WPIAL Girls Basketball Playoff Preview

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 | 5:54 PM


The hopes and dreams of 81 girls basketball teams are alive and well…for now. Every playoff team is enjoying golden dreams at this point, until reality starts to set in for most beginning this weekend. Here are some playoff factoids to help you prepare for the upcoming girls Battle to the Bluff.

CLASS AAAA

Top seeds: Mount Lebanon is first, North Allegheny second, Bethel Park third and Hempfield fourth.

Defending champion: Mount Lebanon.

Best first-round game: Fox Chapel vs. Butler, Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.

Fab 5 to watch: Monica Burns, Hempfield; Christine Ehland, Mount Lebanon; Megan Marecic, Bethel Park; Erin Mathias, Fox Chapel; Krista Pietropola, Plum.

Hidden statistics: Fox Chapel’s Erin Mathias averages a “double double” for Fox Chapel. She is a 6-foot-3 junior who already has verbally committed to Duke. … Mt. Lebanon has won three of the past four championships.

Do you remember? Thirty years ago, Mount Alvernia went through the entire season with an undefeated record. The Lions were the only WPIAL girls team to win a state title with a perfect record until Mt. Lebanon in 2009. Then Seton-LaSalle went undefeated last year.

CLASS AAA

Top seeds: Blackhawk is first, Hopewell second, South Park third and Central Valley fourth.

Defending champion: Hopewell.

Best first-round game: Greensburg Salem vs. Belle Vernon, Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.

Fab 5 to watch: Chassidy Omogrosso, Blackhawk; Shelby Lindsay, South Park; Sara Pilarski, Hampton; Madi Rowan, Central Valley; Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Hopewell.  

Hidden statistics: Hopewell’s Walker-Kimbrough surpassed 2,000 career points earlier this season. She is a University of Maryland recruit. … Omogrosso is only a sophomore, but already has 1,000 points and already has committed to Pitt.

Do you remember? Thirteen years ago, West Mifflin’s Tanisha Wright set a WPIAL championship game record when she scored 51 points in a triple overtime loss to Blackhawk in the AAA title game. At the time, Wright’s point total broke the final-game record of 40, set by McKeesport’s Swin Cash against North Allegheny in 1998.

CLASS AA

Top seeds: Seton-LaSalle is first, Bishop Canevin second, Burrell third and Deer Lakes fourth.

Defending champion: Seton-LaSalle.

Best first-round game: Mohawk vs. Beaver-Chartiers-Houston winner, Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.

Fab 5 to watch: Naje Gibson, Seton-LaSalle; Angela Heintz, Seton-Lasalle; Ciara Gregory, Jeannette; Sammie Weiss, McGuffey; Erin Waskowiak, Bishop Canevin;

Hidden statistics: Jeannette’s Gregory averaged 30.3 points and won the WPIAL scoring title for the second year in a row. … Seton-LaSalle could become the first team to win three WPIAL titles in a row since Oakland Catholic won four in a row from 1999-2002.

Do you remember? In 1997, East Allegheny’s Brooke Stewart set a WPIAL record for most points in a playoff game when she scored 56 in a contest against Geibel.

CLASS A

Top seeds: Vincentian is first, Serra second, North Catholic third and Quigley fourth.

Defending champion: Vincentian Academy.

Best first-round game: Rochester vs. Monessen, Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.

Fab 5 to watch: Courtnee McMasters, California; Morgan Berardi, Carmichaels; Mallory Heinle, St. Joseph; Brenna Wise, Vincentian; Lauren Wolosik, North Catholic;

Hidden statistics: In the past few weeks, North Catholic’s Wolosik has scored 44 points twice. The old school record was 43, held by North Catholic coach Molly Rottmann. … McMasters scored 56 points in a game this season.

Do you remember? Twelve years ago, Clairton’s Kamela Gissendanner set a WPIAL Class A championship game scoring record with 44 points against Mount Alvernia. Gissendanner is in her first season as the head coach of the La Roche College womens basketball team.

More Basketball

Boys basketball preview: Jeannette has deep, experienced roster, hopes to avoid slow start
Penn Hills boys maintain high expectations under new head coach
Girls basketball preview: Penn Hills has experienced roster, playoff aspirations
Sewickley Academy boys ready to rebound from 1st losing season since 2012-13
Boys basketball preview: Quaker Valley looking to run with experienced roster

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