WPIAL Class 6A boys basketball breakdown

By: HSSN Staff
Saturday, December 1, 2018 | 7:12 PM


Class 6A

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.

Notable

• 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.

Alignment

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 bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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