East Archives

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Hockey: Penn-Trafford could play role of spoiler

Written by Keith Barnes on .

There is a very slim mathematical chance remaining that Penn-Trafford will qualify for the PIHL Class AAA playoffs, but it doesn’t look good.

 

Opening the season 0-11-1 pretty much took care of that.

 

That does not mean, however, that the Warriors can’t have a profound impact in postseason seeding and the overall race to the Penguins Cup.

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Hockey: Spartans still holding on to final bye in Class A

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Hempfield is making its road to a postseason bye in the first round of the PIHL Class A playoffs a lot harder as the regular season winds down.

 

After rolling through the middle part of its schedule, the Spartans are a pedestrian 2-2-1 in their last five, with losses to Quaker Valley and Montour. Those two defeats, despite a ‘good’ tie against Mars, could have a profound effect on the playoffs as Freeport (11-5-1) has jumped back into contention for second place.

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Hockey: East Feature Athlete – Latrobe’s Brendan Johns

Written by Keith Barnes on .

 Name: Brendan Johns

School: Latrobe

Grade: 11

Sport: Hockey

 

Background: Johns has been one of the more underrated players in the PIHL. He was third on the team in scoring as a freshman during the 2012-13 campaign when Latrobe last won the Class AA state title. So far this season, John has been exceptional again as he was named to the all-star team for the first time. This season, he is the Wildcats leading scorer with 20 goals and 32 points.

 

Latrobe coach Josh Werner: “Brendan is having a great year this year. He’s putting pucks in the net and he’s a very well-rounded player. Seeing him in his first all-star game, he definitely deserved it and I’m anxious to see what he does there.”

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Craig Meyer's East High School Basketball Notebook (Jan. 29, 2015)

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Here's this week's edition of Craig Meyer's East High School Basketball Notebook.

"For some local high school basketball programs, a playoff berth is an expectation, the bare minimum for what could be considered a remotely successful season.

For others, it means something entirely else. In some ways, it means everything.

At the Ellis School, the current situation resembles the latter much more than the former. The all-female school's basketball program has largely struggled over the past decade, the kind of shortcomings embodied by a playoff drought that's grown to nearly 12 years.

But that may soon be changing."

 

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Boys Basketball: Plum junior gets stronger, helps team by scoring

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles Plum basketball standout James Edwards.

2015 0129 Plum BBasketball(Plum's James Edwards pulls down a rebound against McKeesport during last Friday's Section 2-AAAA game. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Last year the Plum basketball program received a sophomore transfer from Hampton by the name of James Edwards.

Although Edwards had been lighting it up for Hampton's junior varsity team during his freshman year and did see some playing time on the Talbots varsity squad, few folks realized what a prized possession the Mustangs were receiving.

Now as a junior and in his second season starting for Plum, Edwards has emerged as one of the top scorers -- and players -- in the WPIAL.

Through Monday (16 games played), Edwards was averaging 22.3 points per game for a Mustangs team that sat in second place in Section 2-AAAA with a 12-4 overall record and 6-2 mark in section play."

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Girls Basketball: Riverview vies for WPIAL playoff bid

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Riverview girls basketball team.

"A drop in classification often times coincides with a less difficult schedule.

That is not the case this year for the Riverview High School girls basketball team, which dropped from Class AA to Class A this season.

The Raiders moved into Section 2-A, home of reigning WPIAL and PIAA Class A champion Vincentian Academy and perennial power Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. The Royals are ranked No. 1 in Class A, the Trojans No. 3.

Riverview has embraced the challenge and with five returning starters from a Class AA playoff team a year ago, it has the ability to hang with the section powers."

 

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Men's Basketball: Greensburg C.C. grad piling up serious court time

Written by Rick Davis on .

Rick Davis profiles Greensburg Central Catholic graduate Jesse Reed, who is now a standout basketball player at American University.

"As a junior accounting major at American University in Washington, D.C., Jesse Reed has become pretty good with numbers.

It doesn't take a math-wiz, however, to add up all the minutes he has sat out as a member of the men's basketball team.

There aren't very many.

Reed, a 6-foot-5 guard from Greensburg Central Catholic, leads NCAA Division I in minutes played, averaging 39.4 in a 40-minute game, while senior teammates Pee Wee Gardner is second at 39.1 and John Schoof is third at 38.8, giving the Eagles guards a rare 1-2-3 combination among the country's leaders."

 

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Wrestling: Penn-Trafford senior picks mats

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles Penn-Trafford wrestler Devin Austin. Read his story below.

2015 0129 PennTrafford Wrestling(Photo: Penn-Trafford's Devin Austin, right, wrestles against Bethel Park's Paul Dunn in the 160-pound championship match at the Eastern Area Invitational on Dec. 6, 2014 at Gateway High School. Austin won by a 2-1 decision. Ken Wunderley/Tri-State Sports & News Service)

With 2,692 yards rushing over the past two high school football seasons, one might think Devin Austin would be continuing his football career in college.

That is not the case. Austin, a Penn-Trafford senior, prefers wrestling.

"I just like wrestling a little bit more," said Austin, who has recorded more than 100 career victories while wrestling for the Warriors. "Before the football season, I made a decision to pursue wrestling [in collge]."

With that in mind, Austin, a four-year starter, committed to Pitt-Johnstown.

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Boys Basketball: Norwin stays afloat in Section 1-AAAA race

Written by Justin Criado on .

Norwin (12-5, 6-2) is looking to get back to the postseason out of a tough Section 1-AAAA.

With only two section losses, the Knights have a puncher's chance at winning the section title.

