Friday, October 18, 2013

WPIAL Week 8 Games of the Week and Playoff Scenarios

I spent most of my time this week putting together a YouTube Video of the Playoff Scenarios as they currently stand heading into Week 8.

Also, don't forget to check out my WPIAL Standings Page, it's the only one you'll find with Gardner Points and WPIAL Point Differential Tiebreakers listed.


Game of the Week
Seneca Valley (5-1, 6-1) at Bethel Park (6-2, 6-2)

Seneca Valley and Bethel Park square off in a non-conference game that will play a big factor in how the seeding shakes out in Quad-A. Seneca Valley's only loss this year was to Central Catholic while Bethel Park has been defeated by Upper St Clair and Woodland Hills. With Bethel Park hanging on to the 3rd place spot in the Southeastern Conference, a win would almost guarantee the Black Hawks a home game in the first round. Seneca Valley has secured a first round home game but can go a long way towards proving themselves as a title contender with a win.

Honorable Mentions: Kiski (4-2, 4-3) at McKeesport (6-0, 7-0), Penn-Trafford (4-2, 4-3) at Gateway (6-0, 7-0), Pine-Richland (3-3, 4-3) at North Hills (3-2, 4-3), Peters Twp (3-3, 3-4) at Woodland Hills (5-1, 5-2)

Playoff Scenarios

Foothills Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: McKeesport, Gateway, Hempfield, Kiski, Penn-Trafford
- McKeesport and Gateway have secured first round home games
- The five playoff teams have already been decided, but the race for 3rd place is tight. Hempfield, Kiski and Penn-Trafford are all 4-2 in conference. Hempfield beat Kiski and Kiski beat Penn-Trafford. Hempfield plays Penn-Trafford in the season finale next week.
- Latrobe can not finish in the Top 5 in the conference but is still alive for the 16th playoff spot.

Northern Eight Conference
- Conference Champion: Central Catholic
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Central Catholic, Seneca Valley, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland
- Seneca Valley has secured a first round home game
- The five playoff teams have been decided and the last two weeks will be a battle to determine third place. North Hills (3-2) finishes with Pine-Richland (3-3) and North Allegheny (3-2). North Allegheny already has a win over Pine-Richland.

Southeastern Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Upper St Clair, Woodland Hills, Bethel Park
- Upper St Clair has secured a first round home game
- Upper St Clair can clinch the conference championship with a win over Plum
- Penn Hills clinches a playoff berth with a win over Mt Lebanon
- Peters Twp clinches a playoff berth with a win over Woodland Hills or losses by Baldwin and Mt Lebanon
- Baldwin clinches a playoff berth with a win over Canon-McMillan and losses by Mt Lebanon and Latrobe

The Race For 16th
Per the WPIAL tiebreaking system, the 16th playoff team in Quad-A will be decided by the 6th place team with the best overall record, non-conference games included.
Baldwin - 3-4
Latrobe - 2-5
Mt Lebanon - 2-5


Game of the Week
Montour (4-2, 5-2) at West Allegheny (6-0, 7-0)

The defending AAA Champions got a run for their money from New Castle last week and have a chance to secure the Conference Championship at home this week. Montour has gotten stronger as the season has moved forward and is currently locked in a 3-way tie for 3rd place. West Allegheny is a legitimate contender to repeat as AAA Champions, while Montour is looking to keep pace with the winner of the New Castle-Moon game in the hopes that they can earn a home playoff game. Elsewhere in AAA, Ringgold and Highlands play an important non-conference game that will help determine the seeding in the top half of the AAA bracket. Ringgold currently sits in 3rd place in the Big Nine Conference while Highlands is in a 3-way tie for first in the Greater Allegheny Conference.

Honorable Mention: New Castle (4-2, 5-2) at Moon (4-2, 5-2), Knoch (2-4, 3-4) at Indiana (2-4, 2-5), Ringgold (5-2, 5-2) at Highlands (6-1, 6-1)

Playoff Scenarios

Big Nine Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: West Mifflin, Thomas Jefferson, Ringgold, Elizabeth Forward
- West Mifflin and Thomas Jefferson have secured home games
- Belle Vernon clinches a playoff berth with a win over Laurel Highlands and losses by Uniontown and Albert Gallatin
- Ringgold plays a non-conference game, but will clinch a 3rd place finish if Elizabeth Forward loses

Greater Allegheny Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Highlands, Franklin Regional, Mars
- The Greater Allegheny Conference playoff race will become clearer after this week when Indiana and Knoch face off. Indiana and Knoch are currently tied for 6th place and Indiana has a win over 5th place Hampton while Knoch has a win over 4th place Hollidaysburg. With Hollidaysburg facing Mars and Hampton facing Franklin Regional, the potential exists for a 3-way tie for 4th/5th/6th place heading into the last week of the season. Even if Hollidaysburg and/or Hampton win, they could still be surpassed by Knoch or Indiana in the last week of the season.

Parkway Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: West Allegheny, Central Valley, New Castle, Moon, Montour
- West Allegheny and Central Valley have secured first round home games
- West Allegheny clinches the Conference Championship with a win over Montour
- Hopewell has had a season to forget, going 0-7 to date, but they might get off the schnide this week when they play Freedom, who is also winless and from a lower classification (AA).

