Thursday, February 28, 2013

WPIAL hoops finals OnDemand

Comcast will broadcast all eight WPIAL boys and girls basketball championships games -- to be played Friday and Saturday at the A.J. Palumbo Center -- via Xfinity On Demand early next week.

To watch, customers can go to the Xfinity On Demand menu and select "Get Local," followed by "Sports," "High School Sports" and "Basketball."

Chris Shovlin will provide play-by-play for Friday's three games, while John Sanders will call the five on Saturday. Ellis Cannon will provide color commentary for the boys games, Jim Elias for the girls games.

Here's a look at the match ups:

BOYS CLASS AAAA: Undefeated New Castle (25-0) will face Hampton (21-4) in a rematch of last year’s Class AAA championship. Hampton reached the title game by beating North Allegheny, 66-62, while New Castle got past Seneca Valley, 71-46, in the semifinals.

BOYS CLASS AAA: Two teams familiar with the championship game meet when Chartiers Valley (22-3) faces Montour (21-4). Top-seeded Chartiers Valley makes its ninth title game appearance under coach Tim McConnell after a 68-43 victory over Beaver, while Montour is in the game for the second time in three years after a 61-52 win over Mars.

BOYS CLASS AA: Beaver Falls (22-3) returns to the championship game after a 71-39 win over Apollo-Ridge and will face Burrell (19-6), a 43-32 winner over Quaker Valley in the semifinals.

BOYS CLASS A: Clairton (16-6), fresh off a 71-70 upset of top-seeded Lincoln Park, will face Vincentian (24-1). Vincentian, one of two schools whose boys and girls teams both qualified for the championships, defeated North Catholic, 82-69, in the semifinals.

GIRLS CLASS AAAA: Chartiers Valley is the other school with two teams vying for titles after the Colts’ girls (19-6) upset No. 1 seed and defending champion Mt. Lebanon, 31-27, in the semifinals. They will face Bethel Park (22-3), a 36-28 semifinal winner over Gateway, which is making its first title game appearance in eight years.

GIRLS CLASS AAA: South Park (22-2) defeated Hopewell, 75-55, in a rematch of last year’s championship game to reach the finals this year against Elizabeth-Forward (23-2), which upset top-seeded Blackhawk, 78-64, in the semifinals.

GIRLS CLASS AA: Canevin (21-4) and two-time defending champion Seton-LaSalle (24-1) are back to face each other for the second straight year in the title game. Canevin beat Burrell, 55-19, in the semifinals while Seton-LaSalle defeated Jeannette, 73-38.

GIRLS CLASS A: Vincentian (24-1) will seek its second straight championship and third in four years when it faces Serra (23-2). Vincentian beat Quigley, 57-38, in the semifinals while Serra defeated North Catholic, 56-45.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Swimming notes

I will be heading to Pitt Thursday and Friday for the WPIAL Class AA & Class AAA swimming championships, and Wednesday you probably read this story, about Charleroi senior Luke Simpson, who's the No. 1 seed in the 50-yard freestyle, despite not having a team.

One thing that kind of got short shrift because of what an interesting story Simpson has are the other seeds -- lots of South Fayette and Peters Township.

At the bottom of this post you will find the Psych Sheet pared down to our area, everyone who will be swimming tomorrow and Friday. I will also be tweeting updates (@mackey_jason).

Here, first, is the schedule of competition, BOTH DAYS:

8:45-10 a.m. -- AA warmup
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -- AA timed finals
1:45-3 p.m. -- AAA warmup
3-5:30 p.m. -- AAA timed finals

Thursday's events: 200 medley relay, 200 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 100 fly, 200 free relay
Friday's events: 100 free, 500 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 400 free relay

