WPIAL Class 6A boys basketball breakdown
By: Bill Hartlep
Saturday, December 1, 2018 | 7:12 PM
Preseason Player of the Year
Ethan Morton, Butler
6-5, Jr., point guard
24.6 ppg last season
Players to watch
Bryce Butler, Latrobe
6-5, Sr., G, 20.9 ppg
Reed Fenton, Latrobe
6-4, Sr., G, 22.0 ppg
Ryan Meis, Bethel Park
6-0, Jr., G, 15.0 ppg
Dan Petcash, Pine-Richland
6-4, Sr., G, 17.6 ppg
Jayden Walker, Norwin
6-4, So., F, 12.0 ppg
Preseason Top 5
1. Pine-Richland (23-7 last season)
The Rams were WPIAL runners-up and reached the PIAA semifinals last season behind graduate Phil Jurkovec, a second-team all-state selection who averaged 16.1 ppg and was the second-leading scorer in Pine-Richland history with 1,656 career points. Petcash averaged 17.6 points and 6.3 rebounds. The Rams were state runners-up in 2017.
2. Latrobe (16-8)
The Wildcats finished fourth in Section 3 but reached the WPIAL quarterfinals last season behind Fenton (Lehigh) and Butler (West Liberty). They are the favorite in a new-look Section 3.
3. Butler (18-5)
Morton was a first-team all-state honoree last season after averaging 24.6 points as a sophomore. Butler lost to Latrobe in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.
4. Mt. Lebanon (20-5)
The Blue Devils finished third in the WPIAL last season but graduated leading scorer Antonio Garofoli (17.1 ppg). Hayden Mitchell and Jake Hoffman are among the returning players for the sharpshooting Blue Devils.
5. Canon-McMillan (21-3)
The Big Macs graduated just three players from a team that reached the WPIAL quarterfinals. They will miss all-section guard Jason Fowlkes (18.0 ppg) and guard Kenyon Lewis. Seniors Drew Engel, Louis Waller and Ethan Beachy are among returnees.
• Realignment created three six-team sections in Class 6A this season.
• Shaler, Penn Hills, Woodland Hills and Plum dropped to Class 5A. Penn Hills won the WPIAL title last season.
• Fox Chapel reached the WPIAL quarterfinals and PIAA playoffs but graduated 90 percent of its scoring.
• Central Catholic reached the WPIAL quarterfinals a year ago but returns just one starter, guard Maurice Shipman. Coach Chuck Crummie has a 648-335 record in his 38 years at Central Catholic.
Section 1: Butler, Central Catholic, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley
Section 2: Baldwin, Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township, Upper St. Clair
Section 3 : Connellsville, Fox Chapel, Hempfield, Latrobe, Norwin, Penn-Trafford
— Bill Hartlep
Bill Hartlep is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at email@example.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.