Hempfield is currently first with an unblemished 8-0 record, while Latrobe is second at 8-1.

Norwin has one game remaining against each team: Tonight against Latrobe and Feb. 2 vs. Hempfield.

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Boys Basketball: Plum falls to McKeesport and out of first place

Written by Justin Criado on .

After a 44-38 loss to Plum earlier in the season, McKeesport's Section 2-AAAA hopes looked to be in jeopardy.

But the Tigers (11-4, 7-2) have claimed sole possession of first place after a 65-55 win Friday night over the Mustangs.

Khalil Perdue had a team-high 25 points, while Plum's James Edwards scored a game-high 26 points.

The Mustangs (12-4, 6-2) are currently tied with Gateway for second place.

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Boys Basketball: East boasts some of the WPIAL's top scorers

Written by Justin Criado on .

Three East players are among the Top 10 in scoring in the WPIAL.

Plum's James Edwards currently ranks No. 4 with 25.8 points per game, while Kason Harrell of Hempfield isn't far behind at No. 6 with 24.9 ppg.

Individual scoring success has translated to team success for Edwards and Harrell as both their respective teams have section title aspirations. Hempfield is first in Section 1-AAAA, while Plum is second in Section 2-AAAA.

Curtis Perz of Norwin is the WPIAL's 10th leading scorer with 24.4 ppg.

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Girls Basketball: East Feature Athlete - Claire Oberdorf, Greensburg Salem

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Name: Claire Oberdorf
School: Greensburg Salem
Grade: 12
Sport: Girls Basketball
Position: Guard

Background: Oberdorf has been the reason why the Golden Lions are in postseason contention as she has provided 56.9 percent of the team's scoring this season. Through 17 games, she is second scoring in the WPIAL behind Blackhawk's Chassidy Omogrosso, averaging 26.7 points per game. As a team, Greensburg Salem was putting up 46.9. She will play softball next season at Marist.

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Girls Basketball: Greensburg C.C. ready for rematch with Burrell

Written by Keith Barnes on .

There is no doubt that Greensburg Central Catholic has been looking forward to tonight's game against Burrell for quite a while.

A rough estimate ... 35 days.

To be more specific, it was Dec. 22 when Burrell (15-1, 10-0) took over sole possession of first place in Section 1-AA with a decisive 60-47 victory over the Lady Centurions. Not only did it deal Greensburg Central Catholic (14-2, 9-1) its first loss of the season, it helped propel the Lady Bucs into the top spot in the rankings.

Greensburg Central Catholic followed up that loss with a 62-59 defeat to a middling Class AAA South Fayette team in the Hoops for a Cure Backyard Brawlz holiday tournament before rebounding for six consecutive section victories to set up the first place battle on its home floor. The No. 4 Lady Centurions will have to find an answer for the two Division I players, guard Sydney Bordonaro (Pepperdine) and Natalie Myers, who recently committed to play at Youngstown State.

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Girls Basketball: Struggling Hempfield seeking playoff berth

Written by Keith Barnes on .

There was quite a bit of optimism coming into the season that Hempfield would pull off an encore of 2014 and roll into the WPIAL Class AAAA championship game at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

And, to be fair, it looked at the beginning of the season like that was a possibility.

Now, however, the Spartans are in a dogfight, not with defending WPIAL champion and No. 1 Penn-Trafford. Not even with No. 3 Norwin, which sits comfortably in second place in Section 1.

No, Hempfield (10-7, 4-4) is in a hotly contested battle with a pair of sub.500 teams in third-place Latrobe (7-10, 5-4) and fifth-place Connellsville (7-12, 4-5) just to make the playoffs. The Spartans, who play the Falcons on Tuesday at 6 p.m., have lost their last two section games and are coming off a 47-46 loss at Connellsville on Saturday afternoon.

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Girls Basketball: East Allegheny facing an uphill battle

Written by Keith Barnes on .

At the beginning of the season it appeared East Allegheny might have enough to make a run at either Burrell or Greensburg Central Catholic for Section 2 supremacy. It seemed, at any rate, the Wildcats could perhaps stay with them in a game or two and maybe pull off an upset along the way.

Now, as the regular season winds down, however, East Allegheny has tumbled back to earth and is in for a tough time just qualifying for the WPIAL Class AA playoffs.

East Allegheny (11-6, 4-6), is a long way from its six-game season-opening winning streak as the Wildcats have struggled mightily in section play. They are currently in a three-way tie with Apollo-Ridge and West Shamokin for the fourth and final WPIAL playoff spot in the section and have already played both teams twice as they swept the Wolves and dropped a pair to the Vikings.

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Hockey: East All-Stars

Written by Keith Barnes on .

The following East players were selected to PIHL All-Star games:

 

Class AAA

Ryan Kingerski, Forward, Central Catholic

Jake Tepe, Forward, Central Catholic

Noah Urben, Defenseman, Central Catholic

 

Class AA

Michael D’Andrea, Defenseman, Norwin

Brendan Johns, Forward, Latrobe

Zach Nolan, Defenseman, Plum

Tim Ruppen, Goaltender, Latrobe

Dan Staffen, Dedfenseman, Latrobe

David Stonebraker, Forward, Plum

 

Class A

Zachary Bearley, Forward, Franklin Regional

Garet Ciaramella, Goaltender, Hempfield

Vincent DeFazio, Forward, Greensburg Salem

Andrew Koziara, Forward, Hempfield

Joseph Merlina, Defensema, Franklin Regional

Connor Monzo, Defenseman, Hempfield

Luke Rosendale, Forward, Hempfield