WPIAL will tweak girls basketball sections to move Greensburg Central Catholic to 3A

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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | 2:28 PM


The WPIAL must amend its girls basketball section alignment for next season to move Greensburg Central Catholic from Class 2A to 3A.

The reigning WPIAL champs were promoted to the higher classification by the PIAA competitive-balance rule. However, that move wasn’t known by the WPIAL administration and basketball committee while creating the new sections that were revealed Tuesday, said WPIAL chief operating officer Vince Sortino.

The PIAA released its list of Competition Formula promotions on Thursday, two days after the WPIAL board had approved new sections for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons.

In all, the PIAA rule targeted five WPIAL basketball teams. Joining the GCC girls were the boys teams of Lincoln Park (4A to 5A), Deer Lakes (3A to 4A), Aliquippa (2A to 3A) and Imani Christian (A to 2A). The WPIAL already was aware of those promotions, so the boys section alignment won’t need to change.

In actuality, the PIAA rule had no impact on Deer Lakes or Aliquippa since both already were moving to a higher classification based on enrollment numbers alone. Imani Christian voluntarily moved to 6A.

Greensburg Central Catholic athletic director Dan Mahoney said his school was notified by the PIAA in March or April that its girls team would be moved up. The PIAA competitive-balance rule impacts basketball teams that had success in the state playoffs, as measured by a success-points formula, and added one or more transfers in a two-year span.

The Centurions reached the state semifinals two years in a row.

“When the alignment came out the other day, I said, ‘Huh, that’s funny. They must’ve kept us where we were,’” said Mahoney, who spoke with the WPIAL office Thursday. “I apologized, but he said it wasn’t our fault.”

The WPIAL has Greensburg Central Catholic in a Class 2A section with Apollo-Ridge, Ellis School, Jeannette, Riverview and Winchester Thurston. The removal of GCC would leave the WPIAL with 24 teams in 2A, divided into sections of five, six, six and seven teams. The WPIAL could decide to balance out those sections, reduce them to three eight-team sections or leave them as is.

Class 3A will have 23 teams after the addition of Greensburg Central Catholic.

There are three sections in 3A. The only section with a Westmoreland County school is Section 2, which includes Ligonier Valley, Avonworth, Deer Lakes, East Allegheny, Shady Side Academy, South Allegheny and Steel Valley.

Shady Side Academy is the reigning WPIAL 3A champion and Avonworth won in 2022.

Section 3 has Brownsville, Charleroi, Keystone Oaks, McGuffey, Seton LaSalle, Washington and Waynesburg. Section 1, which already includes eight teams, has Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Mohawk, New Brighton, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Quaker Valley, Riverside and Sto-Rox.

Girls basketball

Class 6A

Section 1: Butler, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Woodland Hills

Section 2: Canon-McMillan, Connellsville, Hempfield, Mt. Lebanon, Norwin, Upper St. Clair

Class 5A

Section 1: Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Penn Hills, Plum, Shaler

Section 2: Latrobe, Greensburg Salem, Indiana, Kiski Area, McKeesport, Penn-Trafford, West Mifflin

Section 3: Chartiers Valley, Mars, Montour, Moon, New Castle, South Fayette, West Allegheny

Section 4: Albert Gallatin, Baldwin, Bethel Park, Peters Township, Thomas Jefferson, Trinity, Uniontown

Class 4A

Section 1: Burrell, Derry, Freeport, North Catholic, Highlands, Knoch, Oakland Catholic, Valley

Section 2: Ambridge, Beaver, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Hampton, Hopewell, Lincoln Park

Section 3: Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Mt. Pleasant, Ringgold, South Park, Southmoreland, Yough

Class 3A

Section 1: Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Mohawk, New Brighton, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Quaker Valley, Riverside, Sto-Rox

Section 2: Avonworth, Deer Lakes, East Allegheny, Ligonier Valley, Shady Side Academy, South Allegheny, Steel Valley

Section 3: Brownsville, Charleroi, Keystone Oaks, McGuffey, Seton LaSalle, Washington, Waynesburg

Class 2A

Section 1: Aliquippa, Freedom, Laurel, Neshannock, Rochester, Shenango

Section 2: Brentwood, Burgettstown, Carlynton, Fort Cherry, Northgate, South Side

Section 3: Bentworth, Beth-Center, California, Carmichaels, Chartiers-Houston, Frazier, Jefferson-Morgan

Section 4: Apollo-Ridge, Ellis School, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Riverview, Winchester Thurston

Class A

Section 1: Aquinas Academy, Eden Christian, Leechburg, Sewickley Academy, Springdale, St. Joseph, Union, Western Beaver

Section 2: Avella, Bishop Canevin, Clairton, Geibel, Mapletown, Monessen, Serra Catholic, West Greene

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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