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Girls Tennis: Beaver sisters ready for first run at states doubles

Written by Justin Criado on .

Sisters Mattie and Anne Taylor just teamed up as doubles partners this year, and showed that chemistry is innate. 

The Taylors will face District 12 champs Zora Charles and Mona Zhang of Masterman during Friday's first round at the Hershey Racquet Club at 12 p.m. The pairings were announced Tuesday. 

The sisters were WPIAL runner-ups to another set of sisters in Quaker Valley's Farrah and Zoe Bojalad

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Hockey: Tigers racking up wins despite low goal total

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Moon has not qualified for the playoffs since 2013, by already the Tigers seem to be ready to make a run for a spot this season.

Through four games, Moon is 3-1-0, tied with North Hills for second in the PIHL Class AA West Conference and is playing an incredibly tight brand of hockey. The Tigers have only scored 14 goals in their four games – led by Josh Scott with four and Brayden Lange with three – but they are 1-1 in one-goal games, including a 3-2 loss to Cathedral Prep in the season opener.

Though Moon may not be blowing teams out, it is winning and keeping teams close thanks to a solid defense led by senior defenseman Austin Murphy. It also helps that goaltender Ryan Durkin has been stellar.

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Girls Tennis: Hannah Phillips carries the West wand

Written by Justin Criado on .

Carlynton's Hannah Phillips is the only West player to qualify for the PIAA Class AA singles tournament this Friday at the Hershey Racquet Club. 

The pairings were announced Tuesday, and Phillips will take on District 6 champ Kourtney Cavalier of Central Cambria.

Phillips won this year's WPIAL Class AA singles tournament consolation match, 6-3, 7-5, over Indiana's Lucy Bujdos. She was also the Section 4-AA singles champion. 

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Hockey: Indians' offense struggling without Ligas

Written by Keith Barnes on .

After missing the playoffs last season, West Allegheny appeared to be ready to make a step forward in 2014-15.

That was before the team found out that junior Jess Ligas had opted to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite Midget Major team and eschew the Indians.

Ligas led the team with 17 goals and 43 points in just 15 games in 2013-14 and finding someone to replace that kind of offensive production has been a challenge in the early going.

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Craig Meyer's West High School Football Notebook (Oct. 30, 2014)

Written by Craig Meyer on .

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

"For four years, the Hopewell football team had the ultimate personnel advantage.

It was during that four-year span when the Vikings' backfield was graced by Rushel Shell, the state's all-time leading rusher and one of the most accomplished players to come out of Western Pennsylvania over the past two decades.

With 9,078 career yards, he tormented opposing defenses and, in the process, helped lead his team to a WPIAL championship game appearance in 2009 that marked the height of a strong and successful run.

Since then, however, much has changed."

 

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Football: Central Valley goes deep at quarterback to go 9-0

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

John D'Abruzzo profiles Central Valley quarterbacks John George and Chris Callaghan.

2014 1030 CentralValley Football(Photo: Central Valley quarterback John George was a "relief pitcher" during the previous two seasons, but he's been a starter this year. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Most high school football coaches might panic after hearing their starting quarterback wouldn't be able to return to the field following an injury.

Mark Lyons has been lucky enough to shrug off such news.

For the third consecutive season, the Central Valley coach had to replace his starting quarterback and turn to the team's backup because of an injury.

"I don't know if it's become a tradition here or something that was started and no one informed me about," Lyons joked. "It's always nice to have two quarterbacks in the mix. We've been fortunate to have guys come through our system who recognize that the backup [role] is just as important as a starter.""

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Football: Montour grad a great fit for Duquesne's offense

Written by Rick Davis on .

Rick Davis profiles Montour graduate Dillon Buechel, who is now a standout quarterback at Duquesne University.

"The list of accomplishments Dillon Buechel achieved last season as a redshirt freshman quarterback is impressive: Duquesne University records for completions (217) and attempts (373), a freshman record 2,569 yards passing and a second-team All-Northeast Conference selection.

A Montour High School graduate from Kennedy Township, he also was the first freshman to open the season at quarterback for the Dukes since Sean Knapp in 2005 and led the NEC in passing yards per game (233.5) and total offense (238.1).

Despite all the gaudy numbers and accolades, however, Duquesne coach Jerry Schmitt wasn't too concerned that Buechel may have set the bar too high as his quarterback entered just his second season of collegiate football."

 

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Cross Country: Beaver Falls junior claims WPIAL title

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles Beaver Falls cross country standout Dominic Peretta.

2014 1030 BeaverFalls BCrossCountry(Photo: Beaver Falls' Dominic Peretta wins the WPIAL Class A cross country championship at Cooper's Lake Campground. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Dominic Peretta was content to sit back and let the front-runners dictate the pace as the WPIAL Class A Boys Cross Country Championship race broke from the starting line at Cooper's Lake Campground last Thursday in Butler County.

But that patience didn't last long.