WPIAL CLASS AA

Event 1 Girls 200-yard medley relay
1. South Fayette (Mary Rosati, Morgan Fink, Maddie Bartrug, Tiana Marrese, Sydney Briner, Sophia Hestad, Miranda Mozick, Gracie Klimek), 1:52.80
Event 2 Boys 200-yard medley relay
6. South Fayette (Evan Zombek, Timothy Bernhardt, Matt Guyan, Aaron Mack, Ryne Fromholzer, Nathaniel White, Eric Marks, Stephen Zombek), 1:48.35
Event 3 Girls 200-yard freestyle
2. Morgan Fink, South Fayette, 1:56.45
20. Sophia Hestad, South Fayette, 2:06.41
26. Carrie Torre, South Fayette, 2:08.28
28. Emma Hestad, South Fayette, 2:08.76
Event 4 Boys 200-yard freestyle
5. Ryne Fromholzer, South Fayette, 1:49.57
Event 5 Girls 200-yard IM
2. Mary Rosati, South Fayette, 2:16.85
11. Sydney Briner, South Fayette, 2:23.02
18. Miranda Mozick, South Fayette, 2:26.31
Event 6 Boys 200-yard IM
14. Evan Zombek, South Fayette, 2:13.53
17. Nathaniel Heim, Washington, 2:16.53
Event 7 Girls 50-yard freestyle
1. Maddie Bartrug, South Fayette, 25.03
11. Tiana Marrese, South Fayette, 25.88
26. Corrine Loeffler, South Fayette, 26.60
29. Sarah Benton, South Fayette, 26.69
Event 8 Boys 50-yard freestyle
1. Luke Simpson, Charleroi, 21.53
31. Aaron Mack, South Fayette, 24.08
Event 11 Girls 100-yard butterfly
None
Event 12 Boys 100-yard butterfly
8. Timothy Bernhardt, South Fayette, 55.94
18. Matt Guayan, South Fayette, 59.46
27. Eric Marks, South Fayette, 1:02.04
29. Nathaniel White, South Fayette, 1:02.18
Event 13 Girls 100-yard freestyle
2. Maddie Bartrug, South Fayette, 53.74
11. Tiana Marrese, South Fayette, 56.70
14. Sydney Briner, South Fayette, 57.34
20. Sarah Benton, South Fayette, 58.27
Event 14 Boys 100-yard freestyle
None
Event 15 Girls 500-yard freestyle
3. Mary Rosati, South Fayette, 5:16.05
10. Sophia Hestad, South Fayette, 5:33.10
14. Emma Hestad, South Fayette 5:39.01
24. Maddie Planinsek, South Fayette, 5:49.84
Event 16 Boys 50-yard freestyle
5. Ryne Fromholzer, South Fayette, 4:58.88
13. Matt Guayan, South Fayette, 5:18.91
Event 17 Girls 200-yard freestyle relay
1. South Fayette (Sydney Briner, Sophia Hestad, Corrine Loeffler, Tiana Marrese, Maddie Bartrug, Sarah Benton, Morgan Fink, Mary Rosati), 1:41.50
Event 18 Boys 200-yard freestyle relay
16. South Fayette (Aaron Mack, Stephen Zombek, Eric Marks, Ryne Fromholzer, Nathaniel White, Matt Guyan, Timothy Bernhardt, Evan Zombek), 1:37.49
Event 19 Girls 100-yard backstroke
29. Sarah Hertzler, South Fayette, 1:08.11
32. Kailyn Fromholzer, South Fayette, 1:08.26
Event 20 Boys 100-yard backstroke
14. Luke Simpson, Charleroi, 1:00.10
15. Evan Zombek, South Fayette, 1:00.92
24. Eric Marks, South Fayette, 1:03.50
Event 21 Girls 100-yard breaststroke
1. Morgan Fink, South Fayette, 1:09.04
18. Hayley Georgetti, Chartiers-Houston, 1:15.32
Event 22 Boys 100-yard breaststroke
5. Timothy Bernhardt, South Fayette, 1:04.25
21. Nathaniel Heim, Washington, 1:09.48
Event 23 Girls 400-yard freestyle relay
1. South Fayette (Maddie Bartrug, Mary Rosati, Sydney Briner, Morgan Fink, Tiana Marrese, Sophia Hestad, Sarah Benton, Gracia Klimek), 3:42.59
Event 24 Boys 400-yard freestyle relay
5. South Fayette (Timothy Bernhardt, Matt Guyan, Evan Zombek, Ryne Fromholzer, Aaron Mack, Eric Marks, Stephen Zombek, Nathaniel White), 3:28.70

WPIAL CLASS AAA

Event 1 Girls 200-yard medley relay
11. Peters Township (Kristi Riesmeyer, Loeva Palu-Benson, Gavi Krohner, Saoirse Palu-Benson, Ana O'Brien, Makayla Caso, Hannah Greguric, Julia Corton), 1:54.90
20. Canon-McMillan (Brittany Byer, Natalie Burchesky, Samantha Orlowski, Caleigh Purcell, Katie McCarthy, Lauren Vidmar, Kayla Vidmar, Emily Sule), 2:00.49
Event 2 Boys 200-yard medley relay
4. Peters Township (Dan Pletz, Chris Buzard, Kyle Higgins, Jason Lee, Adam Harsch, Josh Howard, Corey Kehm, Sebastian Yocca), 1:38.50
Event 3 Girls 200-yard freestyle
31. Brittany Byer, Canon-McMillan, 2:03.29
Event 4 Boys 200-yard freestyle
12. Connor Martin, Peters Township, 1:49.22
Event 5 Girls 200-yard IM
15. Loeva Palu-Benson, Peters Township, 2:17.17
21. Cassidy Kovacicek, Trinity, 2:19.22
Event 6 Boys 200-yard IM
6. Dan Pletz, Peters Township, 2:00.53
27. Tyler Phillips, Peters Township, 2:10.37
Event 7 Girls 50-yard freestyle
13. Julia Corton, Peters Township, 25.47
23. Makayla Caso, Peters Township, 25.82
30. Kiersten Greguric, Peters Township, 25.96
32. Ava Shahdadian, Peters Township, 25.97
Event 8 Boys 50-yard freestyle
17. Jason Lee, Peters Township, 22.97
34. Ian O'Brien, Peters Township, 23.42
36. Michaerl Burchesky, Canon-McMillan, 23.48
Event 11 Girls 100-yard butterfly
5. Saoirse Palu-Benson, Peters Township, 59.12
7. Gavi Krohner,, Peters Township, 59.13
19. Hannah Greguric, Peters Township, 1:01.66
37. Bailey Grimm, Peters Township, 1:04.33
Event 12 Boys 100-yard butterfly
2. Kyle Higgins, Peters Township, 51.92
13. Corey Kehm, Peters Township, 55.73
Event 13 Girls 100-yard freestyle
20. Gavi Krohner, Peters Township, 55.91
26. Hannah Greguric, Peters Township, 56.49
27. Julia Corton, Peters Township, 56.52
29. Makayla Caso, Peters Township, 56.55
Event 14 Boys 100-yard freestyle
4. Chris Buzard, Peters Township, 48.46
20. Sebastian Yocca, Peters Township, 50.75
23. Adam Harsch, Peters Township, 51.03
Event 15 Girls 500-yard freestyle
2. Saoirse Palu-Benson, Peters Township, 5:09.94
Event 16 Boys 500-yard freestyle
6. Connor Martin, Peters Township, 4:58.52
21. Cameron Winterhalter, Peters Township, 5:10.82
28. Corey Kehm, Peters Township, 5:12.18
Event 17 Girls 200-yard freestyle relay
7. Peters Township (Julia Corton, Makayla Caso, Saoirse Palu-Benson, Gavi Krohner, Kiersten Greguric, Hannah Greguric, Ava Shahdadian, Ana O'Brien), 1:42.90
18. Canon-McMillan (Brittany Byer, Caleigh Purcell, Lauren Vidmar, Samantha Orlowski, Kayla Vidmar, Harley Steele, Rachael Paquin, Hannah Campbell), 1:47.69
Event 18 Boys 200-yard freestyle relay
5. Peters Township (Sebastian Yocca, Adam Harsch, Jason Lee, Connor Martin, Chris Buzard, Dan Pletz, Kyle Higgins, Ian O'Brien)
Event 19 Girls 100-yard backstroke
20. Brittany Byer, Canon-McMillan, 1:03.99
28. Ana O'Brien, Peters Township, 1:04.90
36. Christine Gaab, Peters Township, 1:05.33
38. Kristi Riesmeyer, Peters Township, 1:05.45
Event 20 Boys 100-yard backstroke
2. Kyle Higgins, Peters Township, 53.07
6. Dan Pletz, Peters Township, 54.70
24. Adam Harsch, Peters Township, 58.85
34. David Yencsik, Trinity, 1:00.84
Event 21 Girls 100-yard breaststroke
14. Loeva Palu-Benson, Peters Township, 1:10.63
22. Cassidy Kovacicek, Trinity, 1:12.90
Event 22 Boys 100-yard breaststroke
7. Chris Buzard, Peters Township, 1:00.89
16. Matt Peiper, Trinity, 1:04.56
28. Josh Howard, Peters Township, 1:06.16
35. Tyler Phillips, Peters Township, 1:06.49
Event 23 Girls 400-yard freestyle relay
12. Peters Township (Hannah Greguric, Kiersten Greguric, Julia Corton, Makayla Caso, Ana O'Brien, Saoirse Palu-Benson, Gavi Krohner, Ava Shahdadian), 3:46.17
25. Canon-McMillan (Caleigh Purcell, Samantha Orlowski, Hannah Campbell, Lauren Vidmar, Kayla Vidmar, Emily Sule, Harley Steele, Katie McCarthy), 3:59.97
Event 24
4. Peters Township (Kyle Higgins, Dan Pletz, Connor Martin, Chris Buzard, Sebastian Yocca, Adam Harsch, Corey Kehm, Ian O'Brien), 3:20.25

