Nine local basketball teams have qualified for the PIAA playoffs that begin with first-round games Friday and Saturday.

The undefeated Peters Township girls (25-0), fresh off a thrilling overtime victory against North Allegheny in the WPIAL Class 6A championship game Saturday night, will begin their quest for a state title Friday at Mt. Lebanon against Harrisburg (14-10), the sixth-place team from District 3. Tipoff is 6 p.m.

Harrisburg is led by Dajahnae Bannon, an all-state forward who is a Rider recruit and has scored more than 1,800 career points.

A win by Peters Township could set up a fourth meeting against section rival Bethel Park in the second round March 12.

Mt. Lebanon will host two area teams on Saturday. The Canon-McMillan boys (16-9), the third-place team from the WPIAL, will play City League champion Allderdice (21-5) at 3 p.m. Two of Allderdice’s five losses have come against teams from the WPIAL’s Section 2, which includes Canon-McMillan. The Dragons lost to WPIAL champion Mt. Lebanon, 52-50, and Upper St. Clair, 58-51. Allderdice is 5-2 against WPIAL competition.

Also at Mt. Lebanon on Saturday will be the Trinity girls (12-12), who will play section rival and WPIAL runner-up Thomas Jefferson (19-7). Tipoff is 6 p.m. It will be the third meeting this season between the Hillers and Jaguars.

West Greene (22-3), the WPIAL Class A girls runner-up, will play District 10 champion Kennedy Catholic (17-6) Saturday, 3 p.m., at Canon-McMillan. That West Greene is playing the D-10 champion is a change from the original bracket that was on the PIAA website for weeks. On the original bracket, the WPIAL runner-up was to play the fourth-place team from a subregional of teams from Districts 9 and 10.

Kennedy Catholic, which has won nine straight district championships, is led by Malia Magestro, who averages 28.8 points per game and is a Youngstown State recruit.

In another Class A girls game Saturday, Avella (17-6) will play District 5 champion Berlin (20-5) at Pitt-Johnstown. Tipoff is 6 p.m. Berlin, which has won three consecutive district titles, is a tall team that features 6-2 junior Kiera Booth, an all-state player last year.

The Washington girls (19-5) will play Friday against District 6 champion Penn-Cambria (20-6) at Central Cambria High School in Ebensburg. Tipoff is 6 p.m. Penn Cambria upset the top seed in the district playoffs to win its first title in 26 years.

The Washington boys (14-9) will play Saturday, 3 p.m., against District 10 champion Sharon (21-4) at Farrell. Sharon features 6-8 Ethan Porterfield, an IUP recruit, who scored 27 points in the District 10 title game.

In boys action Friday, Ringgold (14-9) will play District 3 champion Bishop McDevitt (22-3) at Central Dauphin East in a Class 4A game while Monessen (15-9) plays District 10 champion Jamestown (12-11) in a Class A contest at Edinboro University. Both games begin at 6:30 p.m. Jamestown won its first district title by defeating Commodore Perry. Three of Jamestown’s 12 wins have come over Commodore Perry.

Sports Editor

Since 1986, Chris Dugan has been covering local sports for the Observer-Reporter, and named sports editor in 2006. Before joining the O-R, he was sports editor at the Democrat-Messenger, and a former member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

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