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Downingtown East opens state playoffs with Cedar Crest (preview capsule)

PIAA CLASS AAAA PLAYOFFS

Opening Round

(1-3) Downingtown East (22-7, 10-2) vs. (3-4) Cedar Crest (23-6, 15-3)

Saturday, March 7 (Rescheduled from Friday)

At Cheltenham High, 4 p.m.

Downingtown East at a glance

Last game: Paige Warfel had 19 points and Aryah Aungst added 13 as the Cougars dropped (16) Spring-Ford 48-31 Saturday in the District 1-AAAA third-place contest

Trending: 8-2 over last 10 games; 13-2 over last 15

Players to watch: 6-0 Jr. G Paige Warfel (18 ppg), 5-11 Jr. F Lindsay Kent (7 ppg),5-11 Jr. F Laura Ochsner (6.5 ppg), 5-8 Sr. G Kaelyn Johns (7 ppg), 5-8 Jr. G Aryah Aungst (8 ppg)

Inside scoop: Fell to eventual District 1 champion Central Bucks West 69-44 in the D1 semifinals … First state playoff trip game since 2011 … Lost to Bishop Shanahan 27-25 in the Ches-Mont league championship game after finishing second behind the Eagles in the National Division during the regular season … Had West Chester’s Rustin number this season, snapping the Golden Knights’ 40-game Ches-Mont winning streak with a 57-40 decision in the league semifinals and later decking Rustin 54-49 in the second round of districts … Opened district tournament with a 37-32 triumph over Haverford High … Ten combined wins over district playoff qualifiers … Got to the semifinals with a 52-47 conquest of (3) Mount St. Joseph Academy as Warfel dropped 10 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter.

Cedar Crest at a glance

Last game: Fell to Central Dauphin East 57-43 in District 3’s third-place game despite getting a team-high 12 points from Alyssa Austin

Trending: Two straight losses, including a 48-42 setback to Palmyra in D3 semifinals; 7-3 over last 10; 19-3 since 4-3 start

Players to watch: 6-1 So. F Alyssa Austin (15 ppg), Nikki Wagner (9 ppg), Ariel Jones (7.5 ppg), Rachel Miller, Madison Rakow, Alex Rich, Emmi Wagner

Inside scoop: Captured seventh Lancaster-Lebanon League title with a 58-49 victory over Section 1 champion McCaskey as Nikki Wagner and Ariel Jones scored 15 points each … Finished 15-3 in the Lancaster-Lebanon League during the regular season … Last won L-L title in 2010 … Finished second in Section 1 behind McCaskey … First state playoff appearance since 2007

Paige Warfel (from Daily Local News website): “It’s the first time we made states. We’re playing really well together now. I’m excited to play.”

D-East coach Bob Schnure (from Daily Local News website following win over Spring-Ford): “Cedar Crest will be a challenging game after seeing them. We have a week to get ready to go. It’s nice to go into this thing winning four out of five district games.”

The winner gets: The survivor of (3-1) Cumberland Valley and (1-10) Boyertown in the second round Tuesday at a neutral site in the Sweet 16. Cumberland Valley is the defending state champion and the top-ranked team in Pennsylvania according to Max Preps

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