The Race for 16th
The "Wild Card" spot in AAA is decided based solely on Conference Record, which means this will come down to the last week of the season.
- Indiana - 2-4, 30 Gardner Pts
- Knoch - 2-4, 30 Gardner Pts
- Uniontown - 2-4 20 Gardner Pts
- Ambridge - 2-4, 10 Gardner Pts


Game of the Week
Aliquippa (5-0, 7-0) at Beaver Falls (6-0, 7-0)

This is not just the AA game of the week, this is THE game of the week for the entire WPIAL. Two undefeated rivals square off with the Midwestern Conference title on the line. Aliquippa is loaded with Division 1 talent, led by defensive back/runningback Dravon Henry who has narrowed his list to Pitt, Ohio State, West Virginia and Alabama. If there is a team in the conference that can match Aliquippa from a talent perspective it is Beaver Falls. Elsewhere in AA, Summit Academy can clinch their first playoff berth in school history with a win over Shady Side Academy.

Honorable Mentions: Summit Academy (4-2, 4-3) at Shady Side Academy (6-0, 7-0), Valley (4-2, 5-2) at Kittanning (6-0, 7-0) South Park (5-1, 5-2) at South Fayette (6-0, 7-0), Greensburg Central Catholic (4-2, 4-3) at Yough (3-3, 3-4)

Playoff Scenarios

Allegheny Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Shady Side Academy, Kittanning, Valley
- Summit Academy clinches the first playoff berth in school history with a win over Shady Side Academy or a Burrell loss
- East Allegheny is currently in 5th place with a 3-4 conference record but can not make the playoffs due to head-to-head losses to Summit Academy (4-2) and Valley (4-2) and only one remaining conference game.
- Burrell (2-4) has a head-to-head victory over Summit Academy but must win out by beating East Allegheny this week and Deer Lakes in the finale AND Summit Academy has to lose both of their remaining games to Shady Side Academy and Freeport in order for Burrell to reach the playoffs.

Century Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: South Fayette,Quaker Valley, South Park, Seton-La Salle
- South Fayette clinches the Conference Championship with a win over South Park
- Quaker Valley clinches the first home playoff game in school history with a win over Burgettstown and a South Park loss

Interstate Conference
- Conference Champion: Mt Pleasant
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Washington, Mt Pleasant
- Washington has secured a home playoff game
-  Jeanette clinches a playoff berth with a win over Waynesburg and a Yough loss
- GCC clinches a playoff berth with a win over Yough

Midwestern Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Beaver Falls, Aliquippa
- Beaver Falls and Aliquippa have clinched home playoff games
- The winner of Aliquippa-Beaver Falls wins the Conference Championship
- Due to the fact that 5th place Mohawk (3-3) plays a non-conference game, New Brighton and Beaver can not clinch playoff berths this week. The potential exists for New Brighton, Beaver and Mohawk to end the season in a 3-way tie where two will make the playoffs if New Brighton and Beaver win this week then Beaver loses to Aliquippa and Mohawk beats New Brighton next week.


Game of the Week
Neshannock (6-1, 6-1) at North Catholic (7-0, 7-0)

I know you're probably thinking I'm just giving another plug to my alma mater. However, this is a big game in Class A. North Catholic has already clinched the Eastern Conference and the only remaining question is where they will be seeded. Neshannock's only loss is to Sto-Rox, the presumed top seed in Single-A. The Lancers fell on a last-minute goal-line stand by Sto-Rox. This is a measuring stick game, not only for North Catholic but for the Eastern Conference to see how they stack up against the Big Seven.

Honorable Mention: Sto-Rox (6-0, 7-0) at Laurel (5-1, 6-1), Monessen (5-1, 6-1) at Chartiers-Houston (4-2, 5-2), Beth-Center (7-0, 7-0) at Avella (4-2, 5-2)

Playoff Scenarios

Big Seven Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Sto-Rox, Neshannock, Laurel
- Sto-Rox clinches the Conference Championship with a win over Laurel
- Neshannock plays a non-conference game but can clinch a home playoff game with a Laurel loss
- Western Beaver clinches a playoff berth with a win over Shenango
- Rochester (2-4) is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1996. The Rams currently have the longest playoff streak in Class A and the 4th longest in the WPIAL. They will be eliminated with a loss to OLSH or if Western Beaver beats Shenango.

Black Hills Conference
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Clairton, Fort Cherry, Monessen
- Chartiers-Houston clinches a playoff berth with a win over Monessen and a Brentwood loss
- Clairton plays their last conference game this week and is currently in a 3-way tie for first place with Fort Cherry and Monessen. However, the 5-time defending WPIAL Champions are in danger of not having a home playoff game. The top 2 in the conference host playoff games. Assuming Clairton, Fort Cherry and Monessen win out, the tiebreaker would fall to the WPIAL Points Tiebreaker. If Clairton beats Serra by 10+ as they should, they would need Fort Cherry to beat Chartiers-Houston by 6 or less OR Monessen to beat Chartiers-Houston or Carlynton by 7 or less.
- Chartiers-Houston is currently in 4th place with a 4-2 conference record but faces Monessen (5-1) and Fort Cherry (6-1) to close out the season. If the Bucs lose both games, they could be surpassed by Brentwood (3-3) who closes out with Carlynton (2-4) and California (2-4). Brentwood would need to win just one of those games to make the playoffs because they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Chartiers-Houston.

Eastern Conference
- Conference Champion: North Catholic
- Playoff Berths Clinched: North Catholic, Avonworth, Apollo-Ridge
- Avonworth clinches a home playoff game with a win over Wilkinsburg.
- West Shamokin is in the playoffs for the first time in school history with a win over Leechburg.
- Springdale misses the playoffs for the first time since 2001 with a loss or a West Shamokin win.

Tri-County South Conference
- Conference Champion: Beth-Center
- Playoff Berths Clinched: Beth-Center, Carmichaels
- Frazier plays a non-conference game, but can clinch a playoff berth with a Mapletown loss
- Avella clinches their first playoff berth since 1976 with a win over Beth-Center or a Mapletown loss

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