The game: PIAA Class 6A championship
The teams: Pine-Richland vs. Reading
Where and when: Giant Center, Hershey, Saturday, 8 p.m.
District finish: WPIAL champion
Coach: Jeff Ackermann
PIAA titles: 0
Last time in the final: First appearance
How they got here: (First round) Latrobe, 83-82; (Second round) Allderdice, 58-47; (Quarterfinals) Butler, 64-58; (Semifinals) Carlisle, 65-60.
Scoring offense: 73.0 points per game
Scoring defense: 56.7 points per game
Probable starters: Andrew Kristofic, F, 6-6, So.; Phil Jurkovec, G, 6-5, Jr.; Nolan Rausch, G, 6-0, Sr.; Evan Luellen, G, 6-0, Sr.; Andrew Petcash, G, 6-4, Sr.
What you should know: Pine-Richland is very good and has been ranked No. 1 by the Post-Gazette all season, but many believed a trip to Hershey might be out of the question because few WPIAL teams in the largest class make it that far and the Rams would need to go through a team from the east to get there. But Pine-Richland has silenced any doubters by following up its second straight WPIAL title with an outstanding PIAA run that has the Rams in the title game for the first time. They can now join Penn Hills (2004) and New Castle (2014) as the only WPIAL teams to win a PIAA title in the largest class since Ringgold did it in 1995. The Rams have a terrific "Big 3" in Andrew Petcash, Phil Jurkovec and Andrew Kristofic, and the team's role players have come up with key shots on many occasions. Kristofic scored 16 points in the semifinal win against Carlisle and is the second-leading scorer in school history with better than 1,500 points.
Player to watch: Phil Jurkovec. The junior is second on the team in scoring with 16 points per game, but his biggest role in this game will be defending Reading star Lonnie Walker, who is regarded as one of the best players in the country. Jurkovec is an outstanding athlete who has committed to play football at Notre Dame. He scored a team-best 19 points against Carlisle.