Elijah Hall

Eleanor Bailey/Almanac

Elijah Hall had South Fayette pointed in the right direction after firing in 36 and 14 points in critical wins against Mars, 77-72, and North Hills, 48-45. The wins puts the Lions in position to clinch a playoff spot with a win against West Allegheny.

After a big week of action that included the section-finale showdown with rival Bethel Park, Peters Township is prepared for the postseason in boys basketball.

The WPIAL basketball committee meets Feb. 13 to announce playoff pairings and the tournaments are scheduled to start with preliminary games as early as Feb. 16. The championships are set for March 2-4 at the Petersen Events Center on the University of Pittsburgh campus.

“Plain and simple, we are looking forward to competing, playing meaningful games in front of big crowds,” said PT coach Joe Urmann. “We just embrace the challenges ahead.”

Before taking on the Black Hawks on Feb. 10 (game result occurred after press time), the Indians survived many tests this season.

After victories against Connellsville, 78-45, and Trinity, 77-58, the Indians stood atop the Section 1 standings with an 8-1 record. They were 17-3 overall.

In the win against the Falcons, Brendan McCullough topped out with 21 points while Dylan Donovan (14), Jack Dunbar (11), Cam Mills (11) and Jake Ziegler (10) all finished in double figures.

Dunbar exploded for 33 points against the Hillers. Mills followed with 15.

Urmann says that he is pleased with the progress his team has made and sees benefits in all games leading into the playoffs.

“I like that our guys know that we have to continue to get better in different ways. I think they’re still hungry,” he added. “We need to be ready for whatever some opponents might throw at us.”

Games like those played against BP as well as Thomas Jefferson in the section and non-section contests with old familiar rivals like Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon have prepared Peters Township to challenge for its first WPIAL championship since 2009. Ironically, the Indians defeated Lebo, where at the time Urmann served as an assistant coach.

“We’ve played in a lot of big games and been in some packed gyms this year both on the road and at home. We try to learn something from all of our games both in victory and defeat,” Urmann said.

Meanwhile, Bethel Park needed to also beat Thomas Jefferson on Feb. 11 before the section order was completed. The Black Hawks were 7-1 in the league after topping Connellsville, 78-45. In the win, Mike Mathias and Jack Bruckner scored 14 and 13 points, respectively.

SF in hunt

Three straight victories put South Fayette in position to clinch a playoff spot in the WPIAL Class 5A boys basketball playoffs but the Lions needed a win at West Allegheny on Feb. 10 to complete Section 4 action.

(Results of the game were too late to be published in this edition of The Almanac.)

After upending arch rival Chartiers Valley, the Lions topped the division’s top contenders. They dispatched Mars, 77-72, in overtime, then upset top-ranked North Hills, 48-45.

In the win against the Planets, Elijah Hall exploded for 36 points. Michael Plasko and Nico Lamonde followed with 19 and 14.

Plasko was the hero against the Indians. His thee-point play with under six seconds to play lifted the Lions to victory. Plasko finished with 21 points.

Also in double figures for SF, which trailed NH by 10 points after the first quarter before clamping down defensively, Hall tossed in 14.

With the win, SF improved to 4-5 in the section before facing off against West Allegheny, which was in last place in the league with a 1-8 mark. That put the Lions in a tie with Chartiers Valley for the final playoff slot.

Since starting the season with 12 straight wins, the Colts have taken a tumble, losing six of their last nine games. They were 4-5 in the section heading into their section-finale at North Hills but 15-6 overall.

The Colts split their past two contests, topping Moon, 62-56 before being dropped by Mars, 79-77.

In the loss to the Planets, Jayden Davis scored a career-high 50 points. He buried seven, 3-point field goals and scored 27 of his points during a failed fourth-quarter rally in which CV outscored Mars, 35-22.

In the win against the Tigers, Davis provided 14 points while Julian Semplice led with 15 tallies.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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