• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

What to watch for in WPIAL sports on March 17, 2023: New Castle to meet PIAA nemesis


Mar 17, 2023

By: Don Rebel

Friday, March 17, 2023 | 12:08 AM

Andrew Palla | Tribune-Assessment

New Castle’s Jonathan Anderson (12) rejects a shot from Erie’s Jay Smith (3) in the course of a playoff game against Erie on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at New Castle Greater College.

In the four years from 2012-15, Cathedral Prep (23-3) owned the WPIAL and City League in the PIAA boys basketball playoffs.

In these four seasons, the Ramblers had 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.

Contemplating the truth 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 (23-3) 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 (24-4) facing District 3 champion Exeter Township at Bald Eagle at six p.m.

Dwelling cooking

The Road to Hershey has come to be the road hardly traveled for WPIAL 4A boys champion Lincoln Park.

The Leopards had been residence in the initial round against WPIAL No. 7 seed South Allegheny and won, 80-63.

In the second round, Lincoln Park met WPIAL No. 4 seed Highlands at North Allegheny and prevailed, 84-72.

Now Lincoln Park (27-1) heads east … to Norwin to battle the WPIAL No. 3 seed Laurel Highlands (24-3) at 7:30 p.m..

These powers met back much 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 (22-5) will challenge North Catholic.

four-game sweep?

Carlynton (19-7) has had a terrific boys basketball season, winning 19 games, reaching the WPIAL final four 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 (24-3).

Carlynton has lost seven games, three of them to Union.

The Scotties swept the two frequent 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 important, 80-58.

Meeting No. 4 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) calls for on Farrell (22-4) at six p.m.

Hunting to even the score

Suitable immediately after Upper St. Clair earned the leading rated seed in the 6A playoffs by winning Section two outright and putting with every other an impressive resume, the debate began about who ought to be No. two.

North Allegheny (22-5) and Norwin (23-4) had tied for the section crown and split their two frequent season meetings with each single winning at residence.

Norwin won by 21 points in early January while North Allegheny prevailed by seven points in late January. Producing use of the “what have you achieved for me lately” tiebreaker, the Tigers had been No. two and the Knights No. 3.

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 seems to even the score as they two collide after much 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 (23-3) remains alive following two state playoffs win and will mess with perfection on Friday. The Panthers battle District 3 champion Cedar Cliff (28-) at Altoona at six p.m.

Strange turn

four WPIAL 3A girls basketball teams survived the initial round of the PIAA playoffs and sophisticated to the second round Tuesday.

Two of them had been winners and two saw their seasons finish.

On the other hand, the thrilling twist was the two WPIAL finalists, Avonworth and Laurel, came up swift.

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 (25-3) against District six champion River Valley (27-two) at 7:30 p.m.

Only two

Suitable 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 following they go head to head.

Greensburg Central Catholic (23-5) will challenge WPIAL champion Shenango (24-4) 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 starting 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 place at 3:25 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