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Bill Beckner Jr.

Friday’s games


Class AAA

Preliminary round

Valley (13-9) vs. West Allegheny (12-10)

8 p.m., North Allegheny

Winner plays: No. 2 West Mifflin (20-2)

About Valley: The Vikings enter the postseason for the first time under coach Anthony Cheatham, but this will be their seventh appearance in the past eight seasons. … Senior guard Geoff Fuquay is one of the top scorers in Class AAA at 24.9 ppg.

About West Allegheny: The Indians lost only four seniors from a team that reached the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals last year. … They have won three straight, averaging 67.7 ppg in that stretch. … Valley and West Allegheny have wins over Class AAAA Plum.

Class A

Preliminary round

Leechburg (9-11) vs. Jefferson-Morgan (6-16)

6:30 p.m., at Yough

Winner plays: No. 1 Rochester (18-3)

About Leechburg: An upset of No. 4-ranked Serra Catholic on Feb. 8 helped validate a playoff appearance for the Blue Devils, who won the WPIAL title in 2007. … Leechburg also has wins over playoff teams Quigley and Geibel.

About Jefferson-Morgan: An 0-7 start to the season didn’t bolster the playoff hopes of fans, but the Rockets rallied to finish 5-5 in Section 3-A and qualify. Jefferson-Morgan averages just 38.2 points per game while allowing 57.

First round

No. 6 seed St. Joseph (19-3) vs. No. 11 Avella (12-9)

8 p.m., at South Fayette

Winner plays: No. 3 Lincoln Park (14-6)/No. 14 Quigley (10-12) winner.

About St. Joseph: The Spartans, in the playoffs for the ninth straight season, had one of their finest regular seasons, scoring 80 or more points nine times and tying for the Section 4-A title. … Senior 6-foot-3 guard Brian Heinle leads Class A in scoring at 24.8 ppg. … St. Joseph was 12-2 at home this season and 7-1 on the road.

About Avella: The Section 3-A champs have a double-digit loss to Geibel, a team St. Joseph handled twice in section play.


Class AAAA

First round

No. 15 Fox Chapel (11-11) vs. No. 2 Shaler (20-2)

8 p.m., at Hampton

Winner plays: No. 7 Penn-Trafford (18-3)/No. 10 Woodland Hills (12-9) winner.

About Fox Chapel: Led by rising 6-3 freshman forward Erin Mathias and steady guard play from senior Lindsey McKamish, the young Foxes finished tied for third in competitive Section 2.

About Shaler: The Section 3-champion Titans are highlighted by talented 6-foot senior forward Val McQuade, a Niagara recruit who averages a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds). … Shaler has won 14 straight.

No. 12 Plum (12-9) vs. No. 5 Baldwin (16-5)

6:30 p.m., at North Allegheny

Winner plays: No. 4 Oakland Catholic (14-8)/No. 13 Upper St. Clair (9-12)

About Plum: Plum won three of its final five Section 2 games to get into the postseason. … A young team, the Mustangs have only two seniors on the roster and get key contributions from 6-2 senior center Lindsey Deemer.

About Baldwin: Baldwin, the returning WPIAL runner-up, is fueled heavily by the play of senior guard Belma Nurkic, a Duquesne recruit who averages 18.9 points per game.

Class AA

Preliminary round

Freeport (12-9) vs. Neshannock (15-7)

6:30 p.m., at Hampton

Winner plays: No. 4 Bishop Canevin (18-4).

About Freeport: Freeport is in the playoffs for the second time in coach Bill Burkart’s four seasons. … The Yellowjackets started the season 0-3 but only had one stretch, in early January, where they lost two games in a row.

About Neshannock: Neshannock started the season 6-0 but lost five of its final eight games and settled for third in tough Section 2. … A pair of players average double figures: Erica Warvell (16 ppg) and Chelsea Kauffman (15 ppg).

Ford City (16-6) vs. Quaker Valley (14-8)

6:30 p.m., at Northgate

Winner plays: No. 2 Riverside (19-3)

About Ford City: Coach Al Davis’ program has been a model of consistency having made the playoffs 16 consecutive seasons. … The Sabers made the semifinals in 2008, when the current seniors were freshmen. … Ford City is one of four teams from Section 1 that allowed fewer than 40 points per game.

About Quaker Valley: The Quakers, who tied for third in Section 6, upset No. 2-ranked Deer Lakes on the final night of the regular season, 44-35.

Springdale (10-12) vs. Beaver Falls (16-6)

6:30 p.m., at Ambridge

Winner plays: No. 7 Charleroi (20-1)

About Springdale: The injury-hampered Dynamos are in the playoffs for the second straight time. They lost, 34-29, to Washington, in the preliminary round last season and entered that game 10-10.

About Beaver Falls: A well-tested Tigers team owns a pair of wins over Class AAA playoff teams Hopewell and Highlands, and Class AAAA Seneca Valley.

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