WPIAL Class 5A girls basketball breakdown

By: HSSN Staff
Sunday, December 2, 2018 | 11:47 PM


WPIAL Class 5A

Preseason Player of the Year

Megan McConnell

Chartiers Valley

5-6, Jr., guard

19.0 ppg in 2017-18

Players to watch

Adia Brisker

Penn Hills

5-8, Sr., G, 13.2 ppg

Jenna Clark

Thomas Jefferson

5-7, Sr., G, 17.7 ppg

Tai Johnson

Mars

5-7, Sr., G, 18.4 ppg

Tayonna Robertson

Penn Hills

6-0, Sr., F, 13.1 ppg

Mackenzie Wagner

Chartiers Valley

5-11, Sr., G, 17.2 ppg

Preseason Top 5

1. Chartiers Valley (18-8)

Chartiers Valley reached the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA playoffs last season and returns several talented players. McConnell was a second-team all-state selection. Wagner, a Loyola, Md. recruit, was all-section. Plus, the Colts welcome back Kennesaw State recruit Gaby Legister, a senior center who was injured last season.

2. Mars (24-6)

The reigning PIAA champions return Johnson, a first-team all-state guard who is committed to Bucknell. The Planets will have to replace first-team all-state honoree Lauren Wasylson, who graduated.

3. Penn Hills (13-9)

Brisker (Niagara) and senior forward Tayonna Robertson (Longwood) lead a talented senior class of Indians, who dropped from Class 6A. Senior Diamond-Jay Whittington returns after missing last season with an injury. Senior Ariana Dunson (10.0 ppg) also returns to the starting lineup.

4. Oakland Catholic (19-10)

Oakland Catholic has reached the WPIAL final the past two seasons and has a new coach, former player Brianne O’Rourke. All-section senior guard Jayde Boyd (10.4 ppg) returns for the Eagles. She and teammate Sierra DeAngelo are Fairleigh Dickinson recruits.

5. Gateway (25-4)

Three starters return for the reigning WPIAL champion Gators: seniors Mary Kromka and Jenna Guido and junior Lexi Jackson. The group will look to replace graduate Jordan Edwards, now at Niagara. Jackson, a 6-3 forward, has offers from Western Michigan, James Madison, North Carolina A&T and Radford.

Notable

• WPIAL Class 5A girls basketball was realigned from 26 teams in four sections to 23 teams in three sections.

• Greensburg Salem, Indiana, McKeesport, Ringgold and West Mifflin dropped to Class 4A, and Connellsville moved up to Class 6A.

• Latrobe, Penn Hills and Penn-Trafford moved from 6A to 5A.

• Longtime Chartiers Valley boys basketball coach Tim McConnell takes over the CV girls program this season.

• West Allegheny, the Section 1 champion last season, returns three starters, including first-team all-section selections Hannah Lindemuth and Grace Faulk.

• Hampton lost 2,367 career points to graduation with Laryn Edwards and Ali Collins.

Alignment

Section 1: Chartiers Valley, Lincoln Park, Montour, Moon, South Fayette, Thomas Jefferson, Trinity, West Allegheny

Section 2: Armstrong, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Hampton, Kiski Area, Mars, Plum

Section 3: Albert Gallatin, Laurel Highlands, Latrobe, Oakland Catholic, Penn Hills, Penn-Trafford, Uniontown, Woodland Hills

— Bill Hartlep

Bill Hartlep is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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