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ultimate recruiting video

As some of you may know, I spent a few years in Washington, D.C. before moving back home to the Pittsburgh area -- then, obviously, here to Washington.

One of my friends from D.C. -- a former co-worker, actually -- recently posted this on Facebook, a faux-highlight film that his video company was sent.

This is not serious. But it is hilarious. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Playoff capsules

No. 6 McGuffey (20-2) vs. No. 3 Burrell (21-2)
Winner plays No. 2 Bishop Canevin (19-4),No. 7 Mohawk (17-6), Tuesday, site and time to be determined.

About Burrell: Bucs finished 10-0 to win Section 1-AA, their first title since 2009. ... Burrell's two losses are to Shaler by 11 at the Hampton Christian Tournament and Keystone Oaks by three in a non-section game on the road. ... Burrell thumped Carlynton, 47-23, at Gateway in the first round, getting 13 steals and forcing 28 turnovers. Sydney Bordonaro had 16 points, and Natalie Myers added 13 points and nine rebounds. ... Bucs are giving up a WPIAL-best 27 points per game, while 11 opponents have been held to 25 or less. ... In all 21 of Burrell's victories, the Bucs have kept their opponent to 35 or fewer points. ... Burrell hasn't been to the quarterfinals since 1995, when it lost to Aliquippa. Bucs haven't won a second-round game since a 49-40 win over Apollo-Ridge in 1994.

About McGuffey: McGuffey won Section 5-AA with a 12-0 record, its first section title since 1990. ... McGuffey's two losses were to Belle Vernon by four in an early, non-section game and Chartiers-Houston by three in a late, non-section game, the night before the pairings meeting. ... McGuffey beat Riverside, 53-38, in the WPIAL Class AA first round on Monday at Keystone Oaks, the same site for this one. Sammie Weiss had 23 points, and Sam Chadwick held Riverside's Alex Deep to 12 points. Weiss, though she's only a sophomore, went over 1,000 career points. ... 
McGuffey averages 67.1 points per game, second in Class AA only to Seton-La Salle's 71.4.

OTHER GAMES

No. 7 Monessen (10-13) vs. No. 2 Vincentian (22-1), Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m.
Winner plays No. 3 North Catholic (15-5)/No. 6 OLSH (19-4), Tuesday, site and time to be determined.

Vincentian's only loss was to Bishop Carroll, 83-81, on Jan. 12. ... Monessen has made the playoffs for a WPIAL-record 32 consecutive seasons. ... Vincentian is averaging a WPIAL-best 83.8 points per game. ... Royals advanced with a 106-73 win over Western Beaver in the first round, the 17th time in 23 games they've scored 80 or more points. ... Monessen is led by Clintell Gillaspie, who's averaging 16.5 points per game. ... Greyhounds advanced with a 60-52 victory over Sewickley Academy, though they let a 14-point, fourth quarter lead slip to five with three minutes to go. Gillespie had 14 of his game-high 25 in the final period. ... Vincentian is led by Ryan Wolf (21.0 ppg) and Tony DiNardo (18.0).

No. 8 South Fayette (14-9) vs. No. 1 Chartiers Valley (20-3), Canon-Mac, 8 p.m.
Winner plays No. 4 Beaver (18-3)/No. 12 Kittanning (20-4), Tuesday, site and time to be determined

Teams have met twice this season as members of Section 5-AAA, with Chartiers Valley winning both: 50-46 at CV on Jan. 15 and 60-43 at SF on Feb. 8. ... South Fayette is lead by Evan Bonnaure, who's averaging 16.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.7 steals per game. C.J. Rudisill is averaging 12.7 ppg. ... South Fayette advanced with a 40-34 win over West Mifflin in the first round, despite making just 12 of 52 field goals, four of 23 from three-point range. Lions held West Mifflin's Ryan Maha to 10 points, six in the final :59. ... Chartiers Valley cruised to a 77-43 win over Knoch, closing the third with a 20-2 run. Mike Boulos had 23, Matty McConnell 20. For the season, those two are averaging 18.6 and 16.7 points per game, respectively. ... Chartiers Valley is in the playoffs for the 20th consecutive season. ... Colts own five WPIAL titles, three since 2001.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Updated playoff hoops schedule

