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.”

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.

Crise scores 1,000th point

After a 15-point performance on Sunday against Taylor Allderdice in the PBC Hall of Fame Classic at Montour, Crise only needed five points on Tuesday to earn his 1,000th career point. It didn’t take him long to accomplish that in Highlands’ matchup with Knoch as Crise scored the first six points of the game as the Golden Rams jumped out to an early 8-0 lead.

Upset city

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.

Playoffs clinched

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 gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Tags: , , , , , , ,

More Basketball

73 WPIAL boys, girls basketball teams seeded for PIAA play
After WPIAL title, Deer Lakes boys set sights on run to state championship
WPIAL champion Norwin girls ‘refused to be outworked’ on title run
Shane Bartha, Apollo-Ridge’s all-time leading scorer, to join A-K Valley Sports Hall of Fame
Aquinas Academy boys show they’re no one-man team