WPIAL Class 2A boys basketball breakdown

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018 | 6:42 PM


WPIAL Class 2A

Preseason Player of the Year

Isiah Warfield

Sewickley Academy

6-4, Jr., guard

16.0 ppg last season

Players to watch

Daren DiMichele

OLSH

6-1, Sr., G, 17.0 ppg

Dusan Krivokopic

Winchester Thurston

6-5, Jr., F, 20.6 ppg

Jimmy Moon

Serra Catholic

6-8, Sr., F, 16.1 ppg

Dante Spadafora

OLSH

5-11, So., G, 15.0 ppg

Nate Ridgeway

Sewickley Academy

6-6, Sr., F, 13.0 ppg

Preseason Top 5

1. Sewickley Academy (24-5)

Sewickley Academy has won the past two WPIAL championships. Ridgeway is a two-time all-state selection, and Warfield was an all-state honoree a year ago. The Panthers also welcome in All-WPIAL soccer player Rees Blaylock and all-section baseball player John DelVecchio. The Panthers will play a challenging nonsection schedule that includes Butler, Pine-Richland, North Catholic, Aliquippa and Chartiers Valley, among others.

2. OLSH (26-4)

OLSH should probably be ranked 1b, considering how evenly matched the Chargers were with Sewickley Academy last season. The teams split four games, with SA winning the WPIAL title-game showdown and OLSH avenging the loss in the PIAA playoffs. The Chargers reached the state final before falling to Constitution. Back are Spadafora, a Division I prospect at point guard, as well as guards Daren DiMichele and Austin Wigley and forward Ricco Tate. The Chargers will have to replace transfers Donovan Johnson (Moon) and Alex Boyden (Montour).

3. Jeannette (21-5)

Three starters return for the reigning Section 1-2A champion Jayhawks — point guard AJ Sharp, guard Seth Howard and forward Marcus Barnes. Jackson Pruitt and Zach Crutchman also will play key roles. Jeannette will miss graduates Tre Cunningham and Robert Kennedy, and Anthony Johnson, who transferred. The three averaged 48 points combined.

4. Serra Catholic (18-5)

Like Jeannette, Serra Catholic moves to a new section. The Eagles were Section 1-2A runners-up last season and return one of the WPIAL’s top forwards in Moon, who stands at 6-foot-8.

5. Winchester Thurston (8-12)

Winchester Thurston has moved up from Class A after reaching the playoffs last season. The Bears return their entire lineup from a year ago, including 20-point scorer Krivokopic.

Notable

• Class 2A boys basketball has 22 teams, the same as last season.

• Bishop Canevin, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jefferson-Morgan and Leechburg moved down to Class A.

• Fort Cherry, Frazier and Neshannock moved up to Class 3A.

• Propel Braddock Hills is new to Class 2A.

• Winchester Thurston moved up from Class A.

• Brentwood, Burgettstown, Mohawk and South Side Beaver dropped down from Class 3A.

• Apollo-Ridge dropped down from Class 3A and returns four starters, including guard/forward Klay Fitzroy (11.2 ppg).

• Chartiers-Houston finished 11-1 in section play a year ago but returns just one starter, sophomore guard/forward Austin Arnold.

Alignment

Section 1: Apollo-Ridge, Propel Braddock Hills, Northgate, Riverview, Springdale, Sto-Rox, Summit Academy, Winchester Thurston

Section 2: Bentworth, Brentwood, California, Carmichaels, Chartiers-Houston, Jeannette, Serra Catholic

Section 3: Burgettstown, Laurel, Mohawk, OLSH, Sewickley Academy, Shenango, South Side Beaver

— Bill Hartlep

Bill Hartlep is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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