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Photo Journal: Boys Basketball - Steel Valley vs.Thomas Jefferson (Jan. 29)

Written by Marilyn Schwilm on .

The number one team in WPIAL AAA, Sec. 4, Steel Valley, hosts number two team in the same section, Thomas Jefferson, Friday, January 29, 2016.  Play was intense in this section rivalry, keeping it close in this high scoring game.  Steel Valley managed to stay on top despite a valiant effort from Thomas Jefferson, winning 75-70.

click here to see video highlights of the game

Photos by Marilyn C. Schwilm, Tri-State Sports & News Service

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Boys Basketball: Steel Valley claims section title

Written by Brad Everett on .

Steel Valley captured its first outright section title since Charlie Batch's senior year when it defeated visiting Thomas Jefferson, 75-70, last Friday. The victory was Steel Valley's seventh in row and it gave them the Class AAA Section 4 championship.

Batch, who went on to have a long NFL career, was a starter on the Steel Valley basketball team during the 1991-1992 season. The Ironmen went 22-6 and lost to Dante Calabria and Blackhawk in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals. The Ironmen had won three section titles since then (1999-2000, 2001-02 and 2002-03), but each of them was split with another team.

Clinching the title at home was important to first-year coach Dale Chapman, who said afterwards "We wanted to get it done here." Steel Valley is 7-0 at home and 14-3 overall. With three regular-season games and at least one playoff game ahead, the Ironmen could win more than 17 games for the first time since the 2002-03 season. The Ironmen, led by senior guard Kennedy Smith and sophomore forward Ja'Mier Fletcher, will be looking to win their first WPIAL title since 2002.

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Boys Basketball: South Feature Athlete - Steel Valley’s Kennedy Smith

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Kennedy Smith
High School: Steel Valley
Grade: 12
Sport: Boys Basketball
Position: Guard

Background: Smith scored a team-high 23 points to lead Steel Valley to a 75-70 victory against Thomas Jefferson last Friday. With the win, the Ironmen clinched the Class AAA Section 4 title. It's their first outright section title since 1992. Charlie Batch was a senior starter on that team. Smith has had an excellent season. One of his biggest moments came when he hit the winning jump shot just before the buzzer to lift the Ironmen to a 75-74 win at rival West Mifflin on Jan. 22. The Ironmen are 14-3 overall and 10-2 in the section. They play at Uniontown in a section game tonight.

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Photo Journal: Girls Basketball - Steel Valley vs. Serra Catholic (Dec. 29)

Written by Marilyn Schwilm on .

Steel Valley and Serra Catholic girls basketball teams meet in a tounament hosted at Serra Catholic, Monday, December 29, 2015.  Serra added another game to their win column ending the night with a 6-1 overall, 3-0 section record.  Final score, Serra Catholic 61, Steel Valley 47.

Photos by Marilyn C. Schwilm, Tri-State Sports & News Service

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Boys Basketball: Steel Valley turning into coach's idea of Ironmen

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Steel Valley boys basketball team.

2015 1231 SteelValley BBasketball(Steel Valley's Kennedy Smith moves in position to guard West Mifflin's Jordan Landon when the two Class AAA rivals met earlier this month. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"Dale Chapman knew Steel Valley boys basketball inside and out before he ever considered taking over as head coach.

Not only did he spend several seasons as an assistant to West Mifflin's Lance Maha, forced to devise ways to stop the Ironmen, he is a Steel Valley graduate and still lives near many of the players.

That didn't mean he didn't have to do some soul-searching before he finally accepted the position to replace controversial coach Drew Schifino just 10 days before the start of the season.

"It was difficult because ... me and Lance, we weren't just head coach and assistant coach, we're great friends off the court," Chapman said. "He basically told me that if I don't take that job, he was going to fire me. Lance and I did some pretty good things up there as far as winning and being successful and getting kids into college to play.""