BOYS BASKETBALL
Class AAAA
Canon-McMillan vs. North Allegheny, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Chartiers Valley, 8 p.m., first round

Class AAA
South Fayette vs. Chartiers Valley, Friday, Feb. 20, Canon-McMillan, 8 p.m., quarterfinals

Class AA
Washington vs. Burrell, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Hempfield, 8 p.m., first round

Class A
Monessen vs. Vincentian, Friday, Feb. 22, Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m., quarterfinals

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class AAA
South Fayette vs. Central Valley, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Baldwin, 6:30 p.m., first round

Class AA
McGuffey vs. Burrell, Friday, Feb. 20, Keystone Oaks, 6:30 p.m., quarterfinals

Class A
West Greene vs. Vincentian, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Chartiers Valley, 6:30 p.m., first round
Jefferson-Morgan vs. Serra Catholic, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Peters Township, 6:30 p.m., first round
Monessen vs. Rochester, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Woodland Hills, 6:30 p.m., first round

BY DATE
Wednesday, Feb. 20
Class AAAA boys: Canon-McMillan vs. North Allegheny, Chartiers Valley, 8 p.m.
Class AA boys: Washington vs. Burrell, Hempfield, 8 p.m.
Class AAA girls: South Fayette vs. Central Valley, Baldwin, 6:30 p.m.
Class A girls: West Greene vs. Vincentian, Chartiers Valley, 6:30 p.m.
Class A girls: Jefferson-Morgan vs. Serra Catholic, Peters Township, 6:30 p.m.
Class A girls: Monessen vs. Rochester, Woodland Hills, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 22
Class AAA boys: South Fayette vs. Chartiers Valley, Canon-McMillan, 8 p.m., quarterfinals
Class A boys: Monessen vs. Vincentian, Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m., quarterfinals
Class AA girls: McGuffey vs. Burrell, Keystone Oaks, 6:30 p.m., quarterfinals

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pregame: Washington vs. Burrell

No. 10 Washington (17-6) vs. No. 7 Burrell (16-6), 8 p.m., Hempfield

How they got here: Wash High beat Jefferson-Morgan, 76-32, in the WPIAL Class AA preliminary round this past Saturday. Josh Wise had 19 points, nine rebounds and four steals; Jordan Drew finished with 13 points and 11 boards; Jaylin Kelly contributed 16 points and seven rebounds.

Burrell earned its first playoff win since 2006 with a 64-34 victory over Beth-Center in the preliminary round Saturday. Senior forward Cole Bush led the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Alex White had 14 points, while Pete Spagnolo added 11 points, seven steals and four assists for Burrell, which forced 33 turnovers.

Goin' streaking: Wash High closed the regular season by winning five of six, the lone loss a 63-50 defeat to Section 4-AA champion Seton-La Salle. Burrell won six straight, which followed a four-game losing streak.

Common opponents: None

Coaches: Wash High is coached by Mark Gaither, Burrell by Rob Niederberger

PF/PA: Wash High 58.5-48.4 ... Burrell 55.3-46.3

To the victor: Whoever wins gets either No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic or No. 15 Northgate, who meet at Canon-McMillan (8 p.m.).

Special section: All four teams in Section 4-AA are still alive. Seton-La Salle had a bye, while Bishop Canevin knocked off Charleroi, and Brentwood upset California, both on Saturday.

The other three teams in Section 1-AA, meanwhile, all lost: Deer Lakes to Shady Side Academy by three; West Shamokin fell to Riverside by five; and Apollo-Ridge suffered a two-point loss to Neshannock.

My thoughts: Haven't seen Burrell this year. Don't even know that much about them.

But having watched a bunch of Wash High hoops this year, if the Prexies can get secondary scoring from Kelly, Drew, Dupree Jenkins, et. all, they can be pretty darn good. Of course Wash High hasn't gotten that consistently.

Wash High has also been better when it has gotten off to a strong start. Against South Fayette, that translated into perhaps the most complete performance of the year. Peters Township, against several reserves for the Indians, the early-game fog never lifted. A strong started will be essential.

See you out there.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Trivia answer, pregame notes

In Tuesday's print edition, you'll see my story on the West Greene girls basketball team being one of three area basketball teams to win playoff games in back-to-back seasons.

I never mentioned the other two, hoping you'd stop here to see the answer: the South Fayette girls and Monessen boys, with the Monessen girls having the chance to become the fourth Wednesday night.

Tonight I will be at Keystone Oaks -- right down the road from an apartment that Mrs. Varsity Letters and I once shared -- to watch No. 6 McGuffey take on No. 11 Riverside, then No. 16 Mapletown vs. No. 1 Lincoln Park.

Couple things about Riverside:

>>Finished 15-8 overall, 9-3 in Section 2-AA, good enough for third place behind Beaver Falls (10-2) and Mohawk (11-1)

>>Beat Springdale, 54-35, in the preliminary round to get here. Alex Deep had 29 points and a season-high 12 boards

>>Nicole Mansfield is Riverside's second-leading scorer at ~14 points per game

McGuffey, meanwhile, closed the regular season with a 54-51 loss to Chartiers-Houston, one that I later found out didn't affect the Section 5-AA-champion Highlanders' seeding all that much.

No common opponents here, so we're flying somewhat blind, though both have decent defenses, McGuffey at 36.4 points allowed per game, Riverside at 38.6.

McGuffey sophomore Sammie Weiss, as you may have heard, can score a little bit; she averaged an area-best 27.8 points per game.

Winner of this one gets either No. 3 Burrell or No. 14 Carlynton, which upset Charleroi Saturday. McGuffey will be trying to win its first playoff game since beating Kittanning, 39-37, in the 2008-09 preliminary round at Cornell.

