Ty-Meer Brown spent Saturday afternoon trying to end Mt. Lebanon’s basketball season, but now the McKeesport senior’s career rests with the Blue Devils. Should Mt. Lebanon win the WPIAL Class AAAA championship, McKeesport would qualify for the PIAA playoffs as the fifth team from the WPIAL.
“We’re going to have to root for them,” Brown said after Saturday’s quarterfinal loss. “Hopefully they win it all. Hopefully they can pull it out this year and let us back in the tournament.”
Brown isn’t the only one changing allegiance.
Suddenly, those in Latrobe are North Allegheny fans.
And those in Kiski will be cheering for Gateway.
To reach the PIAA playoffs, teams that lost WPIAL quarterfinals this past weekend in Class AAAA, AAA and A must now root for the team that eliminated them if they hope to find a second chance.
The WPIAL sends five teams to the PIAA playoffs in Class AAAA and A – the four semifinalists and the team that lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion. In Class AAA, the WPIAL sends six teams – the four semifinalists and the teams that lost in the quarterfinals to the champion and runner-up.
This tiebreaker system isn’t an issue in Class AA, where eight teams qualify for the PIAA playoffs.
Here’s a list of teams that have already qualified for the state playoffs (and those teams they could help):
Five from Class AAAA: Mt. Lebanon (McKeesport), North Allegheny (Latrobe), Upper St. Clair (Peters Township), Gateway (Kiski Area)
Six from Class AAA: Chartiers Valley (Trinity), West Allegheny (Highlands), Hampton (Montour), West Mifflin (Belle Vernon)
Eight from Class AA: North Catholic, Washington, South Fayette, Beaver Falls, Greensburg Central Catholic, Rochester, Shady Side Academy, Jeannette.
Five from Class A: Sewickley Academy (Neshannock), Cornell (Clairton), Lincoln Park (OLSH), Serra Catholic (Vincentian Academy)
Five from Class AAAA: Mt. Lebanon (Fox Chapel), Peters Township (Shaler), Bethel Park (Butler), Baldwin (Kiski Area)
Six from Class AAA: Hopewell (Blackhawk), Chartiers Valley (Mount Pleasant), New Castle (Hampton), Indiana (Uniontown)
Eight from Class AA: Avonworth, Bishop Canevin, Seton-La Salle, Sto-Rox, Jeannette, South Fayette, Greensburg Central Catholic, Beaver.
Five from Class A: North Catholic (Winchester Thurston), Monessen (Fort Cherry), Quigley (Serra Catholic), Vincentian Academy (Rochester).
– Chris Harlan (firstname.lastname@example.org)