Area teams brace for WPIAL, PIAA tourneys |
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Paul Schofield

Frazier boys basketball coach Larry Mikesell said Tuesday night at the pairings meeting that he isn’t sure how the WPIAL feels about his team.

The Commodores play in one of the 10 preliminary-round games scheduled for tonight as the WPIAL begins its “second season.”

Frazier (11-13) will meet Avella (7-14) at 8 p.m. at South Fayette High School in the second game of a doubleheader. The Frazier girls (13-11) face Bishop Canevin (16-7) in a Class AA preliminary-round game at 6:30.

“I guess they think we are the worst team in the tournament,” Mikesell said. “We’ve had some quality wins this season, and we’ve also lost four straight games. It’s been that type of season, up and down.”

The winner of the game will play No. 1 Duquesne at 8 p.m. Tuesday at South Fayette.

The Commodores were one of the first teams in Section 3-A to clinch a playoff spot. Then they went on a slide.

“I don’t know anything about Avella,” Mikesell said. “We’re not too bad when we’ve played well.”

Frazier is led by Will Bronson, Steve Erdely, Ryan Keebler and Wayne Lonce.

Some of its wins were against Monessen, Clairton and California.

The other games scheduled tonight involving district teams have the Waynesburg boys and Valley at Norwin (8 p.m.) in a Class AAA game, the Laurel Highlands girls against Steel Valley (6:30) at Norwin, and in girls Class AA action Brownsville meets South Allegheny (6:30 ) at Thomas Jefferson, and Ford City meets Neshannock (6:30) at Butler.

The first round of the tournament will begin Saturday.

The PIAA team wrestlling championships will have a different look when things start at 8 a.m. today at the Giant Center at Hershey.

This year’s tournament has been expanded and is now double-elimination. A Team now can wrestle for third place if it loses in the two-day tournament.

Four-time champion Easton is favored to capture its fifth title in Class AAA. WPIAL champion Connellsville Area, which placed second in the tournament twice, is making its fourth trip to the tournament. The Falcons will meet the winner of the Delaware Valley-Council Rock North match at 2 p.m.

District 10 champion Reynolds is favored in Class AA. WPIAL champion Mt. Pleasant, which lost to Reynolds at the Brookville Duals last month, is looking forward to another shot at Reynolds. The Vikings’ first match is at noon. They meet the winner of the West Scranton-North Star match

Burrell opens the action in Class AA with a match against Northern Lehigh. The Bucs advanced by defeating Fort LeBoeuf on Tuesday.

Kiski Area, which defeated Brashear to advance, will meet District 9 champion Clearfield at 10.

PIAA team wrestling championships

Where: Giant Center, Hershey

When: Today and Saturday

Notable: All four WPIAL teams are alive, including Class AAA champion Connellsville and Class AA champ Mt. Pleasant, who will have their quarterfinal opponents determined in this morning’s second-round action. Kiski Area (22-2), the WPIAL Class AAA runner-up, should have the depth to handle second-round opponent Clearfield, and reach D-1 power Upper Perkiomen (25-1). Connellsville, looking at a quarterfinal showdown with Council Rock North (21-3), is trying to become the first WPIAL team to win the state title since Canon-McMillan in 1992. … Burrell, the WPIAL Class AA runner-up, is riding the momentum of its come-from-behind victory over Fort LeBoeuf in the first round. The Bucs (12-1) will meet D-11 champion Northern Lehigh (21-2) in this morning’s second round. Mt. Pleasant, which awaits either West Scranton or North Star in the quarterfinals, is trying to beat history. No WPIAL team has won the PIAA Class AA title since the tournament began in 1976.

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