The game: PIAA Class 2A championship
The teams: Sewickley Academy vs. Constitution
Where and when: Giant Center, Hershey, Friday, 2 p.m.
Sewickley Academy Panthers
District finish: WPIAL champion
Coach: Win Palmer
PIAA titles: 2 (1997, 2010)
Last time in the final: 2010
How they got here: (First round) Rocky Grove, 60-47; (Second round) Bishop Guilfoyle, 70-58; (Quarterfinals) Greensburg Central Catholic, 61-46; (Semifinals) Bishop Canevin, 50-48.
Scoring offense: 73.7 points per game
Scoring defense: 55.2 points per game
Probable starters: Declan Hickton, F, 6-5, Sr.; Nate Ridgeway, F, 6-5, So.; Chris Groetsch, F, 5-10, Sr.; Dave Groetsch, G, 6-1, Jr.; Justin Pryor, G, 6-3, Sr.
What you should know: Sewickley Academy has not lost since January. Since losing to Bishop section rival Bishop Canevin on Jan. 31, Sewickley Academy has reeled off 11 wins in a row. The two biggest victories in that span actually came against Canevin -- in the WPIAL championship and PIAA semifinals. The second of those wins took place Tuesday, and it was a thriller. With the game tied, 48-48, Chris Groetsch rebounded a Nate Ridgeway miss and was fouled. Groetsch stepped to the free-throw line with 25 seconds left and made both shots. He wasn't done yet, either, as his steal in the final seconds sealed the win. The Panthers are now in the championship game for the fourth time and are shooting for their third title. Their last title came in 2010 when they defeated Reading Central Catholic, 43-35, in the 1A final.
Player to watch: Chris Groetsch. An outstanding point guard, Groetsch teams with Justin Pryor to give Sewickley Academy a talented and veteran backcourt duo. Both are three-year starters, two-time all-section picks and 1,000-point scorers. Groetsch averages 19 points per game and had 25 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in the WPIAL championship.