WPIAL Class 5A girls basketball breakdown
By: Bill Hartlep
Sunday, December 2, 2018 | 11:47 PM
WPIAL Class 5A
Preseason Player of the Year
5-6, Jr., guard
19.0 ppg in 2017-18
Players to watch
5-8, Sr., G, 13.2 ppg
5-7, Sr., G, 17.7 ppg
5-7, Sr., G, 18.4 ppg
6-0, Sr., F, 13.1 ppg
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.
• 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.
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@example.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.