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Big victories for the WPIAL.

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Math never was my best subject in school. In fact, I dreaded the day after tests when the math teacher cruelly read the grades out loud to the class — “DiPaola, 66.”

To this day, I insist he was smiling when he said it.

Anyway, I did learn enough to add up an interesting trend that occurred Tuesday night in the second round of the PIAA boys and girls basketball playoffs:

The margin of victory in the 11 games involving WPIAL teams came out to an average of 18.2, including dual 33-point victories by the Mt. Lebanon and South Fayette girls and 21- and 22-point decisions by the Chartiers Valley, West Mifflin and Sewickley Academy boys.
And most of those games could have been worse.

The excitement generated by the high-stakes state tournament fizzled like air out of a balloon because — at least at this point in the three-week event — the WPIAL is much better than its opposition.

In Class AAA and A boys, six WPIAL teams remain among the two Elite Eight groupings, and at least one from each classification is assured of a berth in the Western Final next Tuesday.
My prediction: Chartiers Valley and Hampton in AAA and Sewickely Academy and Lincoln Park in A will stage rematches of their WPIAL title games nearly two weeks ago.

Defending state champion Mt. Lebanon needs only to beat Baldwin for the fourth time this season to reach the Class AAAA girls Western Final. And Avonworth, South Fayette and Seton-La Salle are still alive in AA girls.

Does this mean the WPIAL will send a complete contingent of eight teams to Penn State for the state championship games March 26-27.

Probably not.

But WPIAL basketball may not be as bad as some of its critics say, at least in comparison to most of the rest of the state.

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