New Castle News


February 13, 2013

WPIAL Boys Playoffs: New Castle gets top seed in Class AAAA



Union (16-5), which tied for second in Section 1 with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, earned the No. 4 seed in Class A and will play Quigley Catholic (11-11) at 8 p.m. Friday at Aliquippa.

“You have to play and you have to play someone. I’m fine with that draw,” Scotties coach Dave Smialowski said. “I don’t know too much about them yet. I do know they have a couple of scorers.”

Despite getting a good seed, Union got a bit of bad news with its seed. The Scotties are on the same side of the bracket as section foe Lincoln Park (17-5). The Section 1 champion Leopards are ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in Class A by the Post-Gazette and No. 3 in the state.

“We wanted to be on the opposite end of Lincoln Park. We can see them in the semifinals,” Smialowski said. “If we win those two games, we’ll be ready for them.

“We thought we’d be seeded anywhere from three through six. It doesn’t surprise me.”

The Scotties started 13-2 and then split their next four games late in the season.

“I don’t think we peaked too early,” Smialowski said. “We ran into some good teams there.

“It’s a new season now. Let’s go out and compete. One loss and you’re done. We’ll be ready.”


Mohawk and Neshannock will compete in preliminary-round games in Class AA on Saturday.

The Lancers (17-5) will tangle with Apollo-Ridge at noon at Highlands. The Vikings (15-7) tied for third in Section 1.

Neshannock tied for second in Section 2 with Riverside. But the Panthers got a higher seed.

“There’s no surprise when you finish tied for second (in the section),” Lancers coach John Corey said. “You have to expect the unexpected.”

Neshannock has won six of its last eight games.

“I’m pretty happy with the two wins we got (last week),” Corey said. “Overall, the one thing that has impressed me the last couple of weeks, is Ernie (Burkes) has played really well; not just scoring but assists and rebounds. That’s a good sign.”

The Neshannock-Apollo-Ridge winner earns the No. 12 seed and advances to meet fifth-seeded Sto-Rox (14-8), the Section 6 champ. Riverside will meet West Shamokin, with the survivor claiming the No. 11 seed.

Mohawk (9-13) will meet Serra Catholic (13-8) at 3 p.m. at Chartiers Valley. The winner moves on and secures the No. 14 seed and will face third-seeded Seton-La Salle.

“We knew coming in we’d be happy regardless of what seed we got,” Warriors coach Rob Fadden said. “When you’re 9-13, you can’t really complain about anything.”

Mohawk just missed out on a postseason berth last year. The Warriors made sure that didn’t happen this season, knocking off Shenango in the section finale to reach the postseason with a fourth-place tie with Aliquippa. A four-game losing streak in the middle of the season, three coming in league play, made things interesting for Mohawk.

“That was our goal, making the playoffs,” Fadden said. “Last year, we set a goal to improve on our record. This year, it was to get into the postseason. It didn’t happen the way we wanted it to, though.

“We struggled in the win-loss category. There were some games in that stretch where we played good basketball, we just didn’t put together four good offensive quarters.”

Mohawk will be without senior forward Saivon Watt for the rest of the playoffs. Watt, who averages six points a game, has a broken wrist.

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