A-K Valley basketball notebook: Teams begin section play

Thursday, December 14, 2017 | 9:27 PM

Just a week into the regular season, the games are already getting bigger.

Thursday marked the opening of section competition in WPIAL basketball for girls hoops teams in all classes but Class A. In the Alle-Kiski Valley, teams getting underway in section play included Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Highlands, Leechburg, Plum, Riverview and Springdale. Fox Chapel and Kiski Area will play their section openers Friday.

WPIAL boys basketball teams will get into section play Friday, including Deer Lakes, Fox Chapel, Freeport, Leechburg, Plum, Riverview, Springdale and Valley.

A few of the smaller sections won't get underway until next week. The St. Joseph boys and girls teams will open their section schedules Dec. 22, with the Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Highlands and Kiski Area boys getting theirs underway Dec. 22.

Games postponed

Two section opener that didn't take place Thursday were the scheduled games between Freeport and Valley girls in Section 1-4A and Apollo-Ridge and Carlynton girls in Section 3-3A.

Apollo-Ridge and Freeport both canceled classes Thursday because of heavy snowfall Wednesday night into Thursday.

A makeup time has yet to be determined.

Ost to Carlow

Apollo-Ridge senior Megan Ost signed Wednesday with Carlow.

A 6-foot-1 forward, Ost is averaging 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Vikings (2-1). She averaged 15.8 and 10.3 as a junior and had 710 career points heading into Thursday's nonconference game against Carlynton.

Carlow competes in the NAIA River States Conference. The Celtics' roster includes freshman Ashlyn Jonczak, a Highlands graduate.

99 and feeling fine

Freeport's boys basketball team came close to the turn of the century in its nonsection game against Apollo-Ridge.

Ultimately the Yellowjackets fell short, “settling” for 99 points in a 99-73 victory over the visiting Vikings. Four players scored in double figures for Freeport, with Isiah Bauman leading the way with 22 points, Ben Beale and Damon Shiring adding 21 apiece and Jalen Brown chipping in with 12.

The Yellowjackets (2-1) trailed by four at halftime but scored 33 points in the third quarter, with many coming in transition; they forced 11 Apollo-Ridge turnovers in the third alone.

“When you hit a few shots, it's contagious,” Freeport coach Mike Beale said. “It creates energy. We were able to do that in the second half, and we just fed off of each other's defensive pressure more than anything. … We'll take double-digits, let alone three guys in the 20s.”

It marked Freeport's highest scoring output since Dec. 13, 2005, a wild 107-102 victory over Leechburg.

No place like home

The hosts had a pretty good time at last weekend's local tip-off tournaments.

Leechburg's boys and girls teams both claimed their tip-off titles, as did the St. Joseph and Springdale boys. And although the Plum boys basketball tournament has a round-robin and not a championship format, the Mustangs won both of their games there.

“It's eluded us,” Leechburg girls coach Joel Ceraso said. “We've had a tip-off the last four years, and we haven't gotten it. Derry was a debacle last year, and I thought it was taken away from us a little bit. But the kids had a chip on their shoulder. They wanted it.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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