WPIAL Basketball Playoff Summaries for Monday 2/27

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Monday, February 27, 2017 | 10:40 PM


The first of three nights of Final Four district postseason hoops is in the books with a familiar theme ringing true. In both the Boys 3-A and the Boys 1-A Semifinals, the #1-seeds were winners and will now face the #3-seeds in the finals. Meanwhile, it was a simpler formula for Girls 4-A and Girls 2-A where in the title games it will be #1 vs #2. Here are the summaries from the eight WPIAL Semifinals in the above mentioned classifications from Monday night on MSA Sports.

A special thanks to Brandon Showers, Mark Uriah, Rob McKinney, Bob Gregg, Mark Schaas, Tom Hays and Donny Chedrick for their help on these recaps.

BOYS WPIAL CLASS 3-A Semifinals:

Lincoln Park Leopards 81 – Shady Side Academy Indians 61 
The top seeded Leopards needed an Evan Brown buzzer beater to advance on Thursday in the quarter finals. That was not the case in the semis as Brown and Bowling Green recruit Nelly Cummins combined for 61 points, earning their team a return trip to the Pete. After a 15-15 first quarter, Lincoln Park exploded for 34 points in the second. Cummings had 4 points after 8 minutes. He ended the half with 22. Brown added 13 and the Leopards were off to the races. Cummings finished with 31 points, giving him 2,246 for his career. He started the game in 18th place on the WPIAL all-time scoring list. Brown added 30 with 12 field goals, including 4 triples. The Leopards, now 21-4, led 49-33 at the half and 72-45 after three. Shady Side Academy got no closer than 20 in the 4th quarter. Lincoln Park was 19-25 from the foul line and had 10 turnovers. Etai Groff led the Indians with 18 points. Kirf Olander scored 16 and Grady Munroe came off bench to score 14, including 4 from behind the arc. The Indians are now 18-7 and will await the state playoffs. Lincoln Park is also in the state playoffs. They have won 10 straight games and knocked the Indians out of the WPIAL tournament the last two years, with a 70-39 victory in 2016's 1st round.

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 49 – Washington Little Prexies 44 
Vincent DiNicola hit a three-pointer with 2:11 to play, putting Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic back in front to stay as the Trojans knocked off #2 Washington, 49-44.  CWNC built a 12-point lead early in the third quarter before the Little Prexies began to claw their way back into the contest, scoring the final six points of the third to get within 29-26.  Over the next four minutes, Matt Popeck hit three treys, tying the game with 3:50 to go.  A minute later, Popeck was fouled on a three-point shot and hit two-of-three at the line, giving the Little Prexies a 42-41 advantage, the only time WHS led.  DiNicola three from the left wing ignited a five-point run for the Trojans (20-5).  Washington (20-5) turned the ball over on the next two possessions and CWNC hit enough free throws (3-of-5) down the stretch to keep the Little Prexies at bay.  The win is North Catholic's fourth straight against the Little Prexies in the post-season, dating back to 2007.  John Fukon scored 15 points, 12 in the opening half, helping CWNC to a 23-12 lead.  Isaiah Wilson had 11 points, nine in the fourth quarter including a three-pointer following two Trojans' offensive rebounds.  Popeck led all scorers in the game, putting up 18 in his first action since suffering an ankle injury two weeks ago in the regular season finale.  Popeck hit four treys in the game, all after intermission.  Isaiah Robinson had 10.

BOYS WPIAL CLASS 1-A Semifinals:

Monessen Greyhounds 88 – Union Scotties 64 
On Monday night, the Monessen Greyhounds advanced to the WPIAL Class 1A Boys Championships for the fourth time in six seasons with a 88-64 victory over Union. Monessen senior Justice Rice dropped 35 points and was the leading scorer in the contest between both teams. Monessen Senior Jaden Altomore also put together a solid performance, notching 25 points. The Union Scotties were led by sophomore Seth Pinkerton, who tallied 16 points off of the bench and was his team's leading scorer. Union was only down by four points heading into the second half, but Monessen turned on the jets and scored 30 points in the third quarter. Monessen's hot shooting led to the victory but so did the mistakes made by Union, as the Scotties committed 19 turnovers in the game. With the win, Monessen will play in the WPIAL Class 1A Boys Championship against Imani Christian.

Imani Christian Saints 80 – Vincentian Academy Royals 71 
The Semifinal match-up between the 2 seed Vincentian Academy and the 3 seed Imani Christian was an example of how to finish a game. The Royals of Vincentian Academy led after the first three quarters on Monday night, including its biggest lead of 11 (63-52) after the 3rd. Then, the 4th quarter happened. A remarkable 15-2 run for the Saints gave them their first lead of the game, making the score 67-65. With still half a quarter to play, Imani Christian would stay hot, while Vincentian would continue to cool down. When the clocks struck zero, the Saints held a convincing 80-71 lead – earning the victory and trip to the Petersen Events Center. The Saints outscored the Royals 28-8 in the final frame to win it. The victorious Saints had all five starters score in double figures, with future West Virginia Mountaineer, Kenny Robinson leading his team with 19. Ray Jackson added 16, including three huge 3-point shots in the 4th quarter. Senior Keon Arvin had 10 in the final stanza to finish with 15, while Sam Fairley totaled the same amount. Finally, junior Desean Hubbard tallied 12. Three players for Vincentian Academy had 10+ points, including two over 20. Senior Mike Brooks scored 17 in the fist half en route to finishing with 23. Junior Zach McDonough got hot in the 3rd quarter and totaled 22 in the end and senior Thomas Quinlan added 18. After a tremendous show of heart and a great comeback, the Imani Christian Saints are heading to the Petersen Events Center to take on Monessen for the WPIAL Class 1-A boys basketball title.

