Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Central Idea: Just Keep Things Rolling

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Central Idea: Just Keep Things Rolling

Article excerpt

Can Central Catholic extend its dominance into the WPIAL playoffs?

Up to this point, there's no indication it won't. The Vikings have been scary good, leading Class AAAA in scoring offense (45 points per game) and defense (3 ppg). The Vikings, the No. 2 seed behind Upper St. Clair, have blanked six opponents and won their games by at least 24 points.

Central Catholic could be four wins away from adding another WPIAL championship to its storied history. The Vikings are one of 13 East Xtra teams that qualified for the playoffs. The group includes half of the Class AAAA field, as well as Class AAA No. 4 seed Franklin Regional and Class AA No. 4 seed Mount Pleasant.

Here are one guy's predictions on who will hoist championship trophies Nov. 23, and one sleeper team (seeded No. 5 or lower) from each class.

Class AAAA

The winner will be ... McKeesport. The previous time the Tigers were undefeated heading into the postseason, Brandon Short was their star player. Yeah, it's safe to say "first year" coach George Smith has his team playing well. The Tigers flexbone offense is running like a well-oiled machine. Figuring out how to slow it down is a tall task with just a few days to prepare. Defensively, the Tigers are physical and have allowed the third fewest points in Class AAAA.

Sleeper: Gateway. Has there ever been a No. 7 seed this dangerous? Many would agree that the Gators have as much talent as anyone. They will have to beat North Hills and likely No. 2 Central Catholic to reach the semifinals, where they then might get a rematch with McKeesport. It's hard to count out a team with athletes such as Montae Nicholson and Delvon Randall.

Class AAA

The winner will be ... Central Valley. When West Allegheny won the WPIAL title last season, its only regular-season loss was to Central Valley. This season, look for the roles to reverse, with the Warriors avenging their only loss by beating West Allegheny in the championship. The Warriors have talented offensive skill players (led by Jordan Whitehead), but it's a defense that has yet to allow more than 14 points in a game that will have them holding the championship trophy.

Sleeper: West Mifflin. …

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