WPIAL Class A girls basketball breakdown

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Thursday, December 6, 2018 | 4:45 PM


WPIAL Class A

Preseason Player of the Year

Taylor Kirschner

Quigley Catholic

5-8, Sr., guard

20.8 ppg last season

Players to watch

Hailey Drutarosky

Quigley Catholic

5-5, So., G, 16.1 ppg

Anna Eisaman

Greensburg C.C.

5-8, Sr., G, 14.8 ppg

Madison Lampe

West Greene

5-4, Sr., G, 13.7 ppg

McKenna Lampe

West Greene

5-4, Sr., G, 13.9 ppg

Alexis Robison

Rochester

5-6, So., G, 14.0 ppg

Preseason Top 5

1. West Greene (22-4 last season)

The Lampe sisters return for their final season on the hardwood. McKenna and Madison led the Pioneers to the WPIAL championship game a year, where they lost to Winchester Thurston. They have combined for 2,349 career points. Kaitlyn Rizor (12 ppg) also returns to the backcourt. The Pioneers are coming off the best season in program history.

2. Vincentian Academy (24-2)

WPIAL champions in Class 2A a year ago, Vincentian Academy again should contend for a title but returns just one starter, junior guard/forward Alana Winkler. Senior forward Hannah Katz also should be an impact player for the Royals, who reached the PIAA second round last season before snapping a 23-game winning streak.

3. Quigley Catholic (15-10)

The Spartans made their third trip to the WPIAL semifinals in the past four seasons last year. Kirschner, Drutarosky and guard Clara Stephenson (12 ppg) will be a tough trio to match in Section 1-A.

4. Sewickley Academy (14-7)

Seniors Theresa Wilson and Myra Samuel return to the starting lineup for Sewickley Academy, as does sophomore Kamryn Lightcap, who was a part-time starter. Sophomores J.J. Jardini and Bre Warner also were contributors for the Panthers, who were the Section 1 runners-up last season and reached the PIAA playoffs. Kendall Lightcap also returns after missing last season with a knee injury.

5. Greensburg Central Catholic (12-12)

Greensburg Central Catholic, under the direction of first-year coach Samuel Salih, will be led by Eisaman and senior point guard Bella Skatell (10.5 ppg). The Centurions dropped down from Class 2A, where they reached the PIAA playoffs.

Notable

• There are 20 teams in three sections in WPIAL Class A girls basketball, up from 18 last season.

• California, Greensburg Central Catholic, Leechburg and Vincentian Academy dropped down from Class 2A.

• Winchester Thurston moved up to Class 2A.

• Imani Christian will not play a WPIAL schedule.

• Former Jeannette coach Janine Vertacnik has taken over the Monessen program and will guide a young lineup

• Rochester returns three starters from a team that reached the WPIAL quarterfinals, including all-section guard Robison. Guards Mia Anthony and Victoria Schinke and forward Jasmine Mack (10 ppg) also return. Freshman point guard Corynne Hauser also is a promising prospect.

Alignment

Section 1: Cornell, Eden Christian, Quigley Catholic, Rochester, Sewickley Academy, Vincentian Academy, Union

Section 2: Avella, California, Geibel, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, Monessen, West Greene

Section 3: Aquinas Academy, Clairton, Greensburg C.C., Leechburg, Propel Andrew Street, St. Joseph

— 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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