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Prediciting the PIAA Quarterfinal Games Involving D10 & D9 Teams

With eight teams – seven District 10 and one District 9 – playing in the PIAA quarterfinals, Chris Rossetti takes a stab at how he thinks the games will go.


Boys’ Class 1A – (10-1) Farrell vs. (7-1) Imani Christian, 7:30 p.m. at Morrow Field House, Slippery Rock University

I love Farrell. I really do. They have good guard play, they play in transition well, and they are well-coached.

But Imani Christian is a different beast.


The Saints are the defending PIAA Class 1A champions. And don’t be fooled by their 16-10 record. Imani played a national schedule and is 15-2 against PIAA opponents with the only losses being to District 12 4A champion Neumann Goretti and WPIAL 4A champion Lincoln Park, both of whom are in the 4A quarterfinals.

In five postseason contests, the Saints are outscoring their opponents 81.2 ppg to 50.4 ppg.

Last year, Imani beat Farrell in this round by 30, 80-50.

I don’t expect the Steelers to get Mercy Ruled this year, but in the end Imani Christian’s hopes of a repeat will stay alive.

Score Prediction: Imani Christian 76, Farrell 52


Girls’ Class 2A – (10-1) Kennedy Catholic vs. (6-3) Bishop McCort, 6 p.m. at Gateway High School, Monroeville

Kennedy Catholic is the defending PIAA Class 2A champions and the Golden Eagles are looking for a third straight trip to the PIAA title game after finishing as runner-ups in 2002 in Class 1A.

Bishop McCort was the top seed in the District 6 playoffs entering the tournament with just one loss but was upset in the semifinals by eventual champion Marion Center.

This is a rematch of a quarterfinal game a year ago won by Kennedy Catholic, 60-48.

It’s going to be a battle for the Golden Eagles, and they can’t afford 18 second-half turnovers as they had in the second-round win over Portage, but in the end the champs will move on.

Score Prediction: Kennedy Catholic 58, Bishop McCort 48

Girls’ 3A – (10-1) Mercyhurst Prep vs. (7-2) Avonworth, 6 p.m. at Morrow Field House, Slippery Rock University

This is what you want at this time of year. Two high-energy teams that both believe they can win.

Mercyhurst Prep had an early-season disappointing loss to a Mars team that finished under .500 but its other two defeats were to Northwestern, who the Lakers then turned around and beat in the D10 title game, and Forest Park (Md.), a 20-win team.

Avonworth went into the WPIAL playoffs with just one loss, to Armstrong, who is still alive in the 5A quarterfinals, before losing in the WPIAL title game to Shady Side Academy, who is also still alive.


In the end, the Antopoles are a bit more tested and will move into the semifinals with a second shot against Shady Side Academy.

Score Prediction: Avoworth 48, Mercyhurst Prep 42


Class 2A Boys: (9-1) Redbank Valley vs. (7-1) Aliquippa, 1 p.m. at Morrow Field House, Slippery Rock University

It’s been a fantastic season for Redbank Valley with the D9 title and now a spot in the quarterfinals for just the second time in school history.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, this is where it ends, just like its dream run in 2015 when Aliquippa beat them, 70-36.

Any other outcome would be right up there with two of the biggest upsets in District 9 history – DuBois Central Catholic over Kennedy Catholic in the 1A semifinals in 2007 and Johnsonburg over Lincoln Park in the 1A semifinals in 2013.

But what those two teams had that Redbank Valley is missing, is two dynamic playmaking guards.

The Clouse twins – Mason and Owen – are both tremendous athletes who are usually the best athletes on the court. But that won’t be the case Saturday afternoon.

Aliquippa is deep – the Quips beat Eisenhower by 32 despite not having their best player. It is also experienced having gone to the state championship game a year ago – and let’s not forget the football success.

In the end, Redbank Valley will find out what Otto-Eldred did twice – in last year’s semifinals and this year’s first round – there is a major talent difference between Aliquippa and the top teams in District 9. The Quips will roll with another running-clock victory

Score Prediction: Aliquippa 75, Redbank Valley 40 ‘

Class 3A Boys – (10-1) Girard vs. (7-3) Mohawk, 4 p.m. at Morrow Field House, Slippery Rock University

Girard has great guard play thanks to Nate Edwards (16 ppg) and Kenny Godoy (14.5 ppg), who is only a sophomore, and is coming off a hard-fought overtime win against a talented Bishop Guilfoyle team.

Mohawk is coming off of a close win over rival Ellwood City after a win over D9 champion Moniteau in the opening round.


The Warriors also have strong guards, including 1,000-point sophomore Bobby Fadden and another 1,000-point score in Jay Wrona.

In the end, I like Girard in another nail-biter.

Score Prediction: Girard 60, Mohawk 56

Class 3A Boys – (10-2) Franklin vs. (7-1) Deer Lake, 2:30 p.m. at Sharon High School

Franklin is in the quarterfinals for the third time in four years.

Deer Lakes is experiencing the heyday of Lancer basketball with back-to-back WPIAL titles and a trip to the state title game last season where it fell to West Catholic.

The Lancers had a first-round seven-point win over Mercyhurst Prep, a team Franklin beat by 26 in the D10 semifinals.

As long as Damon Curry continues to play like a man possessed as he has in the PIAA playoffs, the Knights are going to get their much-wanted rematch with Girard in the semifinals.

Score Prediction: Franklin 63, Deer Lakes 50

Class 4A Girls – (10-1) Fairview vs. (7-2) Blackhawk, 2:30 p.m. at Morrow Field House, Slippery Rock University

Fairview has played a difficult schedule that includes a pair of losses in Region play to Cathedral Prep, who is in the 5A quarterfinals. But the Tigers have won 19 of 20 with the lone loss being to the Ramblers.

Blackhawk has also played a tough schedule with its three losses coming to Kennedy Catholic, a 2A quarterfinalist, McKeesport, a 4A quarterfinalist, and in overtime in the WPIAL title game to North Catholic, a 4A quarterfinalist.

Fairview plays a methodical style that should allow it to stay relatively competitive, but in the end, the Cougars will prevail.

Score Prediction: Blackhawk 43, Fairview 29

Class 5A Girls – (10-1) Cathedral Prep vs. (7-4) Oakland Catholic, 1 p.m. at Sharon High School

At first glance, someone might see 10-1 vs. 7-4 and go while Cathedral Prep got a great draw.

Not so fast.

Oakland Catholic entered the WPIAL playoffs unbeaten before losing to eventual runner-up Armstrong in the semifinals and then losing to McKeesport in the third-place game.

The Eagles have rebounded nicely in the PIAA playoffs including a convincing win over WPIAL champion South Fayette, 48-28.

That denied Cathedral Prep, who beat Northern York, 61-36, a chance at revenge against South Fayette, who knocked the Ramblers out of the postseason in last season’s quarterfinals.

But this CP team is better. Addisyn Biel’s inside presence coupled with Lena Walz’s shooting and Jayden McBride’s overall game should lift the Ramblers into the PIAA semifinals for the third time in four years.

Score Prediction: Cathedral Prep 55, Oakland Catholic 50


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