By: Don Rebel
Friday, March 17, 2023 | 12:08 AM
Andrew Palla | Tribune-Evaluation
New Castle’s Jonathan Anderson (12) rejects a shot from Erie’s Jay Smith (three) in the course of a playoff game against Erie on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at New Castle Higher College.
In the 4 years from 2012-15, Cathedral Prep (23-three) owned the WPIAL and City League in the PIAA boys basketball playoffs.
In these 4 seasons, the Ramblers have been a combined eight-1 against Districts 7 and eight with the only loss coming in the 2013 Class 4A quarterfinals to New Castle, 80-70.
Given that then, Cathedral Prep has come back to earth against D-7 and is only 1-two against WPIAL teams in the state playoffs.
The Ramblers beat New Castle in the 2021 champions-only bracket, 52-50 in overtime.
Their season ended in 2017 with a 72-61 loss to Mars and in 2018 with a 45-42 loss to Trinity.
On Friday, the District ten champions square off with the WPIAL champions when they face Penn Hills (23-three) at Sharon at 7 p.m.
This is the fourth time the Ramblers and Indians have squared off in the PIAA basketball postseason.
Penn Hills has won twice, beating Cathedral Prep in the 1987 initial round, 65-64, and knocking out the Ramblers in the 1999 opening round, 52-48.
The lone ECP victory was in a 1994 semifinals game as they plowed the Indians, 62-43.
The other 5A quarterfinals game on the “western” side of the bracket has WPIAL runner-up Peters Township (24-four) facing District three champion Exeter Township at Bald Eagle at six p.m.
The Road to Hershey has turn out to be the road hardly traveled for WPIAL 4A boys champion Lincoln Park.
The Leopards have been dwelling in the initial round against WPIAL No. 7 seed South Allegheny and won, 80-63.
In the second round, Lincoln Park met WPIAL No. four seed Highlands at North Allegheny and prevailed, 84-72.
Now Lincoln Park (27-1) heads east … to Norwin to battle the WPIAL No. three seed Laurel Highlands (24-three) at 7:30 p.m..
These powers met back more than the holidays in the Central Valley Holliday Tournament with the Leopards edging the Mustangs, 70-66.
In the other quarterfinal on the western half of the bracket, Uniontown (22-five) will challenge North Catholic.
Carlynton (19-7) has had a amazing boys basketball season, winning 19 games, reaching the WPIAL final 4 and now participating in the PIAA sweet 16.
On the other hand, the 1 puzzle the Cougars have not been capable to resolve is WPIAL champion Union (24-three).
Carlynton has lost seven games, 3 of them to Union.
The Scotties swept the two common season Section 1-A games, winning two dandies by scores of 62-60 and 57-54.
When the teams battled in the district semifinals, it wasn’t as close as Union won large, 80-58.
Meeting No. four comes Friday at North Allegheny at 7:30 p.m.
It will be the nightcap of a Class A state doubleheader at North Allegheny.
In the initial game, it is WPIAL champ vs District ten winner when Imani Christian (20-six) requires on Farrell (22-four) at six p.m.
Hunting to even the score
Immediately after Upper St. Clair earned the major seed in the 6A playoffs by winning Section two outright and placing collectively an impressive resume, the debate started about who need to be No. two.
North Allegheny (22-five) and Norwin (23-four) had tied for the section crown and split their two common season meetings with every winning at dwelling.
Norwin won by 21 points in early January whilst North Allegheny prevailed by seven points in late January. Employing the “what have you carried out for me lately” tiebreaker, the Tigers have been No. two and the Knights No. three.
The rubber game came in the WPIAL semifinals when North Allegheny came back to edge Norwin at Fox Chapel in a defensive struggle, 38-36. NA would later beat Upper St. Clair to win the district title.
Now Norwin appears to even the score as they two collide once more at Fox Chapel on Friday at 7:30 p.m. with a berth in the PIAA semifinals up for grabs.
District 7 runner-up Upper St. Clair (23-three) remains alive immediately after two state playoffs win and will mess with perfection on Friday. The Panthers battle District three champion Cedar Cliff (28-) at Altoona at six p.m.
4 WPIAL 3A girls basketball teams survived the initial round of the PIAA playoffs and sophisticated to the second round Tuesday.
Two of them have been winners and two saw their seasons finish.
On the other hand, the intriguing twist was the two WPIAL finalists, Avonworth and Laurel, came up brief.
In truth, the two teams Avonworth beat in the quarterfinals and semifinals are now advancing to the third round of the state playoffs.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (21-7) will face District six runner-up Westmont-Hilltop (27-two) at six p.m. in the initial game of a 3A girls doubleheader at Armstrong.
The second game pits Shady Side Academy (25-three) against District six champion River Valley (27-two) at 7:30 p.m.
Immediately after two rounds of the PIAA postseason, the WPIAL only has two Class 2A girls basketball teams alive and that will be sliced to 1 immediately after they go head to head.
Greensburg Central Catholic (23-five) will challenge WPIAL champion Shenango (24-four) at Fox Chapel at six p.m.
The winner will face the Kennedy Catholic/Bishop McCort winner in the semifinals Monday.
3A state splashing
Friday marks the initial of two days for Class 3A swimmers and divers in the 2023 PIAA championships at Bucknell University.
Friday will consist of six preliminary races beginning at eight:ten a.m. for the 3A girls and ten:45 a.m. for the 3A boys.
The consolations and finals in these events will take spot at three:25 p.m. for the girls and six:05 p.m. for the boys.
The girls 3A diving championships are scheduled for 12:35 p.m.
Tags: Avonworth, Carlynton, Greensburg C.C., Laurel Highlands, Lincoln Park, North Allegheny, North Catholic, Norwin, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Penn Hills, Shady Side Academy, Shenango, Union, Uniontown, Upper St. Clair