Bellwood-Antis (6-2) vs. Conemaugh Township (5-1)
Records: Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils (20-6); Conemaugh Township Indians (22-3).
Site, time: University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Sports Center, 4:30 p.m., today.
The coaches: Bellwood-Antis - Brent Gerwert (58-38 in four years at Bellwood-Antis; 68-52 in five years overall). Conemaugh Township - Chuck Lesko (65-30 in four years).
Playoff path: Bellwood-Antis - defeated Marion Center, 66-58, in the District 6 quarterfinals; defeated Westmont Hilltop, 53-49, in the District 6 semifinals; lost to Bishop McCort, 71-60, in the District 6 championship. Conemaugh Township - defeated Tussey Mountain, 68-45, in the District 5 semifinals; defeated Chestnut Ridge, 61-47, in the District 5 championship.
Starting lineups: Bellwood-Antis - G Alex Dionis (20, 5-7 sr., 5.8), G Josh Steffen (13, 5-11 sr., 7.5), F Zach Sinisi (23, 6-1 sr., 4.3), F David Wolfe (35, 6-3 sr., 14.6), F Noah Davis (42, 6-6 jr., 18.6). Conemaugh Township - G Grant Speigle (10, 6-1 sr., 14.6), G Dillon Boyer (30, 6-0 jr., 13.8), G Josh Burns (44, 5-9 jr., 7.1), F Dan Zambanini (2, 6-3 sr., 6.6), F Jeff Fisher (32, 6-1 jr., 6.4).
Key reserves: Bellwood-Antis - G Seth Worthing (30, 6-0 jr., 4.2), G Kyle Bartlett (12, 5-10 jr., 2.8), F Cameron Worthing (14, 6-0 jr., 1.4), F Steffan Wyland (41, 6-1 jr., 2.6). Conemaugh Township - F Eric Ewing (20, 5-10 sr., 4.8), G Jeremy Sotosky (40, 6-2 jr., 4.2), G Bruno Rosa (4, 5-10 so., 2.8).
Who they get: The winner plays the winner of the game between Lakeview (10-3) and Beaver Falls (7-1) on Wednesday at a site to be announced.
Notable: This is the second year in a row Bellwood has reached the state playoffs. The Blue Devils got in last year by winning the District 6 consolation game and fell to Greensburg Central Catholic in the opening round. Bellwood's last interdistrict playoff victory came in 1996. Gerwert was a junior on that squad, teaming with the brother of current volunteer assistant coach Kevin Conlon, Steve, and being coached by Gene Yingling. ... The only common opponent the Devils and Indians share is Penn Cambria. B-A topped the Panthers, 55-51, on Dec. 28, while PC beat Township, 66-57, on Dec. 9. ... Township's other losses were to Johnstown and Conemaugh Valley. Since the Valley setback, the Indians have won 18 in a row. North Star beat Richland in last year's 5-1 vs. 6-2 interdistrict matchup. Steffen leads the Devils in assists (3.5), has the most blocked shots on the team (27) and has drawn nine charges.
Elizabeth Forward (7-5) vs. Hollidaysburg (6-1)
Records: Elizabeth Forward Lady Warriors (18-5); Hollidaysburg Lady Tigers (15-8)
Site, time: Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse, 3 p.m., today.
The coaches: Elizabeth Forward - Sam Kosanovich (18-5 in first years at Elizabeth Forward; 40-54 in four seasons overall). Hollidaysburg - Deanna Jubeck (36-13 in two years).
Playoff path: Elizabeth Forward - defeated Hampton, 34-31, in the District 7 second round; lost to Hopewell, 46-35, in the District 7 quarterfinals. Hollidaysburg - defeated Tyrone, 69-49, in the District 6 championship.
Starting lineups: Elizabeth Forward - G Hannah Ulmer (4, 5-4 sr., 5.1), G Macy Pekala (23, 5-3 jr., 5.0), F Kylie Owoc (22, 5-7 so., 5.9), F Natalie Fekula (21, 5-11 so., 8.1), C Dana Buck (33, 5-11 jr., 12.6). Hollidaysburg - G Hannah Mercer (34, 5-7 jr., 6.5), G Rachel McClain (20, 5-4 sr., 6.7), G Susie Ellis (24, 5-6 jr., 9.8), F Alex Gildea (25, 5-8 sr., 15.5), C Morgan Griffith (40, 5-11 jr., 14.0).
