WPIAL releases brackets for 2024 men’s and women’s basketball playoffs | Top Vip News


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Monday February 12, 2024 | 14:22


When the WPIAL basketball committee met Monday morning to rank the playoff brackets, there was little debate about the top seeds.

Most were obvious choices.

In some groups, it was difficult to distinguish two, three and four. But perhaps the most difficult part of putting together this year’s brackets were the middle seeds, said committee chairman Brian Geyer, Peters Township athletic director.

“A lot of times, the first two schools or the first four are pretty established,” Geyer said. “Our ultimate goal is to take the top four teams to the semifinals. But then we asked, ‘Who are the next four? Who should be in the rooms?

“We spent a lot of time planting one through four, but five through 12 was another difficult task in some cases.”

Having so many teams with similar records and resumes meant that several decisions were up for debate, but that balance could also indicate that these playoffs could be a little more unpredictable.

“I think it’s the best (balance) in years, which should make for a good tournament,” said WPIAL chief operating officer Vince Sortino, whose job responsibilities include overseeing the postseason.

First-round games are scheduled Friday through Tuesday based on seeding, with an outlier in the Class A boys on Thursday. Class 6A teams begin the playoffs with quarterfinal games on Feb. 22 or 23. The playoffs conclude with 12 championship games Feb. 29-March 2 at the Petersen Events Center.

Six reigning WPIAL basketball champions will begin their title defense as favorites to win again.

The Imani Christian (Class A), Aliquippa (2A), Deer Lakes (3A) and Lincoln Park (4A) boys basketball teams and the Union (A) and Avonworth (3A) girls teams were among the top finishers in the tournament . The WPIAL playoff brackets were released Monday.

Also taking first place were the boys from Mt. Lebanon (6A) and Moon (5A), along with the girls from Greensburg Central Catholic (2A), Blackhawk (4A), Oakland Catholic (5A) and Norwin (6A).

The WPIAL had only one undefeated team: the Oakland Catholic girls, who finished 22-0.

Only 20 teams finished the season with an undefeated section record, meaning that half of the section champions suffered at least one loss. Eight sections finished with co-champions.

“Usually there was a clear choice on the top four teams, but as you got to the six, seven and eight, anyone could beat anyone,” Sortino said. “Several classifications this year were like this. After your two best teams, you say anyone could win because they beat each other throughout the year.”

The group of boys from Class 3A was a good example.

In Section 1, Mohawk (11-1) edged Neshannock (10-2) for the title, while Deer Lakes (11-1) won the Section 3 title over Shady Side Academy (10-2). Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Seton LaSalle shared the Section 2 title with matching 11-1 records, while Yough and Washington tied for the Section 4 lead at 11-1.

The committee seeded the co-champions fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, behind defending champion Deer Lakes (first), Mohawk (second), Shady Side Academy (third) and Neshannock (fourth).

The perceived strength of the section was key in determining the order, Geyer said.

The group of Class 5A boys was also difficult. The committee deemed Moon the consensus No. 1 favorite and then debated Franklin Regional with two, Shaler with three and Thomas Jefferson with four. Section strength again largely shaped the order, as did a mid-January non-section win that Franklin Regional earned over Shaler.

But the work didn’t stop there.

“From five to 10,” Geyer said, “there were a lot of conversations to decide who the best teams were.”

The groups of boys from Class 5A and 3A were not the only difficult ones. Geyer said the Class 4A boys’ group was difficult “after the top four” and that the committee “put a lot of time” into the Class A boys. On the girls’ side, the most difficult groups were Class A and 3A , which also featured two sets of section co-champions.

WPIAL Playoff Schedule

Children

Class 6A

Quarter finals

February 23 schedule

Schedules to be confirmed

Pine-Richland (7-14) at Mt. Lebanon (18-3)

North Allegheny (10-11) at Baldwin (16-5)

Canon-McMillan (9-12) vs. Central Catholic (13-8) in TBA

Butler (15-5) at Upper St. Clair (16-5)

Class 5A

Preliminary round

Friday schedule

Woodland Hills (8-13) at Trinity (9-12), 7 p.m.

First round

February 19 schedule

Woodland Hills/Trinity at Moon (18-3), 7 p.m.

North Hills (11-9) at Fox Chapel (12-10), 8 p.m.

Penn-Trafford (11-11) at Thomas Jefferson (18-3), 8 p.m.

Kiski Area (14-7) at Peters Township (16-5), 7 p.m.

Mars (10-12) at Franklin Regional (19-2), 7 p.m.

Penn Hills (13-7) at Gateway (15-6), 7 p.m.

Chartiers Valley (11-11) at Shaler (20-2), 7 p.m.

Bethel Park (11-10) at South Fayette (13-8), 7 p.m.

Class 4A

First round

Friday schedule

Freeport (6-14) at Lincoln Park (19-3), 7 p.m.

Beaver (12-9) at Knoch (14-7), 7 p.m.

Quaker Valley (10-11) at Uniontown (19-3), 7 p.m.

Elizabeth Forward (14-7) at North Catholic (13-7), 7 p.m.

Central Valley (13-8) at Hampton (19-3), 7 p.m.

Belle Vernon (12-7) at South Allegheny (16-6), 7 p.m.

Southmoreland (16-6) at Montour (18-3), 7 p.m.

Highlands (14-7) at Avonworth (15-7), 7 p.m.

Class 3A

First round

February 19 schedule

Sto-Rox (10-12) at Deer Lakes (17-4), 7 p.m.