See y'all out there.

Big playoff win for J-M girls, too

Tuesday's for-print story focuses on the West Greene girls basketball team and the fact that the Pioneers have won playoff games in back-to-back seasons, a rarity around here believe it or not.

But equally as impressive -- and surprising -- was Jefferson-Morgan's 29-25 victory over Eden Christian in the WPIAL Class A preliminary round Saturday.

Nobody at the school was able to confirm the date of Jefferson-Morgan's last playoff victory in girls basketball, but it's safe to say there hasn't been a lot of them, especially not recently.

When head coach Ellen Hildebrand was hired four years ago, the members of this year's senior class were freshman ... and Hildebrand was the Rockets' fourth coach in the past four years.

"We were kind of slow to get started, but I have a great group of kids who want to be good basketball players," Hildebrand said. "They work hard to make this program a success. I feel like they're really peaking and coming together at the right time."

Center Katie Shaffer and point guard Ashley Faddis are the team's two seniors, and both are in the starting lineup. Hildebrand also starts three freshmen: small forward Ally Bogden, guard Kayla Yorko and forward Rachel Hildebrand.

No wonder the Rockets (10-13) were up and down at the end of the year, losing three in a row, then beating Carmichaels, then dropping what was thought to be a win-and-get-in game at West Greene on the final night of the regular season.

"We can be inconsistent," Hildebrand said.

To be fair, that was J-M's third game in four nights. And like all teams in Section 3-A, the Rockets' roster isn't big, the rotation tight. Plus, having so many young players ... well, you're bound to have some peaks and valleys.

"It's hard to articulate the intangibles that your seniors just know from being there," Hildebrand said. "I think of the progress that these two seniors have made since they were freshmen and what they weren't able to do as freshmen."

Yorko leads Jefferson-Morgan at 10.8 points per game, while Bogden is contributing 10.3 per game. Both have been among our scoring leaders all season.

Against Eden Christian, Yorko and Shaffer had eight points apiece, but where the Rockets really made a difference was with their defense -- a 2-3, matchup zone that Hildenbrand used for awhile then switched to man. Then back again.

"I think that was giving them some trouble," Hildebrand said. "If they got into a little bit of a rhythm, we'd switch to man. It would take them a little bit longer to figure out whether it was zone or man, then we'd switch back. We kept making them have to adjust."

Hard to argue with the results, considering Jefferson-Morgan, which trailed by four at halftime, held Eden Christian to just two points in the third quarter, six in the fourth.

Like West Greene, the Rockets' matchup isn't pretty, with second-seeded Serra Catholic looming. But both teams should be proud of what they've accomplished. Who would have thought Avella, Carmichaels and California would all be done, West Greene and Jefferson-Morgan still playing?

All first-round sites/times set

Here's the most up-to-date area schedule:

BOYS BASKETBALL
Class AAAA

Canon-McMillan vs. North Allegheny, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Chartiers Valley, 8 p.m., first round

Class AAA

South Fayette vs. West Mifflin, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Baldwin, 8 p.m., first round

Class AA

Washington vs. Burrell, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Hempfield, 8 p.m., first round

Class A

Mapletown vs. Lincoln Park, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m., first round
Carmichaels vs. Wilkinsburg, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Peters Township, 8 p.m., first round
Monessen vs. Vincentian, Friday, Feb. 22, site/time TBD, quarterfinals

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Class AAA

South Fayette vs. Central Valley, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Baldwin, 6:30 p.m., first round

Class AA

Washington vs. Seton-La Salle, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Peters Township, 6:30 p.m., first round
McGuffey vs. Riverside, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Keystone Oaks, 6:30 p.m., first round

Class A

West Greene vs. Vincentian, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Chartiers Valley, 6:30 p.m., first round
Jefferson-Morgan vs. Serra Catholic, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Peters Township, 6:30 p.m., first round
Monessen vs. Rochester, Wednesday, Feb. 20, Woodland Hills, 6:30 p.m., first round

BY DATE
Tuesday Feb. 19

Class AAA boys: South Fayette vs. West Mifflin, Baldwin, 8 p.m.
Class A boys: Mapletown vs. Lincoln Park, Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m.
Class A boys: Carmichaels vs. Wilkinsburg, Peters Township, 8 p.m.
Class AA girls: Washington vs. Seton-La Salle, Peters Township, 6:30 p.m.
Class AA girls: McGuffey vs. Riverside, Keystone Oaks, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 20

Class AAAA boys: Canon-McMillan vs. North Allegheny, Chartiers Valley, 8 p.m.
Class AA boys: Washington vs. Burrell, Hempfield, 8 p.m.
Class AAA girls: South Fayette vs. Central Valley, Baldwin, 6:30 p.m.
Class A girls: West Greene vs. Vincentian, Chartiers Valley, 6:30 p.m.
Class A girls: Jefferson-Morgan vs. Serra Catholic, Peters Township, 6:30 p.m.
Class A girls: Monessen vs. Rochester, Woodland Hills, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 22

Class A boys: Monessen vs. Vincentian, site/time TBD

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tuesday sites updated

BOYS BASKETBALL

Class AAAA boys
Canon-McMillan vs. North Allegheny, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round

Class AAA boys
South Fayette vs. West Mifflin, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Baldwin, 8 p.m., first round

Class AA boys
Washington vs. Burrell, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round

Class A boys
Mapletown vs. Lincoln Park, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m., first round
Carmichaels vs. Wilkinsburg, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Peters Township, 8 p.m., first round
Monessen vs. Vincentian, Friday, Feb. 22, site/time TBD, quarterfinals

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Class AAA girls
South Fayette vs. Central Valley, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round

Class AA girls
Washington vs. Seton-La Salle, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Peters Township, 6:30 p.m., first round
McGuffey vs. Riverside, Tuesday, Feb. 19, Keystone Oaks, 6:30 p.m., first round

