Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

AA Section Gets a Bit Tougher

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

AA Section Gets a Bit Tougher

Article excerpt

Jeannette coach Adrian Batts said he doesn't pay too much attention to other sections in the WPIAL, but he's certain about one thing -- that his Jayhawks are among a strong set of teams.

"I know that right now, our section is pretty tough," he said.

It's a point that's certainly a valid one as Jeannette is one of three teams in Class AA Section 3 that is still right in the mix for the section's top seed for the WPIAL playoffs. Along with Greensburg Central Catholic and Serra Catholic, it is shaping up to be a close race to the finish for three teams that are very much in contention.

Three games separate the top team in the section, Greensburg Central Catholic (17-1, 9-0) from the third-place team, Serra Catholic (12-4, 5-3), with Jeannette (15-2, 8-1) just a single game behind the first-place Centurions.

The Jayhawks defeated Serra, 63-56, Tuesday night.

Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic have been playing one another for years and have been consistently successful in that period. But what has added to the conference's competitive nature has been the addition of Serra Catholic, a perennial Class A power that moved up to Class AA this season.

Thus far, the Eagles have more than held their own, having already reached double digits in wins. For opposing coaches, Serra Catholic's inclusion has been a valuable one.

"Serra has a great program, a great tradition and certainly an excellent team this year," Greensburg Central Catholic coach Greg Bisignani said. "They've made our conference a lot more competitive."

In some respects, the race to finish first in the section may seem moot, as the top four teams in the section qualify for the WPIAL playoffs, where a team's success for that season will be truly measured.

For coaches and players, however, there is some value in the final section standings, with Section 3 being no exception.

"It's always one of our goals as a team to win the section [title] and it gives you a little bit of motivation and confidence going into the playoffs," Bisignani said. "I do think it's important, but it's not imperative."

As fate (or the WPIAL schedulers) would have it, Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic will play on Feb. …

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