Alle-Kiski Valley week ahead
Freeport and Burrell open the PIHL postseason as underdogs, but both recognize the blueprints they must follow for success.
The Yellowjackets (9-9), who finished sixth in Class A’s East Division, meet West Division third-place finisher Thomas Jefferson (12-6) at 7:15 p.m. at Rostraver Ice Garden. Freeport’s fate might hinge on its discipline. The Yellowjackets finished with the third-most penalty minutes (316) in Class A, while the Jaguars had the fewest (144).
For Burrell (13-2-3), the goal is to build on what happened Jan. 30, when the No. 8 seed Bucs ruined No. 1 seed Meadville’s otherwise perfect season with a 3-3 tie. Andrew Burkett made 48 saves for the Bucs, who scored three times on 19 shots that night. Meadville (19-0-1) still represents a tall task, as it outscored opponents, 207-32, in the regular season.
All signs point to a tight opening-round PIHL Class A playoff game between Kiski Area (11-6-1) and Montour (10-7-1). The teams meet at 7 p.m. at Center Ice in Delmont. The Cavaliers, who took fourth in the East Division, tallied 100 goals, allowed 52 and racked up 271 penalty minutes. The Spartans, who placed fifth in the West, finished with 99 goals for, 59 against and 272 penalty minutes.
One of the country’s most demanding high school wrestling tournaments begins when the PIAA individual championships open at Giant Center in Hershey. Burrell has five wrestlers competing in Class AA, which will hold preliminary and first-round bouts at 9 a.m. Kiski Area has five wrestlers in Class AAA, which begins at 4 p.m.
Freeport girls basketball (14-10), which finished sixth in WPIAL Class AAAA, meets WPIAL runner-up Blackhawk (16-9) in the first round of the PIAA tournament.
Leechburg girls basketball (14-10), a fifth-place finisher in WPIAL Class AA, opens its PIAA tournament with a first-round game against District 9 champion Coudersport (23-1). Coudersport claimed a district title for the first time since 2011.
PIAA wrestling continues at Giant Center, with Class AAA quarterfinals scheduled for 2:15 p.m. and Class AA semifinals set to start at 7:30 p.m.
St. Joseph girls basketball (17-8), which took fourth in WPIAL Class A, tries to extend its season when it meets District 5 champion Berlin-Brothersvalley (22-3) in the first round of the PIAA tournament.
PIAA wrestling action concludes at Giant Center. Class AAA semifinals begin at 9 a.m., and the parade of champions starts at 6:45 p.m. The Class AA parade of champions is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. Medal matches, including the championship bouts, will follow the parades in both classifications.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Mat matters: Kiski Area’s Noah Levett, Joey Blumer and Isaac Reid reached the WPIAL Class AAA finals at their respective weight classes on Saturday. Cam Connor and Darren Miller also punched tickets to the Hershey with third-place finishes.
Court report: Chloe Kurpakus’ lay-up tied the score midway through the fourth quarter of St. Joseph’s eventual 51-42 loss to Cornell in the WPIAL Class A girls basketball semifinals on Tuesday. Lizzy Celko led the Spartans with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Big splash: Springdale’s Kevin Kondrit defended his WPIAL Class AA title in the 200-yard freestyle event at the WPIAL championships on Thursday and added a title in the 500 freestyle on Friday. Highlands senior Bailey Bonnett increased her career haul of WPIAL Class AA gold to eight with two more championships. She also set a WPIAL record in the 100 breaststroke.