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Boys Basketball: Mars' Carmody a hot commodity

Written by Brad Everett on .

Robby Carmody has yet to begin his sophomore year, but the Mars basketball standout is already one of the most heavily recruited basketball players in the WPIAL.

Carmody, a 6-foot-4 guard, has become a hot name among Class of 2018 players this summer, and the heat continued to rise this weekend in Las Vegas, where Carmody and the Ohio Basketball Club competed in the Adidas Uprising AAU National Championships. Carmody had some big individual efforts, helped his team reach the Sweet 16, and picked up his third Division I scholarship offer.

The University of Cincinnati became the latest school to offer Carmody, joining a list that already included Duquesne and Penn State. Many other schools are already showing interest, including Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Dayton and Xavier.

This summer, Carmody played with the Ohio Basketball Club's U15 team, which won its group and finished 4-1 in Las Vegas. They were knocked out of the tournament by Team Rio National, a team based in New Jersey that has an enormous mount of Class of 2019 talent. Among their stars were Scottie Lewis -- considered one of the top players in his class nationally -- and Cole Anthony, son of former NBA player Greg Anthony. Carmody scored 26 points against Team Rio.

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Baseball: North Allegheny grad named minor league all-star

Written by Brad Everett on .

The Los Angeles Dodgers are likely sold on their decision to sign Nick Sell.

Sell, a 2011 North Allegheny graduate and former star at Seton Hill, was selected as a starter for the Pioneer League All-Star team on Monday. The Pioneer League All-Stars will play the Northwest League All-Stars Aug. 4 in Spokane, Wash.

Sell plays for the Ogden (Utah) Raptors, the Rookie League affiliate of the Dodgers. Sell went undrafted in last month's MLB First-Year Player Draft, but was quickly signed as a free agent by the Dodgers. He hasn't disappointed. In 27 games, Sell is hitting .337 with five home runs and 25 RBIs.

Sell's success should come as little surprise considering his terrific career at Seton Hill. As a senior this past spring, Sell won the Tino Martinez Award, which is annually given out to the most outstanding player in Division II. He batted .444 with 28 home runs and 92 RBIs. Sell finished his four-year career with 59 home runs and 242 RBIs.

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Boys Volleyball: 2015 North Season Recap

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

It was a battle between Fox Chapel and Seneca Valley all year long. The two teams split matches in Section 2-AAA, then faced off again in the WPIAL title match and the PIAA semifinals.

Fox Chapel made its second appearance in a PIAA championship match at Penn State's Recreation Hall. The site was the same, but unfortunately the results were also the first.

In 2006, the year before the PIAA switched to two classifications, Fox Chapel faced Landisville Hempfield in the title match. The Foxes won the first set, then lost the next three, as Hempfield won its fourth title in five years.

Fox Chapel's 2015 squad suffered the same fate in its PIAA Class AAA title match against Parkland. A large contingent of Fox Chapel fans were thrilled as the Foxes won the first set and held a 16-11 lead in the second set. But their joy turned to disappointment, as Parkland rallied to win the second set along with the third and fourth sets to claim its first title.

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Boys Volleyball: 2015 North Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature boys volleyball teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2015 season.

2015 0603 FoxChapel BVolleyball(Photo: Fox Chapel's Jack Reese, right, spikes against Seneca Valley's John Dofi Tuesday in a WPIAL Class AAA semifinal match at North Allegheny. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

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Football: Fox Chapel grad one to watch at Pitt

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles Fox Chapel graduate Adam Bisnowaty, who is now a standout football player at Pitt.

"The big and burly Pitt offensive lineman – the one with the prolific beard and shoulder-length hair – morphs into a gentle giant when he enters Children's Hospital to visit ailing youngsters. Junior Adam Bisnowaty -- all 6 feet 6, 300 pounds of him -- hugs, holds hands and hears stories of struggle and survival. He is blown away each time.

"I tell people, 'It's nice to go and impact these kids' day,'" said Bisnowaty, a former Fox Chapel High football star who enters his third season as Pitt's starting left tackle. "But the truth is, they impact your day even more."

Bisnowaty has spent so much time at Children's that he's been asked to take a volunteer training course. This will enable him to visit at any time without going through the standard scheduling process.

"I hit my limit for visits this year," Bisnowaty said, proudly. "I'm excited about getting volunteer [status].""

 

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Girls Volleyball: Freeport standout looks to end career on high note

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles Freeport volleyball player Zoe Pawlak. Read his story below.

