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Football: Pine-Richland wins WPIAL Class AAAA title

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ben DiNucci threw for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass, and ran for a third score to lead Pine-Richland to a 21-13 win against defending champion Central Catholic in the WPIAL Class AAAA title game, Friday at Heinz Field.

Pine-Richland (13-0) was making its fifth appearance in a WPIAL title game and claimed its fourth title, first since 2003. Central Catholic (11-2) was making its seventh title appearance and placed second for the third time.

Pine-Richland broke a scoreless tie with a 6-yard pass from DiNuccci to Michael Merhaut with 10:24 left in the third quarter. The touchdown capped a 10-play, 76-yard drive.

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Hockey: Offensive quartet leading Freeport

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Freeport lost the third-leading scorer in Class A, Cole Hepler, from last season’s team that was less than a minute away from making the Penguins Cup title game.

But four returning players have helped to pick up the slack and keep Freeport above .500 (4-3) in the early part of the season.

Michael Frazetta (10 points), Robert Reichenbaugh (10), Stone Haberstroh (9) and Hunter Kepple (9) are leading the charge for the Yellow Jackets, who have won their past two games. All four players scored at least 18 points last season, led by Frazetta’s 34 points.

Freeport also has all three goaltenders back from last season’s squad in Matt Huston, Katie Hill and Domenic DiGiacobbe. The trio has split duties, with Huston getting three games and the other two each playing twice. Huston leads the team in wins (2) and save percentage (.910), while Hill has the best goals-against average (3.43). 

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Hockey: Tigers knock Indians from unbeaten ranks

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Peters Township entered Tuesday night’s game against North Allegheny as the only unbeaten team in the PIHL’s top three classifications.

North Allegheny made that number zero.

Joseph Zappia scored with less than four minutes remaining in the third period to lift North Allegheny to a 2-1 victory. Dawson Richard tallied the Tigers’ other goal in the second period.

Joe Hubert stopped 23 of 24 shots to earn his fourth win of the season. Hubert has a 1.40 goals-against average and .948 save percentage.

North Allegheny has now won five straight games and currently is in first place in Class AAA with 14 points. 

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Craig Meyer's North High School Football Notebook (Nov. 20, 2014)

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Here's this week's edition of Craig Meyer's North High School Football Notebook.

"The ultimate and oftentimes elusive dream of any high school football team — a state championship — remains within reach for eight squads that will all make the trek to Heinz Field Friday for the WPIAL championships.

For a vast majority of the 124 WPIAL teams, though, the season and the charged Friday night environments that come with it are over for this season.

The end of any season brings about a time to reflect on what transpired over a frenetic three months packed with hundreds and hundreds of games."

 

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Football: Avonworth re-focuses for WPIAL title shot

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles the Avonworth football team.

"One thing that is true about playoff football is that no matter how emotionally satisfying a victory is against a familiar opponent, the focus always must be directed toward the next game on the schedule.

That is the task facing the Avonworth Antelopes (11-1), who enter the WPIAL Class A championship game against Clairton (12-0) on the heels of an emotional 28-21 victory against Black Hills Conference rival and defending WPIAL and PIAA Class A champion Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

Game time is at 11 a.m. Friday at Heinz Field. The winner advances to the PIAA Class A playoffs.

"That was an extremely significant win," said fourth-year Avonworth coach Duke Johncour about his team's victory against the top-seeded Trojans. "I'm proud of our kids and with everyone associated with the program.""

 

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Football: North Catholic ousted by rival

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic football team.

"For the past two seasons, the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School football team achieved unprecedented success with titles in the 2013 WPIAL and PIAA Class A football championship games.

But the road to repeat honors can be a difficult one, and the Trojans learned that harsh truth at the WPIAL Class A semifinals this past Friday with a 28-21 loss to Avonworth in a semifinal played at the Mars Athletic Complex.

The result left both teams with 11-1 records. Avonworth meets a familiar participant in the WPIAL Class A championship game — Clairton — at 11 a.m. Friday at Heniz Field."