Key reserves: Elizabeth Forward - G Olivia Barkley (44, 5-7 fr., 6.4), G Alison Pastore (12, 5-5 so., 5.3), G Abby Sporio (2, 5-5 fr., 3.1). Hollidaysburg - F Courteney Storm (11, 5-8 so., 4.8), G Michele Muir (23, 5-7 jr., 2.7), G Amy Tomassetti (12, 5-5 jr., 2.8).
Who they get: The winner plays the winner of the game between Hickory (10-2) and South Park (7-2) on Wednesday at a site to be announced.
Notable: Hollidaysburg is in interdistricts for the fourth year in a row; last year, the Lady Tigers won their first PIAA playoff game since 1997 but fell to Franklin in overtime in the second round. Kosanovich used to be the head coach of the Point Park women after a long stay as an assistant with the Point Park men's team, where he helped coach Bishop Guilfoyle graduate Bill Pfeffer. He inherited the program from John Hearn, who had won more than 400 games in his career. ... Hollidaysburg has outscored its opponents by more than 100 points in each quarter this year except the fourth and overtime. Because of the WPIAL playoff setup and the fact that District 8 didn't enter a team for the Lady Warriors to face in their scheduled play-in game, this afternoon's game will only be their third since Feb. 9.
Saegertown (10-3) vs. Bishop Guilfoyle (6-1)
Records: Saegertown Lady Panthers (17-8); Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic Lady Marauders (23-2)
Site, time: Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse, 4:30 p.m., today.
The coaches: Saegertown - Steve Scott (499-176 in 26 years). Bishop Guilfoyle - Mark Moschella (475-126 in 20 years).
Playoff path: Seagertown - defeated Farrell, 31-24, in the District 10 quarterfinals; lost to Conneaut Valley, 31-28, in the District 10 semifinals; defeated Linesville, 65-63, in overtime in the District 10 consolation. Bishop Guilfoyle - defeated Blacklick Valley, 72-22, in the District 6 quarterfinals; defeated Conemaugh Valley, 61-32, in the District 6 semifinals; defeated Homer-Center, 61-48, in the District 6 championship.
Starting lineups: Saegertown - G Arianna Hanley (4, 5-5 jr., 6.0), G Katie Kapanick (22, 5-6 jr., 6.9), G Rachel DiBartolomeo (14, 5-7 jr., 7.4), F Tori Eckart (32, 5-10 so., 4.0), F Malorie Levis (11, 5-10 sr., 14.7). Bishop Guilfoyle - G Kayla Bates (12, 5-8 jr., 12.8), G/F Halee Adams (44, 5-8 jr., 13.8), F Devin Stessney (24, 5-8 jr., 8.0), F Elyssa Ehredt (15, 5-7 jr., 9.7), F Courtney Becker (43, 5-10 sr., 8.3).
Key reserves: Saegertown - G Ashley Shouey (10, 5-3 jr., 1.1), G Marissa Parker (35, 5-6 sr., 0.5). Bishop Guilfoyle - F Kate Meck (23, 5-11 sr., 3.6), G Brit Boslet (22, 5-7 jr., 4.9).
Who they get: The winner plays the winner of the game between Berlin Brothersvalley (5-2) and Fort Cherry (7-3) on Wednesday at a site to be announced.
Notable: Guilfoyle has only lost twice in the first round of the PIAA playoffs in 34 appearances. The Lady Marauders were the PIAA runner-up last season, the fourth time they've gotten to the state finals in five years. The all-time series is 1-1. Saegertown made it to the PIAA finals in 2000 by beating Bishop Guilfoyle, 43-33, when the teams last crossed paths. The Lady Panthers finished as state runner-up that season to Nativity of Pottsville. The 65 points Saegertown scored last game was a season-high by 17 points. The Lady Panthers average 41.8 points, but are only allowing 31.1. Guilfoyle has scored 1,442 points this season while giving up 773. Bates scoring average is up almost six points from last year. She has a team-high 67 assists and only 35 turnovers.
- Philip Cmor