Ellwood City (15-7) at Washington (15-7), 7 p.m.

Mt. Pleasant (8-13) at Neshannock (17-3), 7 p.m.

Derry (13-6) vs. OLSH (17-4) at Fox Chapel, 6 p.m.

McGuffey (14-8) at Mohawk (15-7), 7 p.m.

South Park (13-8) at Yough (18-4), 7 p.m.

Beaver Falls (7-13) at Shady Side Academy (14-7), 7 p.m.

Burrell (13-6) vs. Seton LaSalle (16-5) at Thomas Jefferson, 6 p.m.

Class 2A

First round

February 20 schedule

Nazareth High School (6-12) at Aliquippa (17-5), 7 p.m.

Chartiers-Houston (16-6) at Serra Catholic (15-7), 7 p.m.

Winchester Thurston (11-8) vs. Fort Cherry (16-5) at Avella, 7 p.m.

Burgettstown (16-6) at Bishop Canevin (12-9), 7 p.m.

Frazier (11-11) at Greensburg Central Catholic (20-2), 7 p.m.

Eden Christian (12-9) at Shenango (12-9), 7 p.m.

Clairton (10-12) at Northgate (16-4), 7 p.m.

Sewickley Academy (12-9) at Jeannette (14-7), 7 p.m.

A class

First round

Thursday schedule

Hillel Academy (7-9) at Union (12-10), 7 p.m.

Friday schedule

Imani Christian (11-10) goodbye

Avella (9-13) at West Greene (14-8), 7 p.m.

Summit Academy (4-12) at Monessen (17-4), 7 p.m.

Academia del Barrio (16-5) goodbye

California (7-15) vs. Aquinas Academy (14-7) in Peters Township, 8 p.m.

St. Joseph (3-18) at Rochester (15-5), 7 p.m.

Jefferson-Morgan (13-9) at Carlynton (6-14), 7 p.m.

Girls

Class 6A

Quarter finals

February 22 schedule

Schedules to be confirmed

Seneca Valley (12-10) at Norwin (18-3)

Chartiers Valley (14-6) at Mount Lebanon (12-10)

Pine-Richland (7-13) at Peters Township (20-1)

Upper St. Clair (12-10) at North Allegheny (19-2)

Class 5A

Preliminary round

Friday schedule

Penn Hills (10-11) at Thomas Jefferson (9-12), 7 p.m.

First round

February 20 schedule

Penn Hills/Thomas Jefferson winner at Oakland Catholic (22-0), 7 p.m.

Plum (13-8) at North Hills (13-8), 7 p.m.

Penn-Trafford (14-8) at Lincoln Park (19-2), 7 p.m.

Latrobe (11-11) at Armstrong (17-4), 7 p.m.

Hampton (12-10) at McKeesport (18-3), 7 p.m.

Luna (14-8) at Indiana (17-5), 7 p.m.

Woodland Hills (9-10) at Trinity (17-5), 7 p.m.

Mars (12-10) at South Fayette (14-8), 7 p.m.

Class 4A

First round

February 20 schedule

Blackhawk (20-2) bye

Hopewell (10-11) at Greensburg Salem (15-7), 7 p.m.

Highlands (16-6) goodbye

Quaker Valley (5-15) at Laurel Highlands (18-2), 7 p.m.

North Catholic (14-7) goodbye

West Mifflin (10-8) at Central Valley (11-10), 7 p.m.

Elizabeth Forward (19-2) goodbye

Belle Vernon (10-12) at Knoch (12-9), 7 p.m.

Class 3A

First round

saturday schedule

Apollo-Ridge (8-13) at Avonworth (19-1), 2 p.m.

Burrell (16-4) vs. Keystone Oaks (15-6) at South Park, noon

Brownsville (12-9) at Neshannock (15-7), noon

Mt. Pleasant (14-7) at South Park (15-6), 2 p.m.

Mohawk (13-9) at Shady Side Academy (19-2), noon

Ellwood City (15-7) vs. OLSH (15-7) at Avonworth, noon

McGuffey (14-7) at Beaver Falls (14-6), noon

Seton LaSalle (12-8) at Waynesburg (19-2), noon

Class 2A

First round

Friday schedule

Northgate (6-14) at Greensburg Central Catholic (16-5), 7 p.m.

Rochester (15-7) at Burgettstown (14-9), 7 p.m.

Beth-Center (11-10) vs. Fort Cherry (17-4) in Peters Township, 6 p.m.

South Side (12-9) at Chartiers-Houston (16-5), 7 p.m.

California (10-11) at Aliquippa (19-2), 7:00 p.m.

Clairton (16-4) at Freedom (12-10), 7 p.m.

Brentwood (10-12) at Serra Catholic (18-4), 7 p.m.

Winchester Thurston (10-12) at Washington (14-8), 7 p.m.

A class

First round

February 19 schedule

Union (16-5) goodbye

Jeannette (8-9) at West Greene (9-13), 7 p.m.

Riverview (15-6) bye

Leechburg (8-10) at Monessen (16-5), 7:00 p.m.

Aquinas Academy (15-6) goodbye

Eden Christian (8-13) vs. Geibel (15-6) at Yough, 6 p.m.

San José (19-2) goodbye

Mapletown (6-14) at Bishop Canevin (6-13), 7 p.m.

WPIAL Basketball Playoff Brackets

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 contacted at charlan@triblive.com.

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