Zoe Pawlak has experienced the thrill of victory during her high school volleyball career. She also knows the agony of defeat that comes with losing in the playoffs a lot sooner than expected.

Pawlak will soon begin her senior year at Freeport High School with hopes of experiencing the thrill of victory one more time.

"I've coached a lot of talented players in my 13 years at Freeport, but Zoe is the best," Freeport coach Tom Phillips said. "It would be great to have Zoe finish her career with another WPIAL title."

Pawlak has been a fixture in Freeport's lineup since her freshman season. The Yellowjackets were seeded No. 2 in the WPIAL Class AA bracket that season, but were upset by Ambridge in the quarterfinals.

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Boys Lacrosse: 2015 North Season Recap

Written by Joe Koch on .

Going into the latter stages of the 2015 season, North Allegheny boys lacrosse coach John Rullan had plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about his Tigers.

The Tigers swept through Division 1, Section 2 play with a 7-0 record and were 13-3 heading into the postseason. They split their next four games, but that's not something a team wants to do when those games are postseason games.

After knocking off Sewickley Academy 11-3 in a first-round WPIAL Division I game at Newman Stadium, the Tigers punched their ticket to the WPIAL championship game with a thrilling 8-7 triple-overtime victory over Shady Side Academy. It was the second time the two teams met this season, and the first game with the section rival was a 4-3 victory for the Tigers.

But that would be the last victory for the Tigers as they fell to Mt. Lebanon, 9-8, in a double-overtime thriller at Highmark Stadium in the WPIAL Division I boys championship game. As if that wasn't enough heartache, the Tigers received another dose when they fell to State College 7-6 in yet another double-overtime game at Altoona.

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Girls Lacrosse: 2015 North Season Recap

Written by Joe Koch on .

While it didn't happen this year, there may come a time when the two 2015 WPIAL girls lacrosse champions meet on the field. That could be the case if three-time WPIAL Division 2 champion Shaler Area chooses to move into Division 1. If that happened, then a possible meeting with Division 1 champion Quaker Valley could occur.

For now, though, that's mere speculation. What is certain is that the Titans and the Quakers took home top honors in their respective WPIAL post-season tournaments.

For the Quakers, it meant a different result than the 2014 title game which saw them lose to Mt. Lebanon not only in the title game but also in a second-round PIAA playoff game at Moon.

This year, the same two teams met in both the WPIAL final and the PIAA playoffs. But it was a different outcome with Quaker Valley earning an 11-9 victory over the Blue Devils. Nine days later, the two teams met for a second time -- again at Moon -- in the PA playoffs. Quaker Valley again scored 11 goals in this game, but the Quaker Valley defense was a little better this time around, holding the Blue Devils to eight goals.

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Boys Tennis: 2015 North Season Recap

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

For the second time in as many seasons, Jared Isaacs was a state doubles champion.

Isaacs, a junior at North Allegheny, paired with freshman Richard Hoffman to win the PIAA Class AAA doubles title, 6-4, 6-2, over Mt. Lebanon's Dane Bendel and Charlie Strohl. Isaacs paired with Kevin Goth to win the title in 2014.

Interestingly, both seasons Isaacs failed to win a WPIAL championship. This year, Isaacs and Hoffman lost to Mars' Josh Raymundo and Aaron Gruber, who finished third at states.

Raymundo and Gruber also helped Mars finish fourth at the Class AAA WPIAL team tournament. Shady Side Academy, meanwhile, finished second, qualifying for the state tournament for the eighth time in nine years.

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Boys Tennis: 2015 North Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature boys tennis players from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2015 season.

2015 0417 FoxChapel BTennis(Photo: Fox Chapel Area's Sid Rajupet returns a shot during the WPIAL Class AAA singles championships. Ken Wunderley/Tri-State Sports & News Service)

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Boys Track & Field: 2015 North Season Recap

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

The North Allegheny Tigers won the WPIAL Class AAA team title once again.

Senior Andrew Manz took third in the javelin at the state meet after taking second at WPIALs. Bobby Upton also represented the Tigers at WPIALs with a second-place finish in the pole vault.

Senior Matt McGoey ran an 8:56.43 for first place in the 3,200-meter run at the WPIAL meet. Teammate Nathan Wharrey took fourth.

The North fronted a strong field in the 800-meter run at the WPIAL meet. Fox Chapel's Elias Graca and Michael Bove finished first and second, respectively. The duo was followed by North Allegheny's Scott Seel.

