PIAA Class AAA Boys State Playoff Outlook

High School & College Sports Enthusiast Jim Hammett breaks it down for you!
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Crimson's Ghost
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PIAA Class AAA Boys State Playoff Outlook

Post by Crimson's Ghost » March 7th, 2018, 11:48 am

Western Team to Beat  - Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park made it to Hershey last year, but were dominated by Neumann-Goretti.  The Leopards will be looking for their first state title since 2014.  This team is led by some talented underclassmen in 6-3 Keeno Holmes, who has D1 potential. Along with 6-3 Andre Wilder and 6-6 Thomas Melonja.  The size is tough to matchup with for most teams, and separates the Leopards from the pack on this end of the state. 
Easter Team to Beat - Neumann-Goretti
The Saints have a few Division One talents, but nothing like last year's team that featured five-star Kentucky commit, Quade Green.  Neumann still has Marcus Littles, a 6-8 forward heading to George Washington, and 6-1 junior Christian Ings, who holds a Drexel offer. The Saints are very good, and very talented, but they likely aren't the unbeatable force they have been in the past. And yet, it would still be a daunting task to take them down. 
Local Team to Beat - Ligonier Valley
The Rams have not lost a game since December 28.  Something changed for this team in a good way, and they really gelled after the New Year.  Marrek Paola is a double-double machine down low, and can really present problems with his 6-6 size.  Michael Marinchak is a heady point guard, and plays tough for a sophomore.  Throw in some quality athletes from some successful football runs, and you have a team that looks like they can make some noise in the postseason. 
Game to Watch -  Aliquippa vs. Richland
Richland was the local team to beat all year, but came up short in winning the LHAC and District 6.  The 21-4 Rams are still awfully good, and are more than capable of winning some games in the state tournament. Richland has five different players that can lead the team in scoring on a given night.  Watch for 6-3 forward Trevy Hardison, as he seems to be the matchup problem for this team.  Aliquippa is Aliquippa.  They have one of the most well regarded basketball programs on this end of the state. The Quips nearly knocked off Lincoln Park in the WPIAL playoffs.  This should be a good game. 
Sleeper - Westinghouse
It's all about 6-11 James Ellis.  He presents a lot of mismatches, and Chestnut Ridge saw what he could do last night.  The Bulldogs have some impressive wins this year, and they could be a team that wins some games behind the strength of Ellis. 
First Round Picks
Neumann-Goretti over Steel-High
Mastery Charter South over Wyoming Seminary
Kutztown over Bishop McDevitt
Wellsboro over Notre Dame Green Pond
Valley Forge over Penn Treaty
Holy Redeemer over Loyalsock
Dobbins over Southern Columbia
Trinity over Tacony Charter
Ligonier over Lancaster Mennonite
Westinghouse over Burgettstown
North Catholic over Greenville
Lincoln Park over Mt. Union
Karns City over Mercyhurst
Aliquippa over Richland
Seton LaSalle over Central Cambria
Fairview over Shady Side

Red and Black
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Joined: July 27th, 2009, 7:15 am

Re: PIAA Class AAA Boys State Playoff Outlook

Post by Red and Black » March 7th, 2018, 4:23 pm

Outstanding write ups - thank you. I think the games at GJHS on Saturday look like the best first round pair at one site of the tournament. What appears to be 4 very athletic teams should make for exciting, entertaining basketball.

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