GIRLS WPIAL CLASS 4-A Semifinals:

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 59 – Beaver Bobcats 49 
It was inside versus outside as Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic defeated Beaver 59 -49 in this class 4A semi final game at Moon Area High School on Monday night. Down by four points in the 4th quarter, CWNC came storming back by pounding the ball inside to Sam Breen, as the Dayton recruit finished with 27 points to pace the Trojanettes. Breen was also 11 of 14 at the free throw line. Kylie Huffman also scored down low with 19 points for the Trojanettes. Beaver had 11 three point field goals with Sydney Barney hitting 5 treys for a total of 15 points. Bella Posset led Beaver with 16 points but suffered a right shoulder injury in the 4th quater when the Bobcats held a four point lead. She would return to the game, but clearly was not 100 percent healthy. Speaking of health,  CWNC had to play without standout sophomore Dani Short who was home sick with the flu. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic will now face Blackhawk at the Petersen Events Center on Friday. Expect another inside/outside battle as the Cougars love to fire up the threes as well. If Dani Short can come back, the inside game for the Trojanettes will be even stronger.

Blackhawk Cougars 70 – South Park Eagles 56 
In a match up of teams that had met every year in the post season since 2012, it was a tale of two halves for the Cougars on the way to the Petersen Events Center. Blackhawk trailed 27-23 after 16 minutes, but exploded in the 3rd quarter with 6 three-pointers. South Park led 20-14 after the opening frame by limiting the Cougars to one shot and shutting down the outside shooting of sisters Madison and Mackenzie Amalia. Blackhawk had hit an incredible 230 triples coming into the semifinals, but made only 2 in the first half. Neither team found the bottom of the net much in the second as only 16 points were registered between the two teams. The Cougars came out smoking in the third as back-to-back-to-back threes by both Amalias and Breanna Hoover gave Blackhawk a lead they would not relinquish. The Cougars led by a 49-39 margin after three and racked up an 11-2 run starting the fourth highlighted by back to back trifectas from Mackenzie Amalia, who led with 19 points. Tailyn Silver added 16, Mady Aulbach scored 15 and Madison Amalia scored 12. Blackhawk hit their season average of 10 three pointers. The Cougars were 4 of 8 from the line and only had 9 turnovers. It was the 4th straight win for Blackhawk over South Park. Brittany Andrews led the Eagles with 18 points, Alyssa Greer scored 14 and Maura Huwalt scored 10. Blackhawk is now 15-8 and will play for their 8th WPIAL crown. The Cougars have won 3 straight and 11 of their last 12. South Park falls to 16-9 and will wait for the state playoffs as both teams have qualified.

GIRLS WPIAL CLASS 2-A Semifinals:

Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers 54 – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers 39 
Chartiers Houston (22-2) jumped on Our Lady of the Sacred Heart early and built a 14-point halftime lead. The Chargers cut the deficit to eleven in the fourth quarter, but the Buccaneers pulled away to win 54-39 at Peters Township.  Alexa Williamson led all scorers with 25 points, most coming from in the paint. Jala Walker added 14 for Chartiers-Houston. Ashley Norling led the Chargers (18-6) with 15, despite sitting most of the first half after picking up three early fouls. The more experienced Buccaneers forced a young OLSH squad into turnovers, which led to transition baskets throughout the game. The Chargers, without a senior on the roster, started a freshmen, three sophomores and a junior. Chartiers-Houston moves on to face Vincentian in the WPIAL Girls AA finals, 5 pm Thursday at the Petersen Events Center.

Vincentian Academy Royals 43 – Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 39 
Although it will be under a new classification, the Vincentian Academy Royals continue their domination of making the finals once again, this time in 2A, with their seventh consecutive title trip. They will take on the Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers on Thursday evening at The Petersen Events Center on Pitt’s Campus. Vincentian had made the previous six 1A title games, winning the last five, and with the new six classifications they did not lose a step, going 20-4 over all and undefeated at 14-0 in section play. To gain their spot at the Pete, they defeated the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions by a final score of 43-39 tonight at Fox Chapel Senior High School. The Royals got out to an early lead, and other than a 4-3 lead half way through the first quarter, the first half was not in doubt. They extended the lead to as much as 14 points at 30-16 when we went to the half. The Centurions would not go easy though in the second half, giving the Royals everything they could handle. Greensburg Central was able to pull to within one point in the fourth at 38-37, but the Royals were just too much to handle, with Katie Bartlett tallying a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Vincentian and Caroline Elliot adding 8 points and 8 rebounds. Greensburg Central will await their next opponent in the PIAAs. They were led by Brittany Stawovy with 11 points and 7 rebounds, and Haley Moore with 5 points and 7 rebounds.

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