve to 18-6.

The game is set for Kiski Area at 7:30 p.m.

Here are the other two A boys second round games Tuesday involving WPIAL teams: Elk County Catholic (26-2) vs. Carlynton (18-7) at Clarion University at 6 p.m. and Union (23-3) vs. Cameron County (18-8) at Brookville at 7 p.m.

Pens Cup 2A semifinals

Last year, Thomas Jefferson defeated three teams from Westmoreland County — Hempfield, Penn-Trafford and Franklin Regional — to win the PIHL Class 2A Penguins Cup championship.

It was the Jaguars’ fourth high school hockey title and first since 2000.

Now they hope to defend their title and return to the finals with a win Tuesday in the 2A semifinals at the RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island.

The other three semifinalists have a combined six titles, with Latrobe winning four, Armstrong two and South Fayette still looking for its first cup.

Here are the two semifinals games, both of which can be viewed here on Trib HSSN:

Thomas Jefferson (13-8-0) vs. Armstrong (18-3-0) at RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island at 7 p.m.

Latrobe (12-7-2) vs. South Fayette (16-3-2) at RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island at 9 p.m.

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