Saturday, February 15, 2014

Teams prepare for next batch of playoff games

Wash High's Dupree Jenkins
The Ringgold girls got their first playoff victory in eight years and the Chartiers-Houston boys earned the first playoff win in the program's history. This weekend’s preliminary round games made history and cleared the muddy waters that are the WPIAL playoffs.

Class AAA
12 South Fayette vs. 4 Elizabeth Forward (Tues., Feb. 18 at Canon-McMillan, 8 p.m.)
South Fayette outshot and out defended Greensburg Salem in their 54-42 win on Friday for the No. 12 seed in Class AAA. Jack Relihan and Nick McKee gave the Golden Lions headache after headache with clutch shots. One year after reaching the WPIAL quarterfinals, the Lions rely on strong post defense from senior Justin Watson and junior Brett Brumbaugh. Their deep lineup is difficult to matchup with.
South Fayette (13-9) is now preparing for Elizabeth Forward (19-3), which has averaged 65 points per game this season.

The Warriors have 6-10 junior center George Prota, who is averaging 15 points per game, and Matt Bernadowski running the point. With size across their lineup, EF is the type of team that can physically match South Fayette.

Class AA
9 Wash High vs. 8 Summit Academy (Weds., Feb. 19 at site and time to be determined)
The Prexies (17-7) have been a model of consistency this season. With wins over Elizabeth Forward, Peters Township, Chartiers-Houston and South Fayette, Wash High has succeeded behind the play of a versatile lineup. Sophomore Nate Swart is too big for guards to defend; bring a combination of  strong outside shooting and post play, The most improved player I have seen from the start of the season to today is junior DeQuay Isbell.

He scored 12 points in the Prexies’ win over Burrell on Saturday.

Summit made headlines last week when they defeated Class A powerhouse Vincentian,  108-99. Dasonte White, one of the WPIAL’s leading scorers, dropped 41 points in the victory.

No. 14 Chartiers-Houston vs. No. 3 Aliquippa (Weds., Feb. 19 at site and time to be determined)
Chartiers-Houston made history with the program’s first WPIAL playoff win on Saturday. Playing without leading scorer Kodie Hanley, the Bucs overcame a solid defensive game from Charleroi.
Ben Shade was solid in the post for the Bucs, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against Charleroi’s John Arnold, a 6-7 center.

Hanley, who is recovering from a lung contusion, could very well be ready for Aliquippa (16-5). The Quips are led by sophomore Jassir Jordan’s 16.7 points per game and like the school’s football team, is loaded with athleticism.

Class A              
No. 14 Wilkinsburg vs. No. 3 Monessen (Fri., Feb. 21 at site and time to be determined)
Monessen (18-5) has rolled through Class A with a perfect record. The Greyhounds have wins over Sto-Rox, Uniontown, Brownsville and oh yes, Wilkinsburg (13-7). They defeated the Tigers, 73-51, on Dec. 21. Seniors Javon Brown and Clintell Gillaspie, who combined for 29 points in the win, led Monessen during the home game. The two make up one of the best backcourts in the WPIAL and will be a major factor for the Greyhounds moving forward.

Wilkinsburg defeated Union, 42-62, Friday at Butler.

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