NEW CASTLE —
The road to the A.J. Palumbo Center starts Friday for local high school girls basketball teams.
Neshannock, Mohawk, Laurel and Shenango learned their playoff seedings when the WPIAL’s opening-round matchups were announced last night at the DoubleTree Hotel.
The district’s eight championship games will be played at Duquesne University’s A.J. Palumbo Center on Feb. 28 and March 1.
“This is what you play the whole year for,” Mohawk coach Mike O’Lare said. “You play the whole season and go through the whole offseason. You do all that work to get to this week. The win or go home mentality is what you play for.”
THE FOURTH SEED
Neshannock (21-1) paced the four schools, earning the No. 4 seed and the first-round bye that goes with it by winning Section 2-AA outright with an 11-1 record. Seton-La Salle, Burrell and Greensburg Central Catholic received the top three seeds.
“I thought going 21-1 would help us,” Neshannock coach Luann Grybowski said. “Burrell was undefeated. Seton is Seton. They’re the No. 1. There’s no doubt about that. I thought we could’ve been seeded anywhere between three and six. It is what it is. You have to play ‘em all. We’ll show up to play.”
The Lady Lancers will face the Washington-Shady Side Academy winner Tuesday at a time and site to be determined. Washington (13-8) placed third in Section 4, while Shady Side (10-12) was third in Section 3.
“I don’t know anything about them, yet,” Grybowski said. “We’ll have to go watch them play. The girls are excited. We’re gonna get to work and take it one game at a time. We’ll see what happens.”
Neshannock could see a familiar foe in fifth-seeded Bishop Canevin in the quarterfinals if both teams win their first playoff games.
“Every playoff game is important, but this is the fourth year out of five that I’ve made it that if we get out of the first round that we’ll play Bishop Canevin,” Grybowski said.