Tonight’s PIAA basketball playoff preview capsule

PIAA Class 1A girls semifinals

Bishop Carroll (6-2) vs. Juniata Valley (6-1)

Teams: Juniata Valley Lady Hornets (25-3); Bishop Carroll Lady Huskies (25-2)

Site, time: Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse, 7 p.m.

The coaches: Juniata Valley — Rachelle Hopsicker (121-53, seven years). Bishop Carroll — Bob Gongloff (422-106 in 18 years at Bishop Carroll; 443-158 in 21 years overall).

Playoff path: Juniata Valley — defeated Saltsburg, 63-15, in the District 6 quarterfinals; defeated Saint Joseph’s, 69-23, in the District 6 semifinals; defeated Bishop Carroll, 48-42, in the District 6 championship; defeated Otto-Eldred, 65-28, in the PIAA first round; defeated Farrell, 67-38, in the PIAA quarterfinals. Bishop Carroll — defeated Portage, 50-47, in the District 6 semifinals; lost to Juniata Valley, 48-42, in the District 6 championship; defeated Shanksville-Stonycreek, 56-35, in the PIAA first round; defeated Winchester Thurston, 51-28, in the PIAA second round; defeated Kennedy Catholic, 68-48, in the PIAA quarterfinals.

Starting lineups: Juniata Valley — G Taylor Leidy (14, 5-6 sr., 7.9), G Hayden Taylor (12, 5-10 so., 10.1), G Sydney Reed (10, 5-8 sr., 14.0), F Halee Smith (31, 5-11 sr., 5-10 so., 16.8), C Maddie Mattas (33, 6-0, sr., 9.7). Bishop Carroll — G Alivia Borlie (5, 5-4 sr., 3.4), G Alyssa Martinazzi (11, 5-9 sr., 19.4), F Adie Divido (14, 5-8 sr., 8.0), F Anna Haigh (35, 5-9 jr. 9.4), C Emily Kutskel (42, 6-0 sr., 8.0).

Key reserves: Juniata Valley — G Lexie Reed (1, 5-0 sr., 1.1), F Emily Jefferis (5, 5-11 jr., 0.6), F Olivia Smith (2, 5-11 fr., 2.6). Bishop Carroll — F Mara Yahner (4, 5-9 so., 1.8) G Kate Yahner (15, 5-6 jr., 3.8), Maria McConnell (13, 5-9 fr., 3.1), F Dani Gittings (33, 5-9 jr., 0.5).

Who they get: The winner plays the winner of the game between Jenkintown (1-1) and Lebanon Catholic (3-1) in the finals at noon Friday at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Notable: This is the fourth time these teams have met up in the playoffs over two seasons. Bishop Carroll prevailed in the 2017 District 6 championship game, but Valley has come out on top in both the 2017 state semifinals and this year’s D6 title game. …. The winner will be the 21st team to reach the state championship game in Class 1A since Carroll’s victory over Marian Catholic in 1987. … The team almost switched their paths to the state semis from last year; in 2017, Juniata Valley beat district champions Winchester Thurston and Kennedy Catholic en route to the final four — both those teams repeated as champs in their respective districts this winter. … Last year was Juniata Valley’s first time to the state semifinals. … This is the eighth time Carroll has made it this far. The Lady Huskies won the first five but have dropped the most recent two. … Martinazzi is averaging 24.0 points over the last two games. … Juniata Valley’s only allowed 40 points eight times this season. Three of those were the Lady Hornets’ first three games.

— Philip Cmor

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