"I took control early, but I didn't really want to," said Peretta, a junior who won the 2014 Class AA 800- and 1,600-meter track championships last spring at Shippensburg University.

"After a long downhill, no one was pushing and I wasn't going to let everyone pass me, so I kept pushing and moving forward," said Peretta, who completed the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 29 seconds, eight seconds ahead of Cody Divecchio, a Burgettstown junior. "I took control about 2 miles in. That's when I actually like to take care of a race. But if it's before 2 miles, I don't like to lead a race. I like it when someone is pushing me. On the way up the hill the second time, that's when I wanted to take it home.""

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Golf: Central Valley girls battle to Class AAA state championship

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Central Valley girls golf team.

"Central Valley had won PIAA Class AA girls team golf championships in 2012 and 2013, but with a state-mandated move up to Class AAA, there was a much different feel last week in the clubhouse at York's Heritage Hills Golf Resort.

"That was the most stressful time of my entire life," senior Amanda Scala said. "There was this huge crowd of people and they were all staring at the board, waiting for them to write the scores. Then, at the last minute, we had to wait for the last score to come in."

In the end, though the outcome wasn't quite as disparate as it had been the previous two years in Class AA, the end result was the same as Central Valley won its third consecutive state championship with a four-person total of 352 that edged defending champion Mount St. Joseph by four strokes."

 

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Alumni Update - Eddie Mateo (Bloomsburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Eddie Mateo of No. 8 Bloomsburg recorded the fifth-most single game rushing yards in school history in a 41-10 win over No.Mateo Bloomsburg 7 West Chester. His 269 yards on the ground made him the eighth Husky to record 3,000 career yards.

He reached the endzone four times in the victory with runs of four, 12, 21 and 59 yards. Mateo scored three of his touchdowns in the first stanza to send Bloomsburg into the locker room holding a 24-3 advantage.

With the win, Bloomsburg remains the only unbeaten team in the PSAC.

The Freedom graduate earned PSAC East Offensive Player of the Week.

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Football: West Top Games - WPIAL Playoffs: First Round (2014)

Written by staff reports on .

Here's a look at three of the top games involving West teams in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.

Mars (6-3) at Montour (7-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. - The game features two of the hottest teams that didn't win their conferences. Montour is on a four-game winning streak, including back-to-back wins over playoff teams Upper St. Clair (AAAA) and Moon (AAA) and has allowed just four touchdowns in the last four weeks combined. Mars is on a two-game winning streak, having knocked off previously undefeated Hampton last week. The Planets have also allowed just two TDs in the last two games. Montour's David Haselu has scored five touchdowns in the last two games and Mars' Ori Rinaman scored twice against Hampton as both teams tend to stay on the ground.

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Football: West Feature Athlete - Riverside's Ricky Wass

Written by staff reports on .

Name: Ricky Wass
High School: Riverside
Grade: 10
Sport: Football
Position: Wide receiver

Background: Ricky Wass caught nine passes for 109 yards and a TD in Riverside's 52-14 playoff clinching win over Vincentian Academy. With that performance, he broke a 17-year-old school record for the number of receptions. He now has 40 catches for 522 yards. The sophomore has developed into a top receiver just as Riverside's offense has developed into one of the top passing offenses in the WPIAL – the Panthers now average over 200 yards passing per game.

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Football: Two West teams finish as they started -- undefeated

Written by staff reports on .

Two local teams finished the regular season undefeated – Central Valley and Aliquippa. Although there was a time that an undefeated season was almost a lock to get a top seed in the playoffs, that isn't true anymore as 12 WPIAL teams finished the season undefeated.

Central Valley did earn the top seed but Aliquippa was the second seed behind defending WPIAL and PIAA Champion South Fayette, one of the other four undefeated teams in Class AA.

Each local undefeated team provided their own types of excitement, though. Central Valley weathered the storm of having to replace an injured starting quarterback and came out even better. Chris Callaghan passed for over 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns in relief of John George, who finished with almost 600 yards and seven touchdowns. George is healthy now.

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Football: New Brighton will be short-handed in playoff opener

Written by staff reports on .

After facing a tough conference schedule that included trips to tough conference foes Beaver Falls and Aliquippa, and a brutal non-conference trip to undefeated Washington, New Brighton draws the unenviable task of traveling to unbeaten Highlands in the first round of the playoffs.

Making the trip even tougher is that starting quarterback Payton Fath won't be suiting up for the Lions. He was ejected from New Brighton's regular-season ending 42-27 win over Mohawk and, as WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley explained, there is no appeal of the rule that an ejected player must sit out the next game.

Before his exit, Fath had rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown and passed for 18, bringing his season total to 1,037 for the season. He was replaced by Blaine Williams, who ran for two touchdowns and completed 4 of 9 passes for 79 yards and a TD. The place where Fath's absence is noticed most, though, is that he takes the Lions' top receiver – Williams, with 24 catches – out of the game.

Fath will be eligible to return if the Lions get past Highlands.

