After two-plus months of regular-season play, the WPIAL basketball playoffs begin Friday. A total of 20 boys’ teams from the South area have advanced to the postseason. The playoffs conclude with championship games March 1-2 at Duquesne University’s Palumbo Center.
Here’s a look at where the Road to Palumbo will start for all of the participating South area teams.
This is the only class – boys or girls – featuring 16 teams and no preliminary-round games, thus all of the contests are first-round games. Section 4 champion Upper St. Clair (19-3), which has won 16 games in a row, is the No. 4 seed and plays No. 13 Norwin (13-9) Saturday at Gateway. Section 4 runner-up Bethel Park (17-5), the No. 6 seed, plays No. 11 McKeesport (14-7) Saturday at Baldwin. No. 14 Mt. Lebanon (10-12) faces No. 3 Hampton (18-4) Saturday at North Allegheny. Canon-McMillan (11-11) is the No. 15 seed and will play No. 2 North Allegheny (19-3) Wednesday.
Section 5 champion Chartiers Valley is the No. 1 seed. The Colts (19-3) will play Tuesday against the Mount Pleasant (13-9)/Knoch (11-11) winner. Thomas Jefferson (16-6), the Section 4 champion, is the No. 6 seed and will take on No. 11 Laurel Highlands (15-6) Tuesday. No. 8 West Mifflin (16-5) and No. 9 South Fayette (13-9) will square off Tuesday. Elizabeth Forward (12-10) faces Indiana (16-6) in a preliminary-round game Friday at Yough. That same night, South Park (12-9) will battle Steel Valley (12-8) in a preliminary-round game at Peters Township.
Seton-LaSalle won the Section 4 championship and is the No. 3 seed. The Rebels (20-2) will play Wednesday against the Serra Catholic/Mohawk winner. Serra Catholic (13-8) takes on Mohawk (9-13) in a preliminary-round game Saturday at Chartiers Valley. Charleroi (14-6) will square off against Bishop Canevin (10-12) in a preliminary-round game Saturday at Peters Township. Two other South teams – Washington and Brentwood – also play preliminary-round games Saturday. Washington (16-6) plays Jefferson-Morgan (11-11) at Chartiers Valley, while Brentwood (12-9) battles Section 5 champ California (18-3) at Peters Township.
Section 3 champion Clairton is hoping to win a WPIAL title just like the school’s football team did in November. Clairton (13-6) is the No. 5 seed and plays St. Joseph (9-13) Friday at Chartiers Valley. Monessen (9-13), the No. 7 seed, plays No. 10 Sewickley Academy (8-12) Friday at Keystone Oaks.