Class A girls
West Greene vs. Vincentian, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round
Jefferson-Morgan vs. Serra Catholic, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round
Monessen vs. Rochester, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round

BY DATE

Tuesday Feb. 19
Class AAA boys: South Fayette vs. West Mifflin, Baldwin, 8 p.m.
Class A boys: Mapletown vs. Lincoln Park, Keystone Oaks, 8 p.m.
Class A boys: Carmichaels vs. Wilkinsburg, Peters Township, 8 p.m.
Class AA girls: Washington vs. Seton-La Salle, Peters Township, 6:30 p.m.
Class AA girls: McGuffey vs. Riverside, Keystone Oaks, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 20
Class AAAA boys: Canon-McMillan vs. North Allegheny
Class AA boys: Washington vs. Burrell
Class AAA girls: South Fayette vs. Central Valley
Class A girls: West Greene vs. Vincentian
Class A girls: Jefferson-Morgan vs. Serra Catholic
Class A girls: Monessen vs. Rochester

Friday, Feb. 22
Class A boys: Monessen vs. Vincentian

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tough end for California boys

It was a tough end of the season for the California boys basketball, the kind that's tough to watch, the kind that's obviously much tougher to endure.

A Section 5-AA title. Scoring 70 points a game. Crushing most teams. All contributed to the thought that the Trojans had practically already made it to the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals ... then this, a 56-50 loss to Brentwood.

Free throws didn't fall. Michael Kish had his way inside to the tune of 20 points and 25 rebounds. Turned out to be an abrupt end to California's season.

"I didn't expect this, to be honest with you," senior guard Tanner Huffman told me after the game. "I wanted to win the section, but I thought it was going to be tough; Brownsville and Charleroi are both tough teams. When we won the section, I thought, 'This is a great thing. We might be able to do something.' Then we got matched up with Brentwood. I've been watching them on film, I played AAU with a couple of their boys -- Kish and (Jason) Pilarski, their guard.

"I thought they were going to be much bigger than us. I thought we were going to have to push it, make them run a little bit. But they still hurt us inside."

I talked with Brentwood coach Dave Mislan after the game about his impressions of California and how he went about defending them. Brentwood did what I thought was the best anyone has done at containing Huffman and Fisher, held to 12 and 24 points, respectively.

"I figured even we can control the guards -- we didn't do a great job on (Brian) Fisher, but we did a great job on Huffman," Mislan said. We had a bunch of rebounds, and we need 'em. We knew to keep up with their pace, because they shoot pretty quick on offense."

If there's one thing we learned today, it's that Section 4-AA was tougher than Section 5-AA. Charleroi (second, 5-AA) lost to Bishop Canevin (third, 4-AA); California (first, 5-AA) fell to Brentwood (fourth, 4-AA); Jefferson-Morgan (T-fourth, 5-AA) was blown out by Wash High (second, 4-AA); Beth-Center (T-fourth, 5-AA) lost big to Burrell (T-first, 1-AA); and Brownsville (third, 5-AA) lost to Northgate (fourth, 6-AA).

Here's a look at what happened today:

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Jefferson-Morgan 29, Eden Christian 25:The Jefferson-Morgan girls overcame a four-point halftime deficit to earn a rare postseason victory for the Rockets, 29-25, over Eden Christian Academy in a WPIAL Class A preliminary round game Saturday afternoon at Chartiers Valley. Kayla Yorko and Katie Shaffer each scored eight points to lead the Rockets. Jefferson-Morgan held the Warriors (12-11) to two points in the third quarter.

West Greene 50, Clairton 26:Madison Raber had 25 points and 15 rebounds, Alyssa Raber added 13 points and 14 rebounds, and West Greene won a playoff game for the second consecutive year, 50-26, in the WPIAL Class A preliminary round at West Allegheny High School. West Greene (13-9) gets the No. 16 seed and will play No. 1 Vincentian Wednesday, site and time to be determined.

Quigley 81, California 38:The 13th-seeded Trojans might have been on the wrong end of an 81-38 rout, but California senior Courtnee McMasters scored 18 points to become the second player in school history and the sixth in the area this season to reach 1,000. She did it by making a pair of free throws with 2:56 left in the third quarter. “It’s amazing,” McMasters said. “It’s a childhood dream to accomplish it.”

South Fayette 61, Freeport 35:South Fayette made eight three-pointers en route to a 61-35 victory over Freeport Saturday in a WPIAL Class AAA preliminary-round game at North Allegheny. Caitlin McLuckie and Shannon Gillespie had 12 points apiece. Both had a pair of treys. So, too, did Kristen Hardt and Min Wells. South Fayette will play No. 13 Central Valley Wednesday.

St. Joseph 45, Avella 30:Avella was without Olivia English and Sunny Liggett, and Alexandria Barr was lost to a hand injury, as Avella suffered a 45-30 loss to St. Joseph in a WPIAL Class A girls first-round game. Kenna Drazich led Avella, the Section 3-A champion and No. 5 seed, with 18 points, but the Eagles closed the year at 13-9.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Burrell 64, Beth-Center 34:Cole Bush scored 23 points and Burrell rolled to a 64-34 victory over Beth-Center in a Class AA preliminary round game at West Allegheny. Adam Walters and Dean Holt each scored 10 points for Beth-Center.

