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Girls Basketball: Cornell hopes to stay close to Quigley Catholic

Written by Joe Koch on .

Cornell High's girls basketball team might well be looking forward to its second game with Quigley Catholic on Jan. 18. There's good reason for that sentiment as the Raiders fell to the Spartans 61-50 in a game played at Cornell last month.

Since that loss, Cornell has won six of its past seven games with the only loss a non-section setback to Mars, 60-27, on Dec. 29. The Raiders are solid where it counts, though, as they are 3-1 against section rivals heading into today's 7:30 p.m. game at Sewickley Academy.

Following this game, the Raiders have a non-section game with Riverview before making the short trek to Baden for the game with the Spartans.

With a section record of 3-1 heading into tonight's game, Cornell trails just Quigley Catholic, which is 4-0 against section rivals and is 8-5 overall. The Spartans five losses, however, have come against opponents who either play in higher WPIAL classifications – Class AAAA Belle Vernon (65-59) and Ambridge (77-42), Class AA Riverside (48-44), Class AAAA Hempfield (65-46) – or West Middlesex of District 10 (61-44).

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2015 West Male Athlete of the Year - Cornell's Dane Jackson

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the West Xtra Male Athlete of the Year, Cornell's Dane Jackson.

"Being one of the top football players in the WPIAL wasn't sufficient for Dane Jackson.

No, he had to also be one of the best basketball players in the area as well.

If those two accomplishments weren't fulfilling enough, the senior added one more asterisk to his already bloated resume. Jackson did it while representing two different high schools.

Jackson, the Post-Gazette West Xtra Male High School Athlete of the Year, attended and graduated from Cornell, where he finished second only to Chartiers Valley's Matty McConnell in WPIAL basketball scoring last season as he averaged a whopping 29.3 points per game in the regular season. That helped Cornell finish 14-11 overall and vaulted the team into the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals and a win in the state qualifying tournament before the team lost to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in the fifth-place game."

 

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Boys Basketball: Coach returns after health issues to lead Cornell

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

John D'Abruzzo profiles Cornell boys basketball coach Bill Sacco.

2015 0220 Cornell BBasketball(Photo: Cornell's Zacchaeus Humphries drives to the basket against Jefferson-Morgan's Jalen Torres during the Raiders WPIAL Class A first-round victory last Saturday at Baldwin. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Sitting out this winter and not coaching high school basketball never really crossed Bill Sacco's mind.

Despite spending close to four months confined to hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, the Cornell boys coach could only focus on getting back to his spot the bench.

"[Basketball] really took my mind off things," said Sacco, who is in his 44th season coaching high school basketball. "I wasn't concerned about my health as much as I was concerned about what the team was doing."

Following a recent knee replacement, the 71-year-old Sacco ended up suffering from an infection that eventually spread to his spine. Doctors had to remove the infection and operate through his abdomen."

 

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Swimming: West Feature Athlete - Cornell's Cole Tipper

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Cole Tipper
High School: Cornell
Grade: 12
Sport: Swimming

Background: Cornell senior Cole Tipper enters this weekend's MAC Swimming championships looking to repeat as 100 freestyle champion while also making a run for a 100 butterfly title as well. Tipper took second place last season in the 100 butterfly behind Neshannock's Ian Buckner. Buckner has since graduated after setting the meet record with a time of 51.84 last season. The previous meet record in the event had stood since 1979. Tipper was not far behind, clocking in at 52.6, over two seconds faster than Hopewell's Logan Palochak who could very well be Tipper's biggest competition this season. Tipper is actually the second seed in the event this season with a seed time of 55.16, behind Palochak (53.87). Tipper is the top seed and defending champion in the 100 freestyle with a seed time of 48.64. He will be challenged by Quaker Valley junior Matt Kwalick (49.38) who is seeded second.

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Swimming: Cornell relays could surprise at MAC meet

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Fueled by strong relays, the Cornell boys finished sixth last year at the MAC Swim and Dive meet. The relays were mostly built around underclassmen and while most teams are trying to fill holes left by graduation, Cornell appears poised to take advantage of experience and climb the relay standings and the team rankings. Cornell's 200 medley relay finished third last season. Returning from that relay are seniors Logan Donahue and Cole Tipper and sophomore Dan Joyce while Colton Claytor graduated. Ahead of them were Hopewell and Mars but the Vikings lose three seniors and the Planets lose two. Cornell's 400 freestyle relay took fourth and once again, three swimmers are back from it, Tipper, Donahue and senior Braylon Zilner while only Claytor graduated. The top two teams, Mars and Hopewell, each lost two seniors but third-place Quaker Valley will be tough to beat with all four swimmers back. Cornell's 200 medley relay took seventh last year and all the relays could change this year but that one might have the most room for improvement as Zilner and sophomores Nevin Donahue, Austin Winchell and Joyce all return.