A-K Valley boys basketball notebook: Kiski Area’s Will Saunders earns 300th win
Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 6:36 PM
Three hundred coaching wins is a big number, and Kiski Area coach Will Saunders hit that milestone with the Cavaliers’ 58-49 win over Burrell last Friday.
“It was pretty exciting, and I was just so focused on the game, I wasn’t thinking of that, per se,” Saunders said. “Then, Kiski did an unbelievable job and hid a celebration that I didn’t really even know about, and I started seeing the students holding up the 300 signs and it really had me moved completely.”
KA Student section joins in the celebration of coach Saunders’ 300th career win!!!— Kiski Area Athletics (@JohnPet02010789) January 25, 2020
GO CAVS!! pic.twitter.com/nbotbFXXbw
Kyrell Hutcherson scored 14 points in the win, and Jason Baker added 13.
Saunders has coached boys and girls basketball. He started at Shady Side Academy and also has coached at South Park, North Allegheny and Montour. His resume includes three WPIAL championships and one state championship.
Saunders said what Kiski Area did for him last week was unexpected.
“I want to thank Kiski because I really was completely caught off-guard,” Saunders said. “It was really heartfelt, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of what they did for me.”
The Cavaliers are on a four-game winning streak. They’ve beaten Plum, Armstrong, Burrell plus Indiana on Tuesday to stay in the playoff hunt with a Section 3-5A record of 5-6.
Two big upsets occurred last week.
Last Friday, Leechburg got revenge for an early-season loss to Imani Christian. The Blue Devils took advantage of a 21-5 third-quarter run to pull away for an 88-56 victory in Section 3-1A.
On Monday, Deer Lakes took down Class 2A No. 4 Springdale, 67-65, in overtime. The Lancers trailed by one heading into halftime but used a 24-14 third-quarter run to take a lead. The Dynamos answered with a 20-11 fourth quarter to force overtime.
Six boys teams in the A-K Valley have clinched playoff spots with a week-and-a-half left.
In Class 6A, No. 1 Fox Chapel is in. After a 47-38 win over Norwin on Tuesday, the Foxes are 18-0 and in line to capture the No. 1 seed.
After their matchup Tuesday, WPIAL Class 4A No. 1 Knoch and No. 3 Highlands split their season series for the second straight season and most likely will split Section 1-4A for the second straight year. They both have locked up playoff spots with one section loss apiece.
In Class 2A, Springdale and Apollo-Ridge clinched. They sit at first and third in Section 1-2A.
Leechburg rounds out the local contingent. The Class A Blue Devils have a section record of 7-4 and are fourth in the Section 3-1A.
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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