What's left

BOYS BASKETBALL

Class AAAA boys
Canon-McMillan vs. North Allegheny, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round

Class AAA boys
South Fayette vs. West Mifflin, Tuesday, Feb. 19, site/time TBD, first round

Class AA boys
Washington vs. Burrell, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round

Class A boys
Mapletown vs. Lincoln Park, Tuesday, Feb. 19, site/time TBD, first round
Carmichaels vs. Wilkinsburg, Tuesday, Feb. 19, site/time TBD, first round
Monessen vs. Vincentian, Friday, Feb. 22, site/time TBD, quarterfinals

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Class AAA girls
South Fayette vs. Central Valley, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round

Class AA girls
Washington vs. Seton-La Salle, Tuesday, Feb. 19, site/time TBD, first round
McGuffey vs. Riverside, Tuesday, Feb. 19, site/time TBD, first round

Class A girls
West Greene vs. Vincentian, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round
Jefferson-Morgan vs. Serra Catholic, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round
Monessen vs. Rochester, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD, first round

BY DATE

Tuesday Feb. 19
Class AAA boys: South Fayette vs. West Mifflin
Class A boys: Mapletown vs. Lincoln Park
Class A boys: Carmichaels vs. Lincoln Park
Class AA girls: Washington vs. Seton-La Salle
Class AA girls: McGuffey vs. Riverside

Wednesday, Feb. 20
Class AAAA boys: Canon-McMillan vs. North Allegheny
Class AA boys: Washington vs. Burrell
Class AAA girls: South Fayette vs. Central Valley
Class A girls: West Greene vs. Vincentian
Class A girls: Jefferson-Morgan vs. Serra Catholic
Class A girls: Monessen vs. Rochester

Friday, Feb. 22
Class A boys: Monessen vs. Vincentian

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday night wrap

Look at the Wash High girls basketball team's roster, and there's one number that's conspicuously absent: 12.

As in seniors. The Prexies don't have any.

I wrote in my game story after tonight's 36-32 win about how Wash High will tend to go in and out of games -- bad, good, bad, good, you just never know. Comes with a young roster, I suppose. One that includes four freshmen, six sophomores and five juniors.

Friday that worked out to a horrid second quarter, a great third quarter and a fourth that featured a little bit of both.

"Playing a lot of young girls like I am, I think that's part of the problem," Washington head coach Mike Maltony said. "They still have a lot of jitters. There are a couple of freshmen who get a lot of time, a couple sophomores who get a lot of time. I probably put undue pressure on my juniors."

Friday's performance was so nerve-racking, so uneven, that Maltony was hoarse after the game.

OK, maybe he had just been sick for the past three days, but still. Couldn't have helped.

"This is probably the worst it's been," said Maltony, whose team improved to 13-10 and will play top-seeded Seton-La Salle in the first round next Tuesday. "I wasn't sure whether I was going to be able to communicate with the girls."

Here's how our other teams did tonight:

Class A boys
Monessen 60, Sewickley Academy 52: Clintell Gillaspie had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Greyhounds (10-13), who led 27-16 at halftime and 41-27 after three quarters. Justice Rawlins tossed in 18 points and Tyler Yuille had four points and 10 rebounds. Javon Brown added five assists.

Mapletown 42, Leechburg 29: Kevin Ridgley scored 22 points to lead the Maples (7-16) to their first playoff win in 41 years, since 1972.

Class AA girls
Beaver 45, Chartiers-Houston 43: Bucs got bumped around by Beaver. Came down to the end, but a technical foul gave Beaver a three-point lead that proved to be enough.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pregame: Ford City vs. Washington

WPIAL preliminary round: Ford City (14-8) vs. Washington (12-10), at Yough, 6:30 p.m.

Radio: WJPA-AM 1450

Last game: Washington topped Burgettstown, 59-25, to close the regular season on Feb. 7. India March had 12 points, while Taylor Ellis and Mya Gordon added nine apiece.

Ford City won at Knoch, 42-38, getting 16 points and six rebounds from Stephanie Digregorio. Allyson Cujas, the Sabers' leading scorer, went 0 for 6 from the field and finished with zero points.

Common opponents: None

Coaches: Ford City: Al Davis ... Washington: Mike Maltony

Next up: Winner gets the No. 16 seed ... and No. 1 Seton-La Salle (21-1) Tuesday, site and time to be determined.

Last five: Ford City won four of its past five, though three of those came against teams with a combined record of 12-51, the other against startup Propel Andrew Street. ... Washington closed the season with losses in three of five.

Who to watch: Wash High is led by Cujas, who averages 14.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while shooting 48 percent from the field. Christina Davis does a little bit of everything at 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.1 steals per game. Bethany Meyer averages six points per game.

Didn't get any scoring leaders when I asked Wash High for them, but the Prexies are a young team, no seniors. They rely mostly on four players: Mya Gordon, Alyssa Wise, India March and Taylor Ellis. Here's a blog entry from earlier this season. Can't see to find the actual notebook.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Some WPIAL tourney numbers

Here are a few numbers the WPIAL provided for us during last night's pairings meeting:

161: of 266 teams made the playoffs. For my fellow math nerds, that's 61 percent -- far to many in my opinion. More below.
2: teams that went undefeated overall (New Castle boys, Blackhawk girls)
20: teams that were undefeated in their section
36: first-time playoff entrants
125: teams returning after last year

Now, my turn. My column tomorrow will talk some about the amount of teams get in, broken down by classification. Here is a look at how the classifications faired:

Class AAAA boys: 16 of 31 teams, 52 percent
Class AAA boys: 22 of 35 teams, 63 percent
Class AA boys: 26 of 43 teams, 60 percent
Class A boys: 17 of 24 teams, 71 percent
Class AAAA girls: 18 of 29 teams, 62 percent
Class AAA girls: 20 of 35 teams, 57 percent
Class AA girls: 24 of 41 teams, 59 percent
Class A girls: 18 of 26 teams, 69 percent

Percentage making it
Class A boys -- 71 percent
Class A girls -- 69 percent
Class AAA boys -- 63 percent
Class AAAA girls -- 62 percent
Class AA boys -- 60 percent
Class AA girls -- 59 percent
Class AAA girls -- 57 percent
NBA -- 53 percent (16 of 30)
NHL -- 53 percent (16 of 30)
Class AAAA boys -- 52 percent
NFL -- 38 percent (12 of 32)
MLB -- 33 percent (10 of 30)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Area postseason schedule

BOYS BASKETBALL

WPIAL Class AAAA
No. 15 Canon-McMillan vs. No. 2 North Allegheny, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD

