What to watch for in WPIAL sports on March 18, 2023: New Castle, Reading to meet for 1st time in state playoffs

By: Don Rebel

Friday, March 17, 2023 | 11:54 PM

Andrew Palla | For the Tribune-Critique

New Castle’s Jonathan Anderson (12) scores through a PIAA playoff game against Erie on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at New Castle Higher College.

Two state boys basketball powers will collide for the 1st time in the PIAA postseason Saturday afternoon when New Castle requires on District three champion Reading.

The Red Hurricane are searching for their 50th all-time state playoff victory (49-24) when they meet the Red Knights at Altoona at two p.m.

With all their wins, New Castle only has one particular PIAA tournament victory against a District three opponent.

That came final year when the ‘Canes defeated Northeastern York in the 1st round, 63-50.

New Castle had been -two against D-three teams in the postseason prior to that win.

They lost to Harrisburg in the 1998 Class 4A state championship game, 69-53 and fell to Bishop McDevitt in the 2016 quarterfinals, 77-68.

Co-champs collide

1 was a co-champion in Section 1-3A, the other shared a title in Section three-3A.

Now they collide, one particular step away from the PIAA final 4.

Neshannock (20-7) enjoyed winning streaks of six and seven games this season. Following falling to defending district champion Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the WPIAL semifinals, 53-50, the Lancers have won their 1st two state playoffs games by a combined six points more than Oil City and Brookville.

Deer Lakes (19-eight) defeated OLSH to win its 1st WPIAL championship two weeks ago and has eliminated Seneca and Loyalsock Township to extend its postseason winning streak to six games.

The teams meet at North Allegheny at noon in the PIAA 3A quarterfinals.

Lastly they meet

When the WPIAL playoff brackets had been announced in mid-February, Aliquippa was the prime seed and defending champion Bishop Canevin was the No. two seed.

A showdown involving Section 1-2A and Section two-2A champions under no circumstances materialized in the district playoffs, although, as BC lost to Northgate in the semifinals, 63-54.

On the other hand, soon after two wins in the state playoffs, we lastly get the showdown involving the Quips and the Crusaders at Peters Township at 1:30 p.m.

Eagles vs. Tigers: Take four

The McKeesport girls basketball plan has enjoyed an outstanding season, winning 23 of 28 games.

On the other hand, the Tigers have no district gold and no section crown to show for all their results thanks to one particular group, Section three-5A foe Oakland Catholic (24-four).

The Tigers lost each of their section games to the Eagles and completed two games behind them in the standings.

The third time was no charm for McKeesport, when they lost to Oakland Catholic once again in the WPIAL semifinals, 58-51.

The fourth meeting of the year involving the two 5A powerhouses requires spot at Peters Township at noon.

In the other girls 5A state quarterfinals game on the “western” side of the bracket Saturday, WPIAL champion South Fayette (26-two) will battle District ten champion Erie Cathedral Prep at Sharon at 1 p.m.

WPIAL finalists vs. district champs

The two finalists in the WPIAL 4A girls basketball playoffs are nonetheless alive heading into the state quarterfinals.

Now they go up against a pair of district champions.

District 7 winner North Catholic (24-three) will take an 18-game winning streak into a game Saturday against District three champion Wyomissing (28-two) at Bald Eagle at two p.m.

WPIAL runner-up Blackhawk (23-four) squares off with District ten champion Fairview (21-eight) at Sharon at two:30 p.m.

Blackhawk and Camp Hill Trinity are the only teams left in 4A that did not win their district championship.

District champs survive

Only district champions are left on the western side of the state bracket in the Class A girls basketball playoffs.

It will be WPIAL vs. District six and District five against District 9.

Union (20-six) is the lone District 7 group left in the bracket. The WPIAL champs have defeated a pair of District 9 teams in Clarion and Elk County Catholic.

The Scotties have been defensive, only permitted a combined 44 points in the two wins.

They will face a Williamsburg (28-1) group that beat St. Joseph from the WPIAL in the 1st round by 46 points.

The game requires spot at Armstrong at 1 p.m.

The other game has Berlin-Brothersvalley out of D-five against Otto-Eldred from D-9.

Final swim

Saturday marks the final day of the 2023 PIAA Class 3A swimming and diving championships at Bucknell University.

Saturday will commence with 5 preliminary races beginning at eight:ten a.m. for the 3A girls and ten:45 a.m. for the 3A boys.

The consolations and finals in these events will take spot at three:25 p.m. for the girls and six:05 p.m. for the boys.

The boys 3A diving championships are scheduled for 12:35 p.m.

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