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TribLIVE's Chris Harlan breaks down the PIAA basketball finals

by: Chris Harlan, TribLIVE Updated:

PITTSBURGH - Six WPIAL teams will be part of this weekend's PIAA basketball finals. Chris Harlan, a staff writer for Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE, breaks down all eight matchups.

Class AAAA

New Castle vs. La Salle College

8 p.m. Saturday, Giant Center

New Castle (30-0)

Coach: Ralph Blundo

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

3 Drew Allen G 6-0 Sr.

5 Jake McPhatter G/F 5-11 Sr.

22 Anthony Richards G 5-8 Sr.

23 Malik Hooker G/F 6-1 Sr.

32 Stew Allen C 6-3 Sr.

La Salle College (23-6)

Coach: Joe Dempsey

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

4 Najee Walls G 5-11 Jr.

5 Jalen Herdsman F 6-5 Sr.

24 Shawn Witherspoon G 6-0 Jr.

25 Dave Krmpotich F 6-7 Jr.

30 Chuck Champion G 6-0 So.

Title-game record: NC: 0-3, L: 0-0

Notable: La Salle reached the finals with a lineup of first-year starters. Krmpotich, who has Patriot League interest, averages 11.5 points. The third-place team from District 12, La Salle beat 2013 PIAA champion Lower Marion (71-48) and runner-up Chester (61-55). Not since 2004 was there a Class AAAA final without a District 1 team.

Predicted winner: New Castle



Class AAA

Neumann-Goretti vs. Susquehanna Twp.

8 p.m. Friday, Giant Center

Neumann-Goretti (26-4)

Coach: Carl Arrigale

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

2 Tony Toplyn F 6-6 Sr.

3 Troy Harper G 6-1 Sr.

5 Lamarr Kimble G 6-0 Jr.

12 Jamal Custis G 6-6 Sr.

20 Ja'Quan Newton G 6-3 Sr.

Susquehanna Township (23-7)

Coach: Vince Rogers

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

3 Nehemiah Mack G 6-0 So.

4 Gabe Mack G 5-10 Sr.

15 Joe Marshall F 6-4 Jr.

22 Quintin Ward F 6-6 Jr.

25 Roman Letterlough F 6-5 Jr.

Title-game record: NG: 3-0, ST: 2-1

Notable: Susquehanna, playing in a fourth straight PIAA tournament, is led by Division I prospect Bud Mack (19.3 ppg). Neumann-Goretti is in the PIAA playoffs for a sixth straight season and won three titles from 2010-12, beating Chartiers Valley and Montour twice. Newton (21.2 ppg), a Miami (Fla.) recruit is the Philly Catholic League's all-time leader with nearly 2,000 points.

Predicted winner: Neumann-Goretti



Class AA

Seton-La Salle vs. Constitution

2 p.m. Saturday, Giant Center

Seton-La Salle (29-1)

Coach: Mark Walsh

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

11 Malik White C 6-4 Sr.

12 Christian DelGreco G 5-9 Jr.

23 Dale Clancy G 5-9 Sr.

24 Levi Masua F 6-6 Sr.

32 Ryan Norkus F 6-3 Jr.

Constitution (27-5)

Coach: Robert Moore

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

4 Raheem Liggins F 6-5 Sr.

10 Akeem King G 5-11 Jr.

11 Floyd Preito G 6-0 Sr.

21 Ahmad Gilbert F 6-6 Jr.

22 Kimar Williams G 6-1 Jr.

Title-game record: S: 1-0, C: 1-0

Notable: Gilbert, a small forward with offers from Drexel, Hofstra and Rhode Island, led Constitution with 18 points and three 3-pointers in a semifinal win over Elmer L. Meyers, 55-44. A Philadelphia public school, Constitution won the Class A title in 2012 over Lincoln Park, 68-46. In its only other PIAA title game appearance, Seton-La Salle won Class AAA in 1988 over Milton, 77-72.

Predicted winner: Constitution


Class A


Lincoln Park vs. MCS Charter

2 p.m. Friday, Giant Center

Lincoln Park (29-1)

Coach: Mark Javens

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

0 Antonio Kellem G 6-1 Jr.

2 Ryan Skovranko F 6-7 Sr.

3 Nelly Cummings G 5-10 Fr.

5 Elijah Minnie F 6-9 Sr.

24 Maverick Rowan G 6-7 So.

MCS Charter (15-14)

Coach: Dan Jackson

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

2 Tyrese Hester G 5-11 Jr.

4 Nazeer Bostick F 6-5 So.

20 Samir Doughty G 6-4 Jr.

23 Louis Myers G 6-3 Sr.

34 Mike Watkins F 6-9 Jr.

Title-game record: LP: 0-2, M: 1-0

Notable: MCS Charter won 70-55 when these two teams met in the 2011 final. Doughty, who has Atlantic 10 offers, has averaged 17 points for Math, Civics and Sciences Charter. Watkins, a Penn State recruit, averages 11.0. MCS, the No. 1 seed from District 12, played a tough regular-season schedule. Rowan averages 27 points for Lincoln Park, which lost only to New Castle.