 

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Football: Pine-Richland's Slomka marches to his own beat

Written by Justin Criado on .

Justin Criado profiles Pine-Richland running back Connor Slomka.

2014 1120 PineRichland Football(Photo: Pine-Richland's Connor Slomka, carrying against North Hills this season, has been a workhorse for the Rams offense. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Pine-Richland running back Connor Slomka is a man of his word.

When Army started recruiting him during his junior year, he wasn't sure about attending a service academy, but said if he did decide to go that route, Army would be his choice.

"The first time that Army came to my house, I promised them that if I went to a military school it would be Army," Slomka said. "There's not a chance I would be at Navy."

Slomka's Army allegiance goes deeper than just recruiting letters and chummy visits, though, because his father, Jim, was a defensive lineman for the Black Knights in the early 1990s and later served as the assistant athletic director."

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Boys Soccer: Sewickley Academy settles for PIAA silver

Written by Justin Criado on .

Justin Criado profiles the Sewickley Academy boys soccer team.

"Not bad for a "down year."

Well, that's if one considers Sewickley Academy boys soccer team to have had such a season.

As the defending PIAA Class A state champion, the Panthers had to replace almost every position with new starters, and repeating a state title is never easy.

"After losing 12 seniors [from a year ago] you might have a rebuilding year, but I've coached these guys in middle school so they knew what was coming up," Panthers coach Jim Boone said. "They learned really quickly and I'm glad we got where we got because experience is your best teacher at times.""

 

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Alumni Update - Matt Getsy (Westminster)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College men's basketball team won, 83-71, overGetsy Westminster the visiting Nittany Lions of Penn. State Beaver in the final game of the 23rd annual Buzz Ridl Classic.


Sophomore Matt Getsy and junior Charlie Wallander were both named on the All-Classic team for Westminster.


Five Titans scored in double digits, led by Getsy, a Mars graduate, with 20.

 

(photo courtesy of Westminster College)

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Alumni Update - Michael Giampole (Washington & Jefferson)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

W&J placed seven on the PAC Second Team, including senior cornerback Alec Schram, juniors tightGiampole WJ end Michael Giampole and wide receiver Daniel Lis, sophomores quarterback Pete Coughlin, right tackle Brandon Martuccio and defensive tackle Ryan Snedeker and freshman wide receiver Jesse Zubik (all purpose).


Giampole, an Avonworth graduate, is the fourth-leading receiver on the team with 27 catches for 318 yards and three scores,

 

(photo courtesy of Washington & Jefferson College)

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Alumni Update - Gabrielle Olson (Clarion)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – It's a clean sweep of the four major PSAC West postseason awards for the PSAC West championOlson Clarion Clarion University women's volleyball team.

 

Thursday saw senior setter Laura Subject named the PSAC West Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season, junior Libero Morgan Seybold named the Defensive Player of the Year, freshman middle hitter Gabrielle Olson named the Rookie of the Year and head coach Jennifer Mills named the Coach of the Year for the second straight season and for the third time in the last five years. The awards are voted on by the conference coaches.

 

Clarion, which has won back-to-back PSAC West titles, is the first PSAC school (West or East) to sweep all four major awards since the Defensive Player of the Year award was created in 2011, and it is the first PSAC West school to sweep all of the major award since IUP took home Coach of the Year, Athlete of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2002.

 

Olson, a Pine Richland graduate, has had an outstanding season ranking fifth in the PSAC in hitting percentage at .313 (252 kills, 72 errors, 575 attempts) and 18th in blocks with 0.82 per set while averaging 2.23 kills per set. 

 

(photo courtesy of Clarion University)

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Alumni Update - Jared Heck (Westminster)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. - The Westminster College football team won, 38-3, at Geneva College inHeck Westminster both teams' season finale on Saturday. The win marked the Titans' fourth of their last five games.


The Titan defense, who gave up the fewest points of the season, was led by senior Jared Heck, a North Hills graduate,with nine tackles.

