No. 5-seed Lady Hawks set for first-round playoff matchup vs. Shaler


Evan Manion

Lady Hawks are all smiles after a victory at home on Senior Night on Feb. 11.

The doors for the girls basketball WPIAL tournament are wide open this year for any of the 14 teams in Western Pennsylvania.

This year is the first year since 1984 that the WPIAL has permitted all teams to enter the WPIAL playoffs.

“I think it was the right thing to do this year because of the fact that so many teams weren’t able to play their normal section opponents. Usually, that’s how they determine if we get into the playoffs or not are by section victories,” said Lady Hawks head coach Jonna Burke. “And also for the fact that so many teams got shut down and had to take time out and they didn’t get to play games. So, I think it was the fair thing to do this season.”

While last year’s reigning champion North Allegheny kept its spot as the top seed, defeating Bethel Park in the finals last year, they have more competition to earn that title this year.

“I like our chances,” said Coach Burke. “We have a relatively experienced team and I do believe that once in the playoffs anybody can win any one-game so we’re going to have to prepare very hard and be ready every day and just take it one game at a time, but I like my team, we play hard, we work hard, and I’m hoping we can make a long run.”

As of right now, the Lady Hawks are seeded No. 5 and are preparing to win it all.

“I’m very proud of how our team played in our regular-season games,” said junior Riley Miller. “I think that a lot of teams are underestimating us, and in that, we are going to come out strong in our first game against Shaler and will hopefully keep rolling from there.”

The Lady Hawks are set to play their first-round game of the playoffs on their home court against No. 12-seed Shaler on March 3 at 6 p.m.

If victorious, the Lady Hawks will play the winner of the No.4-seed Mount Lebanon and No. 13 Seneca Valley game.