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Boys Soccer: West Feature Athlete - Ambridge's Austin Gorman

Written by staff reports on .

Name: Austin Gorman
High School: Ambridge
Grade: 11
Sport: Soccer
Position: Goalkeeper

Background: Ambridge finished its first season back in Class AA with a 17-3 record, reaching the second round of the WPIAL playoffs. One of the significant parts of the Bridgers' success was a defense that allowed more than one goal just three times, and the final line of defense was goalkeeper Austin Gorman.

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Girls Soccer: West Feature Athlete - Freedom's Alexa Schwab

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Alexa Schwab
High School: Freedom
Grade: 10
Sport: Soccer
Position: Forward

Background: Freedom sophomore Forward Alexa Schwab has emerged as one of the top goal scorers in WPIAL Class A this season. She helped lead the Bulldogs to the playoffs with a school single-season record of 30 regular-season goals. It ranked seventh in the WPIAL overall. Schwab now has her team on the cusp of the WPIAL Class A title game. The Bulldogs meet No. 2 Shady Side Academy on Monday in a WPIAL semifinal contest. Schwab netted a goal each of Freedom's two playoff wins thus far, against Sewickley Academy and in a upset of No. 3 Charleroi.

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Boys Soccer: Class AA semifinals a Section 5 affair between West teams

Written by staff reports on .

A quick look at the Class AA WPIAL semifinal brackets would give a fan the idea this will be a matter of going through the motions. South Park is a perfect 20-0-0 and every other team has at least three losses.

But the bracket deserves more than a quick look. The other three teams – South Fayette, Quaker Valley, and West Allegheny – all come from Section 5-AA, where the level of competition makes an undefeated season nothing but a pipe dream.

West Allegheny is the defending WPIAL Class AA champion and the Section 5-AA champion but drew only the No. 3 seed in the pairings and will face section foe and No. 15 seed Quaker Valley. In the regular season, the Indians won both games, 2-1, on the road and 1-0 at home. The Indians are on a roll now, winning their first two playoff games by a combined score of 14-1.

West Allegheny has won 13 of its last 14 games, losing, 1-0, to Class AAA Seneca Valley in the regular-season finale. The Indians have allowed more than one goal in only three of their 20 games.

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Boys Soccer: Season over for Class A West teams, others

Written by staff reports on .

Locally, Class A soccer has been strong with Riverside winning a recent title and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Beaver County Christian School both reaching the WPIAL finals.

This year, despite have two teams seeded in the top eight, the Class A playoffs are over for local teams – and the only playoff win came from the lowest seed – 11th seeded OLSH.

Fourth-seeded Carlynton fell to Geibel Catholic in a shootout in the opening round and seventh-seeded Freedom fell to Riverview, 3-1. OLSH got past Seton-LaSalle, 1-0, in the first round but fell to third seeded Vincentian, 3-0, in the quarterfinal round.

In Class AA, only defending champ West Allegheny remains, as South Fayette eliminated two local teams. In the first round, Central Valley fell to the Lions, 2-0, and in the second round, South Fayette edged Ambridge, 2-1. Ambridge had beaten Indiana, 4-1, in the first round. The other local playoff team, Beaver, was eliminated in the preliminary round by Quaker Valley, 2-1.

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Girls Soccer: Montour scoring tandem leads way to WPIAL semifinals

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Victoria Kocsuta and Jane Schleicher combined to form one of the top scoring duos in the WPIAL during the regular season and the pair isn't showing any signs of slowing in the playoffs. Kocsuta and Schleicher combined to score 52 goals during the regular season to help lead the Spartans to a 15-2 record and No. 5 seed in the WPIAL Class AA playoffs. Schleicher led the team with 31 goals while Kocsuta added 21. In the playoffs Kocsuta poured in four goals in a first-round matchup against Freeport while Schleicher added a pair. Montour won the game, 8-1. In the WPIAL quarterfinals it was Schleicher playing the role of the hero as she netted her 34th goal of the season to send the Spartans to the semifinals with their 15th consecutive win. Next up for the Spartans is a Monday night game against the top-ranked and undefeated South Park Eagles (17-0-2) at Peters Township.

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Girls Soccer: Upstart Freedom looking to continue Cinderella run

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

First came an overtime upset of No. 6 Sewickley Academy in the first round and then came an upset of No. 3 Charleroi in the quarterfinals. Now No. 11 Freedom is one game away from the WPIAL Class A title game and Highmark Stadium. Many in the WPIAL expect a title game rematch between Section 4-A rivals Greensburg Central Catholic and Shady Side Academy, but Freedom is looking to play spoiler, and with Alexa Schwab, a 30-goal scorer in the regular season, anything can happen.

Freedom somewhat backed into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak but the team was playing competition from higher classifications to prep for the playoffs. In the playoffs Freedom got past the Panthers in overtime and then rolled over Charleroi, 4-1. Charleroi had been on a 15-game winning streak. Freshman Lyndsey Kauffman scored the game-winner against the Cougars.