WPIAL Class AAA
No. 9 South Fayette vs. No. 8 West Mifflin, Tuesday, Feb. 19, site/time TBD

WPIAL Class AA
Charleroi vs. Bishop Canevin, for No. 16 seed, Saturday, Feb. 16, noon, Peters Township
California vs. Brentwood, for No. 8 seed, Saturday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m., Peters Township
Beth-Center vs. Burrell, for No. 7 seed, Saturday, Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m., West Allegheny
Washington vs. Jefferson-Morgan, for No. 10 seed, Saturday, Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m., Chartiers Valley

WPIAL Class A
Mapletown vs. Leechburg, for No. 16 seed, Friday, Feb. 15, 5 p.m., Chartiers Valley
No. 8 Carmichaels vs. No. 9 Wilkinsburg, Tuesday, Feb. 19, site/time TBD
No. 7 Monessen vs. No. 10 Sewickley Academy, Friday, Feb. 15, 8 p.m., Keystone Oaks

GIRLS BASKETBALL

WPIAL Class AAA
South Fayette vs. Freeport, for No. 13 seed, Saturday, Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m., North Allegheny
Ringgold vs. Indiana, for No. 14 seed, Saturday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m., Gateway

WPIAL Class AA
Washington vs. Ford City, for No. 16 seed, Friday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m., Yough
Chartiers-Houston vs. Beaver, for No. 10 seed, Friday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m., West Allegheny
Charleroi vs. Carlynton, for No. 14 seed, Friday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m., Chartiers Valley
No. 6 McGuffey vs. Riverside/Springdale winner, Tuesday, Feb. 19, site/time TBD

WPIAL Class A
West Greene vs. Clairton, for No. 16 seed, Saturday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m., West Allegheny
No. 13 California vs. No. 4 Quigley, Saturday, Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m., Peters Township
No. 5 Avella vs. No. 12 St. Joseph, Saturday, Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m., North Hills
Jefferson-Morgan vs. Eden Christian, for No. 15 seed, Saturday, Feb. 16, noon, Chartiers Valley
No. 7 Monessen vs. No. 10 Rochester, Wednesday, Feb. 20, site/time TBD
No. 6 Carmichaels vs. No. 11 Cornell, Saturday, Feb. 16, noon, West Allegheny

Scoring leaders

Boys basketball
Name, School Games Points Avg.
Tanner Huffman, California 21 491 23.4
Dereck Riggleman, Mapletown 20 454 22.7
Josh Wise, Washington 22 487 22.1
Brandon Lawless, Carmichaels 20 428 21.4
Cody Levine, Bentworth 20 427 21.3
Gabe Pritz, Peters Township 19 365 19.2
Brian Fisher, California 21 382 18.2
Brett Haney, Canon-McMillan 22 378 17.2
Evan Bonnaure, South Fayette 21 351 16.7
Brandon Miller, Avella 21 340 16.2
Clintell Gillaspie, Monessen 21 339 16.1
Christian Koroly, Trinity 22 346 15.7
Rece Henneman, Jefferson-Morgan 22 343 15.6
Chris Blackburn, Bentworth 21 324 15.4
John Maldonado, Ringgold 20 307 15.4
Adam Fox, Waynesburg 21 315 15.0
Travis Taylor, Jefferson-Morgan 22 297 13.5
C.J. Rudisill, South Fayette 21 279 13.3
Josh Mack, Burgettstown 22 277 12.6
Taylor Pasquariello, McGuffey 22 267 12.1
Corey Hunsberger, Trinity 22 259 11.8
Adam Walters, Beth-Center 20 231 11.6
Alec Ferrari, Chartiers-Houston 22 250 11.4
Jonathan Sabo, Burgettstown 22 250 11.4
Sean Smoggie, Carmichaels 21 240 11.4
Zach Miller, Beth-Center 20 219 11.0
Darrell Briggs, McGuffey 22 239 10.8
Berton Miller, Trinity 22 230 10.5
Dominick Sarra, Waynesburg 21 215 10.2
Jared Deep, Trinity 22 222 10.1
Kodie Hanley, Chartiers-Houston 22 222 10.1
Dylan Pounds, Chartiers-Houston 22 221 10.1
Ryan Glover, Burgettstown 22 221 10.0
Schools not responding: Charleroi, Fort Cherry

Girls basketball
Name, School Games Points Avg.
Sammie Weiss, McGuffey 21 578 27.5
Courtnee McMasters, California 21 468 22.3
Madison Raber, West Greene 21 392 18.6
Mariah Ward, Monessen 20 371 18.6
Morgan Berardi, Carmichaels 22 388 17.6
Taylor Pompei, Bentworth 22 366 16.6
Anna Bartman, Beth-Center 20 328 16.4
Rachel Bellhy, Fort Cherry 18 292 16.2
Olivia English, Avella 19 297 15.6
Jenna Lucas, Fort Cherry 20 311 15.6
Mia Woytovich, Charleroi 21 300 14.3
Olivia Lorusso, Canon-McMillan 22 312 14.2
Amanda Brown, Carmichaels 22 205 13.9
Danielle Parker, Canon-McMillan 20 253 12.6
Ashley Balzer, Chartiers-Houston 21 257 12.2
Tristen Conaway, California 17 195 11.5
Brittany Hutchinson, Canon-McMillan 19 218 11.5
Kristen Roy, Burgettstown 21 241 11.5
Caroline Cree, Carmichaels 22 251 11.4
Josie Schmidt, Ringgold 20 218 10.9
Kayla Yorko, Jefferson-Morgan 22 240 10.9
Caitlin McLuckie, South Fayette 21 220 10.5
Ally Bogden, Jefferson-Morgan 20 205 10.3
Rachel Phillis, Trinity 22 225 10.2
Bailey Cooper, Ringgold 18 181 10.1
Lyndsey Huhn, Waynesburg 16 162 10.1
Schools not responding: McGuffey, Peters Township, Washington