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D9/10 Teams to Fight for Spots in PIAA Semifinals on Saturday

Otto-Eldred's Brac Caldwell. Photo by Andy Close.
            

After the Cathedral Prep boys and Kennedy Catholic girls punched their tickets to the PIAA semifinals on Friday, six additional D9/10 teams will be looking to join them in their respective Final Fours on Saturday.

                  

Among the teams looking to keep their special seasons going are the Otto-Eldred boys and girls, as well as the Franklin and Erie First Christian boys and the Fairview and Cathedral Prep girls.

Here’s a look at each game.

PIAA QUARTERFINALS

BOYS

                                      

CLASS 2A

(10-1) Erie First Christian (16-10) vs. (9-2) Otto-Eldred (25-2) at PennWest Clarion, 2 p.m.

How they got here: Erie First Christian beat (7-6) Clairton 57-37 in the first round. Beat (7-2) Northgate, 67-52. Otto-Eldred beat (7-3) Greensburg Central Catholic, 66-52. Beat (7-7) Serra Catholic, 61-44 in the second round.
Who the winner gets: (7-1) Aliquippa/(7-4) Bishop Caenvin winner in the semifinals on Tuesday, March 21.
Erie First Christian Leaders: Jesse Jong (13.0 ppg)., Avery Collins 12.5 ppg., Anthony Collins (12.0 ppg).
Otto-Eldred Leaders: Landon Francis (14.8 ppg), Manning Splain (12.8 ppg), Shene Thomas (12.3 ppg), Austin Cousins (11.3 ppg)
Notes: Both programs are making their first-ever PIAA quarterfinal appearance … Anthony Collins scored 26 points in EFC’s second-round win over Northgate … EFC has outscored four of its five playoff opponents at the district and state level by double-digits … Otto-Eldred outscored Serra Catholic 39-26 in the second half of its second-round win … Shene Thomas led four players in double figures with 16 points, while Landon Francis and Brax Caldwell had 16 points each. … EFC is ranked No. 4 in the latest Trib Live state rankings.

CLASS 3A

(6-1) Penn Cambria (23-5) vs. (10-1) Franklin (23-4) at Armstrong H.S., 2:30 p.m.

                          

How they got here: Penn Cambria beat (7-7) Yough in the first round, 61-53, and (7-3) Steel Valley, 66-57 in the second round. (10-1) Franklin beat (7-5) Shady Side Academy, 75-43, and beat (7-2) OLSH, 57-45 in the second round.
Who the winner gets: (7-1) Deer Lakes/(7-4) Neshannock winner in the PIAA semifinals on Tuesday, March 18.
Penn Cambria Leaders: Garrett Harold (18.6 ppg.), Vinny Chidron (13.0 ppg.), Easton Semselberger (9.1 ppg.).
Franklin Leaders: Damon Curry, Cole Buckley, Jalen Wood, Jonathan Leccia
Notes: Franklin is back in the PIAA quarterfinals for the second time in the last three seasons … Franklin hasn’t lost since a late December defeat to Fairview … Franklin ended OLSH’s 11-game PIAA winning streak … Jalen Wood paced the Knights with 17 points in the win over OLSH … Penn Cambria jumped out to a 23-9 lead after the first quarter in its second-round win over Steel Valley … Harrold led the way in the second round win with 23 points. … Both teams entered the top five in the latest Trib Live rankings, Franklin is No. 4, Penn Cambria is No. 5.

GIRLS

CLASS 1A

(5-1) Berlin Brothersvalley (22-5) vs. (9-1) Otto-Eldred (25-2) at PennWest Clarion, 3:30 p.m.

How they got here: Berlin beat (9-4) North Clarion, 46-22 in the first round and beat (7-2) Aquinas Academy, 47-35 in the second round. Otto-Eldred beat (7-5) Monessen, 57-30 in the first round and beat (6-2) Bishop Guilfoyle, 49-37 in the second round.
Who the winner gets: (7-1) Union-New Castle/(6-1) Williamsburg in the semifinal on Tuesday, March 18.
Berlin Leaders: Gracyn Schler (19 points, 13 rebounds in win over Aquinas), Jenny Countryman (13 points in the win over Aquinas. )
Otto-Eldred Leaders: Katie Sheeler (22.3 ppg), Anna Merry (10.6 ppg), Brooke Close (5.9 ppg), Bri Heller (5.2 ppg).
Notes: Otto-Eldred is back in the PIAA quarterfinals for the second consecutive season … Katie Sheeler scored 20 points, Anna Merry 11 and Carrie Drummond nine in the win over Guilfoyle … Berlin has given up 37 points or less in five-straight games … Otto-Eldred has given up 40 points or fewer in six straight games. … Otto-Eldred is No. 2 in the latest Trib Live state rankings, Berlin Brothersvalley is fourth.

CLASS 4A

(7-2) Blackhawk (23-4) vs. (10-1) Fairview, (21-6) at Sharon H.S. , 2:30 p.m.

How they got here: Blackhawk beat (10-3) Warren, 51-32 in the first round, and (7-5) Knoch, 38-35 in the second round. Fairview beat (7-6) Beaver Area, 26-23 in the first round and (6-1) Penn Cambria, 54-51 in overtime in the second round.
Who the winner gets: (3-1) Wyomissing/(7-1) North Catholic winner in the semifinals on Tuesday, March 18.
Blackhawk Leaders: Alena Fusetti (18.0 ppg.), Kassie Potts, Haley Romigh, Piper Romigh.
Fairview Leaders: Hope Garrity (15.0 ppg.), Bre Hedit (11.3 ppg.), Sara Gennuso (7.9 ppg.)
Notes: Fairview has won each of its first two PIAA games by three points … Fairview had never won a state playoff game before this season … Hope Garrity had 25 points in the win over Penn Cambria … Blackhawk has played three District 10 teams this season, beating Warren in the PIAA first round and losing to Cathedral Prep and Kennedy Catholic in the regular season.

CLASS 5A

(10-1) Cathedral Prep (23-1) vs. (7-1) South Fayette (26-2) at Sharon H.S., 1 p.m. 

                                   

How they got here: Cathedral Prep beat (7-5) Trinity, 48-35 in the first round, and (7-6) Mars, 51-35 in the second round. South Fayette beat (3-8) West York, 73-33 in first round and (3-3) Mechanicsburg, 69-29 in the second round.
Who the winner gets: (7-3) Mckeesport/(7-2) Oakland Catholic winner on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Cathedral Prep Leaders: Jayden McBride (17.1 ppg.), Addie Biel (12.5 ppg.), Lena Walz (12.2 ppg.)
South Fayette Leaders: Ava Leurox (21 points in quarterfinals win), Lainey Yater (12 points in quarterfinals win.).
Notes: Cathedral Prep is back in the quarterfinals yet again, having advanced to the PIAA semifinals a year ago. … South Fayette has beaten its first two PIAA opponents by an average of 40 ppg. … South Fayette comes into the game ranked No. 1 in the state by Trib Live, while Cathedral Prep is No. 3.

                       

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