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Girls Track & Field: 2015 North Season Recap

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Even without the talent of Shaler's Brianna Schwartz, talent was still plentiful in the North.

North Allegheny's Madeleine Davison ran a 10:35.55 in the 3,200-meter run to break the WPIAL record of 10:39.40 previously set by Latrobe's Natalie Bower. The junior went on to claim the PIAA title in 10:27.20.

North Hills' Emma Bagnato took third in the 400-meter dash at the WPIAL meet. Butler's Kalynn Callihan took charge of the WPIAL field with a second-place throw in the shot put.

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Boys Track & Field: 2015 North Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature boys track & field athletes from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2015 season.

2015 0426 Knoch BTrack(Photo: Knoch shot put standout Jordan Geist has already thrown himself into WPIAL lore. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)

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Girls Track & Field: 2015 North Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature girls track & field athletes from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2015 season.

2015 0515 PineRichland GTrack(Photo: Pine-Richland's Kat Quigley, one of the top hurdlers in the WPIAL, is on her way to winning the 100-meter hurdles title April 17 at the Butler Invitational. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)

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Softball: 2015 North Season Recap

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Deer Lakes reached the WPIAL Class AA final for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year this season and the Lancers came away with their second WPIAL title in four years. Deer Lakes finished the season with a 24-2 record, a Section 3-AA title, a WPIAL title and PIAA silver, capping a memorable run in the careers of its two senior leaders, Tiffany Edwards and Katie Gozzard. The Lancers reached the PIAA final for the first time in program history. They were unable to hold onto a one-run lead in the fourth inning and eventually fell to District 2 champion Holy Redeemer.

Deer Lakes has dominated the local scene over the last four years. They are 81-8 over the span of Edwards and Gozzard's career. The Lancers were 20-1 in their final 21 games and outscored their opponents by an aggregate score of 234-41. Six players earned all-state honors, three on both the first and second teams, and had a starting lineup that featured nine starters with averages of at least .370 and five that hit better than .400. Edwards was 19-2 as a starter. Gozzard batted .430. The highlight of the season came in the WPIAL Class AA final when coach Craig Taliani's daughter, Maria Taliani, hit three home runs.

Shaler Area won 16 games and reached the WPIAL semifinals. Sophomore shortstop Lauren Miller continued her tear. She scored 20 runs, had 28 hits and batted .389. Junior Bri Dobson batted .460 for the Titans while driving in 18 runs. It was North Allegheny who won the section title and reached the WPIAL finals behind junior pitcher Madi Beining (21-2, 166 strikeouts in 156 innings). Junior catcher Liz Scherer (.381 batting average, .992 fielding percentage) and senior outfielder Laura Cotter (.465 with 33 hits) were two other key components.

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Softball: 2015 North Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature softball teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2015 season.

2015 0529 DeerLakes Softball(Photo: Deer Lakes' Maria Taliani is congratulated by her father, head coach Craig Taliani, after defeating Mohawk in the WPIAL Class AA softball championship at California University Thursday. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

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Baseball: 2015 North Season Recap

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

George Bradley didn't need King Arthur or Lancelot this spring.

The Knoch baseball coach had his own group of Knights set the table and capture the program's first state championship. Throughout the WPIAL's 2015 baseball season, Knoch headlined a group of exciting players and teams from the Post-Gazette's northern coverage region.

The Knights (23-2), who claimed the district's first PIAA Class AAA championship since Pine-Richland in 2006, began its title run by going 11-1 in Section 5-AAA. Before this season, Knoch's baseball program had only one playoff win in its record books. This year, the Knights won eight postseason games, including a 5-1 win against West Allegheny in the WPIAL championship game and a 7-5 victory against Abington Heights in the state final. Senior infielder and Seton Hill recruit Chris Law led Knoch with a .500 average and 20 RBIs during he regular season. Junior Cole Shinsky, a star left-handed starting pitcher, paced the Knights' pitching staff and finished the year with a perfect 10-0 record.

"From day one, we said we could do this, win a state championship," Shinsky told the Post-Gazette after the state title game. "I'm serious. We knew we had the pitching and the hitting.

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Baseball: 2015 North Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature baseball teams from the area's North zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2015 season.

2015 0528 Knoch Baseball(Photo: Knoch's Garrett Traggiai, left, upends West Allegheny catcher Brandon Pouch in the WPIAL Class AAA championship Wednesday night at Consol Energy Park in Washington. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)