A-K Valley Boys Basketball Notebook: Local scorers putting up big numbers

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Thursday, January 16, 2020 | 5:06 PM


Several players from the A-K Valley have been among the WPIAL’s highest scorers this season.

Leading the way is Springdale’s Demitri Fritch. The 6-foot-3 junior guard is averaging 27.1 points — along with 13 rebounds, seven assists and four steals a game. He has been a big reason for the Dynamos’ 13-1 start and perfect Section 1-2A record.

“He’s been crazy,” Springdale coach Aaron Epps said.

During an 86-85 overtime victory over Sto-Rox on Dec. 17, Fritch registered a 42-point, 16-rebound, 11-assist game for his second triple-double of the season. In a 72-59 win over Summit Academy, Fritch produced 19 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

Plum guard Connor Moss also has been potent offensively.

Through 13 games, the junior is scoring 26.5 points per game. But while Plum isn’t seeing the team success Springdale has, Moss consistently has been finding a way to score.

During the Shady Side Academy holiday tournament, Moss had 39 points against Penn Charter then 35 against Shady Side Academy. It was a stretch that shocked even him.

“I didn’t see that coming at all,” Moss said. “It kind of caught me by surprise.”

In a three-point loss to Mars on Jan. 7, Moss scored 32 points. As the only returning starter, he was hoping to make an impact in any way he could.

“I knew I was going to be leaned on heavily, so I’ve just wanted to do everything I can to help my team win,” Moss said.

Others of note: St. Joseph’s Andrew Sullivan (20.6 ppg) and Highland’s Luke Cochran (20.1). Both eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone earlier this season.

Atop the Section

Entering Friday night’s games, most teams throughout the WPIAL had played through the first cycle of their section schedules. As of Thursday night, three A-K Valley boys teams led their section.

Fox Chapel (13-0, 5-0) is the only undefeated team remaining in the WPIAL and leads Section 3-6A. Though they have been scoring only 56.6 points per game, the Foxes have been winning with defense, allowing a WPIAL-best 42.2 points per game. Hempfield is the only team to score more than 50 points against them.

Knoch (11-1, 5-0) leads Section 1-4A. A 74-69 win over Highlands is the only thing that separates the Knights and the Golden Rams atop the standings. Behind a productive senior class and a standout season from sophomore guard Ryan Lang, the Knights haven’t lost since their opener and are averaging a Class 4A-high 74.9 points and allowing 55.3.

Springdale (13-1, 7-0) leads Section 1-2A. The Dynamos’ only loss came against Shady Side Academy on Jan. 4, 63-56. Springdale is scoring 65.5 points per game and allowing 52.2.

Getting Healthy

For the past few weeks, Trib HSSN Class 6A No. 1 Fox Chapel has played without star Arnold Vento, who has been dealing with an ankle injury. On Tuesday, the 6-3 senior forward returned to the lineup and scored seven points in a 49-28 win over section foe Connellsville.

Senior Sammy Brown also returned to the lineup after being sidelined for most of the season with an injury suffered during football season.

“So far, so good,” Fox Chapel coach Zach Skrinjar said. “It’s going to take a few game sI think, but it’s great to get those two back in the mix.”

On the Fringe

Four teams from the A-K Valley are in fourth or fifth place in their sections and vying for the fourth and final playoff spot: Plum is fifth in Section 3-5A, Freeport is fifth in Section 1-4A, Deer Lakes is fourth in Section 3-3A and Leechburg is fourth in Section 3-A.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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