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.