 

(photo courtesy of Westminster College)

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Alumni Update - Jesse Zubik (Washington & Jefferson)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

W&J placed seven on the PAC Second Team, including senior cornerback Alec Schram, juniors tightZubik WJ end Michael Giampole and wide receiver Daniel Lis, sophomores quarterback Pete Coughlin, right tackle Brandon Martuccio and defensive tackle Ryan Snedeker and freshman wide receiver Jesse Zubik (all purpose).


Zubik, an Avoworth graduate, is tied for first on the team at 766 yards and leads with nine receiving scores on 49 catches.

 

(photo courtesy of Washington & Jefferson College)

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Boys Soccer: Sewickley Academy comes up short

Written by Stephen Catanese on .

A strong season for Sewickley Academy ended on a sour note Friday when it lost to Moravian Academy, 4-0, in the PIAA Class A final at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey.

The Panthers finished the season at 19-3-2.

After taking down the WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2013, Sewickley Academy finished 2014 as runners-up for both distinctions. Though, an indication of how strung the team actually is, it likely doesn't matter much to the players in the end.

Sewickley Academy didn't lose a game to Class A opposition in regulation time until the PIAA final.

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Football: Avonworth stuns rival North Catholic

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch covered Friday's WPIAL Class A semifinal game between Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic and Avonworth.

"Brandon Wasko's interception of an Adam Sharlow pass with 49 seconds left preserved Avonworth's 28-21 come-from-behind victory against Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in a WPIAL Class A semifinal Friday night at Mars.

The win puts the Antelopes (11-1) in the WPIAL Class A championship game against Clairton, a 48-42 overtime winner against Neshannock.

The Antelopes fought back from a 14-7 halftime deficit, tying the score at 21-21 with 7:02 left in the third quarter when quarterback Josh Drwal hit John Gould with a 13-yard pass with 7:02 left in the third quarter.

The Antelopes then took the lead for good on Wasko's 3-yard touchdown run with 2:59 left in the fourth. A bit more than two minutes later, Wasko came up with his game-clinching interception."

 

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Boys Soccer: Sewickley Academy dominated in PIAA final

Written by Post-Gazette on .

Rod Frisco covered Friday's PIAA Class A boys soccer championship game between Sewickley Academy and Moravian Academy.

"HERSHEY, Pa. — Sewickley Academy's third consecutive time at the PIAA boys soccer championship was definitely not charming.

From the opening kickoff of the PIAA Class A boys soccer championship Friday night at Hersheypark Stadium, Moravian Academy of District 11 was in total control, claiming the state title with a thorough 4-0 victory.

The District 11 champion Lions (22-3), attacked from the outset and never stopped. Moravian was faster, more aggressive. It was like a, ahem, lion that had tracked down a wounded gazelle.

Moravian was also older.

With most of its 11 seniors on its starting side, Moravian could claim age as beauty. The talent level, while clearly on the Lions' side, wasn't as much of a factor as raw maturity. Sewickley Academy (19-3-2) has just one senior, defender Tom Mulholland."

 

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Girls Basketball: Vincentian's Wise signs with Pitt

Written by Joe Koch on .

Surrounded by her parents and members of the Vincentian Academy administration, standout player Brenna Wise signed a letter-of-intent this past Wednesday to play for the women's basketball team at the University of Pittsburgh.

Wise, an 18-year-old Cranberry resident, made a verbal commitment to play for coach Suzie McConnell Serio's Panthers in September and made it official with a brief ceremony in the school's library.

"Pitt was there the entire time I started the recruiting process," said Wise, who led the Royals to a 27-3 record and the 2014 WPIAL and PIAA Class A championships averaging 19.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. "It's very rare that a school can offer such a high academic and athletic combination. Pitt is one of the minorities with that. They have both. So I'm very blessed to be part of the program and part of the school."

Ninth-year coach Ron Moncrief attended the signing, and he said he's pleased Wise was able to take care of a huge decision before practice begins on Monday.