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Girls Basketball: Coach's return sparks Canon-McMillan

Written by Ed Phillipps on .

Ed Phillipps profiles the Canon-McMillan girls basketball team.

2016 0205 CanonMcMillan GBasketball(Photo: Canon-McMillan's Cheyenne Trest tries to get around Peters Township's Ally Zuccarini in a game last Saturday. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)

"It's a pretty common narrative in sports: A key member of the team goes down and their return lifts the squad to new heights.

But the Canon-McMillan girls basketball team put a new twist on that familiar story line. It wasn't a player who went down early in the season, but rather first-year coach Lou Waller, who was hired Aug. 13.

Shortly before the season tipped off, Waller's lower intestine required an emergency surgery due to an obstruction. That put him in the hospital for nine days, and Waller would eventually miss the first 10 games of the season.

"It was extremely difficult," said Waller. "I credit my staff because we were all new. It wasn't like we had a routine from years past.""

 

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Alumni Update: Megan Bilko (Grove City)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Senior Megan Bilko won three individual events and the Wolverine divers swept the top three spots on bothBilko GC boards as the Grove City College women's swimming and diving team rallied to defeat archrival Westminster 154-146 in Presidents' Athletic Conference action on Thursday evening at the Westminster Natatorium.

In a meet that featured seven lead-changes, Grove City (6-3-1, 3-0 PAC) would claim the lead for good after sweeping the 1-meter diving competition, and the Wolverine quartet of Bilko, junior Molly Gallant (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park), junior Megan Smith (Tyler, Texas/Kolbe Academy) and junior Abby Jank (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) clinched the team victory with a commanding win of more than five seconds in the meet-closing 400 free relay (3:44.87).

Bilko, a Canon-McMillan graduate, opened the meet with a win in the 1000 free in 10 minutes, 36.14 seconds while Smith posted a time of 10:57.17 for a 1-2 Wolverine finish.

Bilko would turn around and complete the back-to-back with a winning time of 1:58.06 in the 200 free before later winning the 500 free in 5:19.24.

 

(photo courtesy of Grove City College)

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Hockey: Canon-McMillan hoping practice makes perfect

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Canon-McMillan hockey team.

"Canon-McMillan has played like a team ready to defend its PIHL Class AAA Penguins Cup title for much of the season.

Lately, however, the Big Macs have slipped in the standings thanks to a three-game losing streak and came into the week tied with Cathedral Prep for sixth place in the classification. Part of the reason for the slide is a quirk in the schedule that had the team play only two games since the holiday break.

"You can try to simulate all you want in practice, but all that teaches you about playing in games is games," Canon-McMillan coach Joe Rodella said. "We just haven't had enough competition lately."

Heading into its two-game swing this week against Peters Township Tuesday and Thursday night with Seneca Valley, Canon-McMillan (6-5-3) had played only three games in 32 days. Before the Big Macs' 7-3 loss to North Allegheny on Friday, they had gone 17 days without taking the ice."

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Alumni Update - Cody Wiercioch (Pittsburgh)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

PITTSBURGH – Sophomore Amanda Richey of the women’s swimming and diving team and redshirt sophomore CodyWierchioch Pitt Wiercioch of the wrestling team have been named First National Bank Athletes of the Week.

Wiercioch, a Canon-McMillan graduate, wrestled in the 165 pound weight class, was a major contributor to the Panthers going 4-0 this past weekend at Pitt Duals. Individually, Wiercioch finished the event undefeated.

His most notable win of the day came against Duke when he upset No. 12 Jake Faust. Wiercioch defeated Faust in impressive fashion by a decision of 6-2. This win proved to be pivotal as it gave Pitt a 14-13 lead en route to a 13-19 victory.

 

(photo courtesy of University of Pittsburgh)

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Hockey: As all-star selections show, defending champion Big Macs meshing youth and experience

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Canon-McMillan won the PIHL Class AAA Penguins Cup title last season because of a group of seniors led by Austin Tonkovich.

 

If the Big Macs repeat this year, it will be in large part because of a unit that is being paced by its underclassmen.

 

On Wednesdaya pair of sophomores, defenseman Jay Oravetz and forward Jake McClelland, were selected to the PIHL Class AAA all-star game, which will be played on Jan. 31. They are two of only three sophomores, Trevor Gilliland of Butler is the other, picked to play on the Class AAA team this year and they are the only sophomores for the same team chosen in any of the top three classifications.