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Boys Lacrosse: New coach, leadership guide Pine-Richland

Written by Marky Billson on .

Marky Billson profiles the Pine-Richland boys lacrosse team.

2015 0327 PineRichland BLacrosse(Photo: Pine-Richland attacker Jeremy Kennedy will play college lacrosse at Saint Vin­cent. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"The Pine-Richland Rams begin the 2015 boys lacrosse season with a new head coach.

Chip Young, 26, guides the Rams after serving as an assistant under former Pine-Richland boss Rob Marasti, who left to become an assistant at Robert Morris University this offseason after an 11-5 season.

"I'm never going to say it's easy, but I've definitely been lucky this year," Young said. "I walked into a great group of 14 seniors and every single one of them is a great leader. The more leaders we have the stronger the team will be. They've made my life easier."

Young's tenure began on a positive note when a roster of 32 players enjoyed an 8-5 victory March 20 against Peters Township. Midfielder Scott Wilden scored three goals with one assist as Pine-Richland broke open a 3-3 halftime tie with five consecutive goals."

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Girls Basketball: Valiant effort falls short for Pine-Richland

Written by Joe Koch on .

Pine-Richland High's girls basketball team has had several tremendous victories en route to a solid season. The Rams almost had another magic moment on Friday night as they fell short to WPIAL champion Norwin, 52-51, in a first-round PIAA game played Friday night at Hempfield.

Trailing 29-15 at halftime, Pine-Richland waged a solid second-half comeback as the Rams outscored the Knights 36-23. Amanda Kalin and Chelsea Rourke led Pine-Richland with 14 points apiece. The Rams finished at 21-6 and they return all but two players from an 18-player roster next season.

They should be able to build upon a season where the Rams WPIAL Class AA champion Seton-LaSalle (51-46), WPIAL Class AAAA finalist Penn Hills (56-49), section archrival North Allegheny (66-58), Shaler (51-49 and 54-40 in a PIAA play-in game) and 2014 WPIAL Class AAAA champion Penn-Trafford (51-36).

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Girls Basketball: Pine-Richland's perimeter barrage leads to PIAA bid

Written by Joe Koch on .

Pine-Richland girls basketball coach Cliff Foster likes to use the 3-point shot as an integral part of his offense. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the Rams' 54-40 victory over Section 3-AAAA rival Shaler in a PIAA play-in game this past Thursday at North Allegheny High School. The victory improved the Rams' record to 21-5, giving them the No. 5 seed from the WPIAL in the PIAA tournament and a first-round game in the PIAA tournament with WPIAL champion Norwin at 6 p.m. Friday at Hempfield High School. Shaler finished at 20-6. The victory gave the Rams the season series, 2-1, over the Titans and avenged a 60-36 loss to the Titans in the section finale.

The Rams got 36 of their points in the victory over the Titans on 12 3-point goals. Sophomore standout Amanda Kalin led the Rams with 25 points. She had five 3-point goals, including the first two of the game which wreaked havoc with Shaler's zone defense.

"We knew there were going to be 3-point shots available," Foster said. "Our adage is 'shoot good, look good.' When they beat us, it was 'shoot bad, look bad.' We probably shot 250,000 of those (3-point shots) this summer. The kids put the work in. It wasn't just a night of getting hot."

Shaler coach Neal Martin had an inkling the shots might start falling for the Rams.

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Boys Basketball: Despite early playoff exit, Pine-Richland's future looks bright

Written by Brad Everett on .

When Jeff Ackermann took over the coaching duties at Pine-Richland last July, he said there was no reason the Rams couldn't compete for a playoff spot, this despite the program not having qualified for the postseason since 2011.

As it turns out, the Rams did more than just compete. Not only did they make the playoffs, but they were playing like a championship contender until seeing their season end in a 49-35 upset loss against Fox Chapel in a WPIAL Class AAAA first-round game last Wednesday.

Pine-Richland went 17-5 overall and placed second in Section AAAA with a 9-3 record. It was the most wins compiled by a Rams team since they finished 18-9 and reached the WPIAL semifinals in 2007.

"If you would have told me before the season that we'd finish 17-5, I would have taken it and I would have ran with it," Ackermann said. "Obviously, I didn't expect we'd lose in the first round, but I thought going into the playoffs that we were as good as anyone and had a chance to win a championship."

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Girls Basketball: Playoff survival at stake tonight for Pine-Richland

Written by Joe Koch on .

Not all was lost when Pine-Richland fell to Bethel Park 58-42 in a PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinal game this past Friday at North Allegheny.

But it will be the end of the road for the Rams if they are unable to get past a team that is as equally miffed as they are with the results of their respective games this past Friday.

While the Rams were falling to Bethel Park, top-seeded Penn-Trafford dropped a 40-22 decision to No. 9 Penn Hills. The victory represented the second victory in a row by the Indians over a higher seed and put them into Tuesday's semifinals against Bethel Park.

Pine-Richland finished second in Section 3-AAAA with a record of 9-3 and enters the game with an overall record of 19-5. For Penn-Trafford, their loss to Penn Hills snapped a 21-game winning streak. The Warriors' other loss came against Shaler, 33-32, on Dec. 6 in the Norwin Tournament.