(Photo: Pine-Richland's Ben Balish, back, defeated Central Catholic's Zack Deluca, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Class AAA WPIAL/Southwest Region Tournament, Saturday at Norwin High School. Balish won the 220-pound title. Special to the Post-Gazette)
"Coaches of district championship teams admit their squad's first-round game in the PIAA playoffs is a disaster waiting to happen.
Players are still basking in the bright lights of winning a championship and usually do not know much about their first-round opponent. More than one team has been upset because of the "championship hangover."
"The first-round game is always the toughest," Hopewell High School girls coach Jeff Homziak said.
That's especially true for the Vikings this year but not because of any hangover.
Hopewell crushed South Park, 50-34, in the WPIAL Class AAA championship game this past Saturday at Duquesne's Palumbo Center. Junior standout Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 35 points and grabbed 13 rebound for the Vikings, who upped their record to 24-2."