What to watch for in WPIAL sports on March 5, 2021: WPIAL quarterfinals tip off

Friday, March 5, 2021 | 12:12 AM

With preliminary and first-round games now history, the curtain rises on the WPIAL basketball quarterfinals. The elite eight round tips off Friday.

Quarterfinals action Friday will feature games from boys 6A, boys A, girls 4A and girls 2A with one 6A girls game sprinkled in for fun.

Boys third round

• North Allegheny visits Fox Chapel on Friday in a boys Class 6A quarterfinals contest between the No. 7 seed and the No. 2 seed.

The Foxes have spent the entire season in the Trib HSSN top 5 rankings while the Tigers spent most of the campaign among the top teams in the classification until late-season struggles knocked them out.

Both teams started the playoffs Tuesday with victories. Fox Chapel rolled past Bethel Park, 63-44, while North Allegheny edged Central Catholic, 45-41.

Those wins were noteworthy because since the six-class era began in 2016-2017, the Foxes and Tigers were a combined 1-6 in the 6A playoffs coming into this year’s postseason.

• Three years ago, Union faced Imani Christian in the Class A semifinals. On Friday, they square off again in the quarterfinals.

Tre Charles scored 18 points and Seth Pinkerton added 17 points as the Scotties topped the Saints, 74-67, to advance to the 2018 Class A title game. Sam Fairley had a game-high 26 points for Imani.

Union would lose in the title game to Vincentian Academy, 54-51.

The Saints have won six straight while the Scotties have been winners in six of their last seven contests.

All four Class 6A and Class A boys playoff games on Friday can be seen only here on Trib HSSN.

Girls quarters

• The old saying is defense wins championships.

However, if offense earns you a spot in the Class 4A final four, the game to watch Friday is Blackhawk at Knoch.

The visiting Cougars have the highest-scoring offense in the classification, averaging 62.4 points per game.

The Knights are second in Class 4A in scoring offense, averaging 58.6 points per game.

• Five years ago, the Sewickley Academy girls basketball team won five games. A year later, they finished 11-14 and qualified for the playoffs.

The last three years, they have won 14 games each season and reached the semifinals in Class 2A a year ago.

The Panthers look to continue their program’s growth Friday when they host Greensburg Central Catholic.

In comparison, GCC five years ago reached the WPIAL finals where they lost to Bishop Canevin.

This season, the Centurions are 9-4 after playoff wins over Northgate and Burgettstown while Sewickley Academy is 12-5 after beating Seton LaSalle in the first round.

All four Class 4A and Class 2A quarterfinals games, along with the lone 6A contest, can be seen or heard Friday on HSSN.

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