A-K Valley high school look-ahead: Week of Feb. 12, 2018
By: Doug Gulasy
Sunday, February 11, 2018 | 6:27 PM
• Freeport boys basketball hosts Class 5A No. 3 Highlands in a nonsection game on the final night of the regular season. Both teams are bound for the postseason and come in hot. Freeport (15-5) won its seventh consecutive game Friday, beating Deer Lakes, 70-68, in overtime. Highlands (16-4) has won 14 of 15 and earned a share of the Section 3-5A championship.
• Burrell hosts Deer Lakes in a nonsection boys basketball game of playoff-bound teams. The Bucs (10-11) won a share of the Section 3-3A championship on the strength of a shutdown defense, which limited opponents to 48.4 points per game. Deer Lakes (11-9) plays a faster tempo, putting up 87 points in a loss to Valley last week.
• Standout scorers will be on display as Class 2A No. 4 Leechburg (17-4) hosts Class A No. 1 Winchester Thurston in a nonsection girls basketball game between postseason qualifiers. Leechburg's Mikayla Lovelace surpassed 1,950 career points last week and will tangle with Winchester's tandem of Gia Thorpe and Ayanna Townsend, who led the Bears (16-4) to a WPIAL title last season.
• One of the hottest teams in PIHL Class A faces a major test as Fox Chapel hosts Bishop McCort. The Foxes (10-6-1-1) enter on a four-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 33-11 in that stretch. Class A leader Bishop McCort (18-0) has dominated its opponents all season. The Crimson Crushers are outscoring teams 122-41.
• It's the moment of truth in WPIAL basketball, as playoff-bound teams will learn their first-round matchups at the annual pairings meeting in Green Tree. The playoffs begin Friday.
• The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Bowling League holds its boys team championships at Wildlife Lanes in Lower Burrell. The top Alle-Kiski Valley contender appears to be Plum (9-0), which won the East Section. Kiski Area (8-1) finished second in the Northeast.
• The top girls bowling teams will get their shot at winning a title at the WPIBL girls championships at Family Bowlaway in Butler. Plum and Burrell swept their way to 9-0 records and conference championships, with Plum taking the East and Burrell the Northeast.
• Kiski Area began the week clinging to the final playoff spot in PIHL Class A, and the Cavaliers (9-8) could go a long way toward securing their position with a win over Indiana. Austin LaPiana (35 goals, 52 points) leads Kiski Area against Tyler Barker (24 goals) and the Little Indians (14-3-0-1).
• The individual wrestling season officially begins with Class AA sectional tournaments at Canon-McMillan. Burrell's Trent Valovchik, Brian Gaul, Danny McCarthy, Corey Christie and Shaun Gates return to defend their Section 3-AA titles, as does Valley's David Schuffert.
• One day after the section tournaments, wrestlers return to Canon-McMillan for the WPIAL Class AA championships. Valovchik won the 106-pound title last season and will look to defend that crown. Schuffert looks for a better result in the final after finishing runner-up at heavyweight last season.
• The WPIAL gymnastics individual championship takes place at Moon, one day after the team championship. Burrell senior Taylor Johnson looks for another standout performance after winning the vault and placing second in the all-around last season.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Case stated: Kiski Area reached the PIAA Class AAA wrestling team final for the second time in school history and first since 2003 before losing to national power Bethlehem Catholic.
Hot shot: Freeport's Ben Beale hit eight 3-pointers, including the one that put the Yellowjackets ahead for good in overtime, in a 70-68 win over Deer Lakes.
Triple play: Leechburg's John Miskinis posted a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in an 83-35 win over Propel Braddock Hills.