A-K Valley high school look-ahead: Week of Feb. 5, 2018
By: Doug Gulasy
Sunday, February 4, 2018 | 5:48 PM
• Burrell is clinging to its playoff hopes in girls basketball, and the Bucs will need a home win over Freeport to keep their six-year postseason streak alive. Freeport can secure second place in Section 1-4A with a win. The Yellowjackets (12-8, 7-2) have won nine of 11 games, including a 48-37 win at Burrell on Jan. 11.
• Riverview also needs a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Raiders travel to face Northgate (11-8, 6-6) for a Section 2-2A game. With a win, Riverview (9-9, 5-7) would force a tie with Northgate in the standings with one game remaining. Northgate won the first meeting 61-51.
• With its playoff hopes dwindling, Plum hockey hosts Seneca Valley in a PIHL Class AAA contest. The Mustangs (4-9), who won the Class AA championshop last season, enter the week tied for the bottom spot in the standings with five games remaining. Seneca Valley (11-2-2) dealt the Mustangs a 5-1 loss earlier this season.
• After an overtime thriller Saturday, Deer Lakes and Valley will meet for the second time in four days for a Section 1-4A boys basketball game. The Lancers won Saturday on a pair of free throws after four starters fouled out, but Valley will look for revenge on its home court. The second-place Vikings (11-4, 8-3) lead Deer Lakes (11-7, 7-3) and Freeport (13-5, 7-3) by a half-game in the standings.
• Highlands already clinched its spot in the WPIAL playoffs, but the Golden Rams can clinch at least a share of the Section 3-5A championship with a win at Gateway (10-8, 6-3). The Golden Rams (14-4, 8-1) have won 12 of their past 13 games, including a 58-44 triumph over Gateway in their first meeting.
• Plum girls basketball could clinch a WPIAL playoff berth with a win at Armstrong. The Mustangs (5-14, 3-7) began the week tied with Franklin Regional in Section 4-5A with two games remaining.
• The top two offenses in PIHL Division II meet as Burrell (11-4) visits Connellsville. Led by the PIHL's top scorer Tyler Stewart (38 goals, 58 points), Burrell comes into the game with 90 goals on the season. Ryan Brown (15 goals, 48 points) paces Connellsville (9-5-2).
• Riverview faces one of the WPIAL's top girls basketball underclassmen in a nonsection game as the Raiders visit Greensburg Salem (6-13), led by 1,000-point scorer Megan Kallock. Underclassmen lead the way for Riverview as well, with Francesca Lio and Sydney McDonough among the top scorers.
• Already in the WPIAL boys basketball playoffs, Leechburg (11-5) hosts Winchester Thurston in a nonsection game. The Blue Devils will try to keep their offense going. They average better than 60 points per game.
• The PIAA team wrestling playoffs get underway at Giant Center in Hershey, and Burrell and Kiski Area will be there seeking the top spot in the state. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Burrell's 2008 state title, the only one in school history. Kiski Area, seeking its first PIAA title, finished third in the state last season.
• Pending results earlier in the week, the final girls basketball playoff spot in Section 4-5A could be decided as Plum visits Franklin Regional. The teams began the week tied for the final playoff spot in the section. Plum (5-14, 3-7) beat the Panthers (8-11, 3-7) earlier this season.
• Two playoff-bound teams in Section 2-2A square off as No. 4 Leechburg (15-3, 10-2) hosts No. 5 Brentwood (15-4, 10-2) in their section finale. The teams enter the week tied for second place in the section with two games remaining. Leechburg won the first meeting 70-59, as Mikayla Lovelace scored a school-record 44 points.
• The PIAA team wrestling championships continue at Giant Center. Matches scheduled for Friday include the quarterfinals and semifinals of the championship bracket and first- and second-round consolations.
• Freeport and Deer Lakes played a thriller in their first Section 1-4A boys basketball meeting, with the Yellowjackets (13-5, 7-3) rallying from a double-digit deficit in the second half to prevail. Now Deer Lakes looks for some revenge at home in the teams' section finale. Both are bound for the playoffs.
• The PIAA team wrestling championships conclude, as the top teams in the state will be decided. Third- and fourth-round consolations, the consolation finals and the championship finals will take place.
WEEK IN REVIEW
• Anything you can do, I can do better: Nick Smith hit a clutch 3-pointer as time expired in regulation to send Kiski Area's nonsection game against Freeport on Thursday into overtime. But in the extra period, Freeport's Ben Beale hit a big shot of his own, with his go-ahead 3 giving the Yellowjackets the lead for good in a 66-63 win.
• Triple trouble: A pair of Alle-Kiski Valley boys basketball players posted triple-doubles last week, with Burrell's Donovan Russell getting 10 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks in the Bucs' overtime victory over Shady Side Academy on Monday and Highlands' Johnny Crise scoring 13 points, pulling down 11 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists in a Section 3-5A win over Greensburg Salem on Tuesday.