Predicted winner: Lincoln Park



Class AAAA

Cumberland Valley vs. Spring-Ford

6 p.m. Friday, Giant Center

Cumberland Valley (27-5)

Coach: Bill Wolf

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

5 Jen Falconer G 5-6 Jr.

20 Taylor Sneidman G 5-6 Jr.

22 Maddie Torresin F 6-1 Sr.

25 Kelly Jekot G 6-0 So.

35 Meghan Rhoades F 5-11 Jr.

Spring-Ford (27-6)

Coach: Mickey McDaniel

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

5 Shelby Mueller F 6-0 Jr.

12 Julia Roshelli G 5-6 Jr.

22 Sammy Stipa G 5-5 Sr.

23 Amy Roth G 5-4 So.

24 Maggie Locke F 6-0 Jr.

Title-game record: CV: 1-1, SF: 1-0

Notable: These teams will feel quite familiar with one another in a rematch of the 2013 PIAA title game won by Spring-Ford, 60-45. They played Feb. 6 in a nonleague game, with S-F winning 52-37. Stipa, a Lafayette recruit with more than 1,300 career points, averages 13.7 points, and Mueller averages 12.8 for Spring-Ford. Torresin leads CV at 15.5 ppg. Spring-Ford, which defeated North Allegheny in the semifinals 46-32, is ranked No. 1 in the state.

Predicted winner: Spring-Ford



Class AAA

Blackhawk vs. Archbishop Wood

6 p.m. Saturday, Giant Center

Blackhawk (27-2)

Coach: Steve Lodovico

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

1 Bridgette Shaffer G 5-9 Jr.

2 Chassidy Omogrosso G 5-5 Jr.

13 Danielle Levato F 6-0 Jr.

21 Halle Denman G 5-7 Sr.

23 Courtney Vannoy F 6-1 Jr.

Archbishop Wood (25-3)

Coach: John Gallagher

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

4 Rachel Day G 5-6 Sr.

5 Jess Kaminski G 5-8 Sr.

21 Bailey Greenberg F 5-11 So.

22 Laura Trisch F 5-9 Sr.

34 Aubree Brown F/C 6-0 Jr.

Title-game record: B: 2-0, AW: 3-0

Notable: Archbishop Wood from District 12 won its four state playoff games by at least 15 points each. The team made 12 3-pointers to beat District 2's Holy Redeemer, 74-56, in the semifinals. Brown had 19 points for Wood, which won three straight PIAA titles from 2010-12. Blackhawk won in 1999 and 2000. Omogrosso, a Duquesne recruit, averages 21.7 points. Denman is an IUP recruit and Vannoy will play at Loyola (Md.). Shaffer hit 64 3-pointers this season.

Predicted winner: Blackhawk



Class AA

Seton-La Salle vs. Neumann-Goretti

Noon Friday, Giant Center

Seton-La Salle (26-4)

Coach: Spencer Stefko

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

3 Shaunay Edmonds G 5-0 So.

5 Nicolete Newman G 5-6 Jr.

12 Cassidy Walsh G 5-7 Jr.

20 Naje Gibson F 6-0 Sr.

24 Yacine Diop G 5-10 Sr.

Neumann-Goretti (29-0)

Coach: Letty Santarelli

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

3 Sianni Martin G 5-7 Jr.

5 Ciani Cryor G 5-4 Jr.

23 Tanesha Sutton G 5-8 Sr.

21 A.J. Timbers F 5-11 Jr.

10 Emmanuela Awobajo F 6-0 Sr.

Title-game record: S: 2-0, NG: 0-0

Notable: Both teams have Division I point guards, with Sutton headed to Duquesne and Walsh committed to Pitt. Diop (12.5 ppg) and Gibson also are Pitt recruits. District 12's Neumann-Goretti's hasn't lost since the second round of last year's state playoffs. The team lost 51-49 in double overtime to Notre Dame-Green Pond. Seton-La Salle won its second state title in 2012. Its first was a Class AAAA title in 1984.

Predicted winner: Seton-La Salle



Class A

Vincentian vs. Old Forge

Noon Saturday, Giant Center

Vincentian (26-3)

Coach: Ron Moncrief

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

4 Torrieonna Cash G 5-7 So.

12 Ally Bartoszewicz G/F 5-11 Sr.

14 Kayla Key G 5-6 Sr.

23 Maia Joiner G 5-6 So.

50 Brenna Wise G/F 6-1 Jr.

Old Forge (24-3)

Coach: Tom Gatto

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr.

4 Teri Vieira G 5-2 Sr.

5 Rhyan Barnic G 5-5 Sr.

21 Lauren Carey F 5-7 Sr.

23 Natalie Bieryla C 5-7 Sr.

25 Taylor Nemetz F 5-7 Sr.

Title-game record: VA: 1-2, OF: 0-0

Notable: Vincentian Academy was PIAA runner-up last season, when it lost to Tri-Valley in the Class A final 59-42. Wise, who averaged 18.6 points this season, scored 38 in the Royals' semifinal victory over Bishop Guilfoyle, 60-45. She also had 10 rebounds. The Division I prospect averaged 21.9 points and 11.9 rebounds last year. District 2 champion Old Forge has no starter taller than 5-foot-7. Carey leads with 13.5 points and Barnic averages 10.9.

Predicted winner: Vincentian