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Farrell, Cathedral Prep Boys, Kennedy Catholic Girls Seek PIAA Semifinal Berths Friday

WEXFORD, Pa. – Three District 10 basketball teams are in action in the PIAA quarterfinals Friday, March 17, including two boys’ squads and a girls’ team.

In boys’ action, District 10 champion Farrell faces WPIAL champion Imani Christian in a Class 1A game at 6 p.m. at North Allegheny High School and District 10 champion Cathedral Prep takes on WPIAL champion Penn Hills in a 5A game at 7 p.m. at Sharon High School.

On the girls’ side, District 10 champion Kennedy Catholic faces District 6 third-place finishers Bishop McCort in a 2A game at Norwin High School.

CLASS 1A BOYS: (10-1) FARRELL (22-4) VS. (7-1) IMANI CHRISTIAN (20-6)

Road to the Quarterfinals: Farrell beat Geibel Catholic, 75-62, in the first round and Harmony, 86-65, in the second round. Imani Christian topped Clarion, 78-43, in the opening round and Union (Rimersburg), 80-48, in the second round.
Winner gets: Winner of the (7-2) Union (New Castle) vs. (7-3) Carlynton game Monday, March 20, at a site and time to be determined.
What you need to know: Farrell enters this game as the underdog to the virtual All-Star team that includes D-1 prospect Alier Maluk, a 6-foot-11, sophomore, as well as 6-9 junior Virgil Hall. But while the two big guys are solid players, 6-1 sophomore guard Dame Givner makes the Saints tick. In two PIAA games, Givner is averaging 20 ppg and is coming off a 24-point performance in the win over Union. Hall is adding 16 ppg in the two PIAA games and had 18 in the victory over Union, while 6-foot junior guard Avery Wesley is adding 14 ppg and had 16 in the first-round win over Clairon Maluk, meanwhile, has accounted for 21 points in two games, including a 13-point performance in the second-round win. RJ Sledge, a sophomore transfer from Bishop Canevin where he helped that team win a 1A PIAA title last year, scored 13 in the win over Clarion but was held to two points vs. Union. Imani Christian has won five in a row since dropping a 69-68 decision to Our Savior Lutheran (N.Y.) in the Bash with the Bronx at North Allegheny Feb. 11. In fact, two of the Saints’ six losses have come to out-of-state competition with really only a 71-66 loss to 6A North Allegheny (8-13) sticking out as a potential for a bad loss … Farrell, meanwhile, has won 12 in a row since a 63-59 loss to Shenango at the Ron Gallbreath Classic Jan. 15. The Steelers’ other losses have come to Mars, who lost in the 5A PIAA second round, Franklin, who is playing in the 3A quarterfinals, and New Castle, who is playing in the 6A quarterfinals. It’s a balanced attack for Farrell led by Nasir O’Kane’s 12.3 ppg with Lamont Samuels averaging 11.7 ppg and Danny Odom 9.3 ppg. O’Kane is coming off an 18-point performance in the win over Harmony, while Sameuls scored 14 points in that game. Kylon Wilson added 16 points in the second-round win … Imani Christian reached the quarterfinals last year before losing to Bishop Canevin. Prior to winning a first-round game a year ago, the Saints were 0-3 in PIAA action making their first appearance in 2017 … Farrell has always been a PIAA blue blood. The Steelers are in the PIAA playoffs for the 45th time with the first time being way back in 1920, the first year of the tournament. Farrell is 84-35 all-time in PIAA games and has won seven PIAA championship games while going 7-3 in title games. The Steelers’ last title-game appearance was a loss to Constitution in 2015 and they haven’t won a title since 1972.


CLASS 5A BOYS: (10-1) CATHEDRAL PREP (24-3) VS. (7-1) PENN HILLS (23-3)

Road to the Quarterfinals: Cathedral Prep beat DuBois, 40-32, in a subregional game then beat South Fayette, 47-45, in the first round before knocking off Mars, 66-54, in the second round. Penn Hills beat DuBois, 63-20, in the first round and then beat Hershey, 50-42, in the second round.
Winner gets: Winner of the (3-1) Exeter vs. (7-2) Peters Township game Monday, March 20, at a site and time to be determined.
What you need to know: Cathedral Prep won the PIAA Class 5A title in 2021 in the champions-only tournament, its first title in 25 years, before not making the PIAA bracket last year. The Ramblers are led by Jake Sambuchino’s 14.1 ppg with Amaree Pickens adding 11.5 ppg. Both players went over 20 points in the second-round win over Mars with Pickens scoring 25 points and Sambuchino 21. Sambuchino also scored 14 points in the win over South Fayette … Penn Hills is paced by Daemar Kelly’s 17.3 ppg, Noah Barren’s 16.2 ppg, and Robert Thomas’s 13.4 ppg. Penn Hills won the WPIAL title for the first time since 2018. The Indians are the best defensive team in the WPIAL allowing just over 44 ppg … Penn Hills finished seventh in the WPIAL last season but advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals in Class 5A which was their deepest foray in the tournament since winning the 4A crown in 2004 … Leading scorer Daemar Kelly is headed to Division I Quinnipiac for basketball, while another starter, Julian Dugger, just a junior, is being heavily recruited to play football including by Pitt and Toledo.

Road to the Quarterfinals: Kennedy Catholic beat Brentwood, 77-20, in the first round and Burgettstown, 56-39, in the second round. Bishop McCort beat Freedom, 64-58, in overtime in the first round and District 9 champion Redbank Valley, 62-48, in the second round.
Winner gets: Winner of the (7-1) Shenango vs. (7-5) Greensburg Central Catholic game Monday, March 20, at a site and time to be determined.
What you need to know: Kennedy Catholic lost in the PIAA Class 1A title game a year ago before moving up to 2A this season. The Golden Eagles started the year 2-4 with losses to North Catholic, who is in the 4A quarterfinals, Norwin, who is in the 6A quarterfinals, and two teams from West Virginia. Since then, Kennedy Catholic has rolled off 21 consecutive victories with only wins over Indiana and Blackhawk, in overtime, coming by single digits. Blackhawk is playing in the 4A quarterfinals. The Golden Eagles won the 2001 PIAA 1A title. Sophomore Kayke Fields (19 ppg) leads Kennedy Catholic with Bella Magestro adding 11.8 ppg, Izzy Bianco 9.6 ppg, Monique Vincent 8.8 ppg, and Hayden Keth 8.0 ppg … Bishop McCort broke Redbank Valley’s 19-game win streak with the come-from-behind win in the second round. The Crushers won the 1985 PIAA 2A title. The Crushers started the season 3-5 then won three in a row before losing 4 of 5. They are 5-2 in their last seven … Bishop McCort is paced by Gianna Galluci’s 16.9 ppg with Bria Bair adding 16.2 ppg and Cameron Beppler 12.2 ppg.

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