WPIAL Class A boys basketball finals preview: Vincentian Academy vs. Nazareth Prep

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | 9:39 PM


Class A boys

Vincentian Academy (16-7) vs. Nazareth Prep (18-3)

7 p.m. Thursday, Petersen Events Center

Starting lineups

No. 1 Vincentian Academy (16-7)

Coach: Tim Tyree

No. Player, Pos., Ht., Yr.

1 Nate Cullo, G, 5-8, Jr.

5 Alex Griggs, G, 6-0, So.

22 Matt McDonough, G, 5-10, Fr.

24 Angelo Boom Reeves, F, 6-6, So.

35 Ethan Embleton, F, 6-6, Jr.

No. 3 Nazareth Prep (18-3)

Coach: Nehemiah Brazil

No. Player, Pos., Ht., Yr.

2 Will Taylor, F, 6-1, Jr.

3 Tre Harvey, F, 6-3, Sr.

10 Gene Goodwine, G, 6-0, Sr.

13 Hasaan Isaeli, G, 6-0, Sr.

20 Jabriel Johnson, C, 6-6, Jr.

Title game history: Vincentian Academy is the defending champion, having knocked off Union, 54-51, in the 2018 title game. The Royals are trying to win their fourth WPIAL boys basketball championship, having also won in 2011 and 2013. This is the first district title game for Nazareth Prep.

Stat leaders: VA: Angelo Reeves 17; NP: Will Taylor 18.5

Notable: Vincentian Academy swept the two Section 1-A games in the regular season from Nazareth Prep, winning 72-67 at home in December and 69-65 on the road in January. The Royals lost their first three WPIAL boys basketball championship games, falling to Clairton in 1998, Monessen in 2001 and Sewickley Academy in 2004. Since then, Vincentian is a perfect 3-0 in district finals. This is not only the first title game for Nazareth Prep, this is the first year under that name for the school. The Saints were known as Holy Family Academy in the two previous years as a member of the WPIAL and finished 2-18 in 2017 and 13-9 in 2018. HFA lost to Propel Andrew Street, 57-41, in a Class A first-round playoff game last year. The Saints have won nine straight since losing to the Royals on Jan. 22.

Predicted winner: Nazareth Prep

*Watch all 12 WPIAL boys and girls basketball championships via live and archived video stream Thursday, Friday and Saturday at TribHSSN.triblive.com.

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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