A-K Valley lookahead for Week of Jan. 7, 2019
By: Doug Gulasy
Sunday, January 6, 2019 | 7:18 PM
Girls basketball: Apollo-Ridge and Freeport are coming off losses in their most recent Section 1-4A games. The host Yellowjackets (7-2, 3-1), ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, feature a top quartet of juniors in Madeline and Samantha Clark, Harley Holloway and Sidney Shemanski. Apollo-Ridge (7-2, 2-2) is led by senior Maddy Moore, a Seton Hill recruit.
Knoch locked down Apollo-Ridge in its last Section 1-4A game, holding the Vikings to 29 points, and the second-place Knights (5-4, 3-1) now will visit Burrell. Senior Kaylen Sharrow leads the way for the Bucs (3-6, 1-3), who are looking to climb back into the playoff race.
Deer Lakes and East Allegheny are two-thirds of a three-way tie in the Section 3-3A standings, and they will meet for the first time this season. The Lancers (7-2, 3-1) allow just 30.3 points per game but face a major task in trying to slow East Allegheny standout Amaia Johnson. The Wildcats (7-2, 3-1) are ranked fourth in Class 3A.
Hockey: Freeport and Sewickley Academy are battling for fifth place in the PIHL Class A North Division, and the teams will meet at RMU Island Sports Center. Sewickley Academy (6-5) is a game ahead of Freeport (5-6) in the standings. Freeport will look to avenge a 10-3 loss to Sewickley Academy earlier this season.
Plum needs to make up games in the standings, and the Mustangs (3-6-0-2) can try to do so here as they host Hempfield (8-3) in a Class AA Southeast game. Hempfield beat Plum, 7-6, in the team’s season opener in October.
Wrestling: It’s a bit of a backyard brawl as Riverview visits Penn Hills for a nonsection match.
Boys basketball: The top two teams in Section 1-4A meet as Knoch (8-3, 2-0) visits No. 4 Highlands (6-3, 2-0). Knoch, winners of six games in a row, is led by senior Julian Sanks. Juniors Luke Cochran, who has 104 points in his past three games, and Johnny Crise, lead the way for Highlands.
Springdale began the week ranked No. 5 in Class 2A, and the Dynamos (7-3, 3-1) visit Apollo-Ridge (5-6, 2-2) in a key Section 1-2A game. Apollo-Ridge sophomore Keighton Reese hit 10 3-pointers in the Vikings’ game against Summit Academy last week, and the Vikings will attempt to slow Springdale standout Mike Zolnierczyk.
Section 3-6A currently has a four-way tie for second place coming into the week, with Fox Chapel (6-4, 1-1) and Norwin (6-3, 1-1) involved in that deadlock heading into Tuesday’s game at Norwin.
Girls basketball: Cheswick Christian is having a strong season in the Southwest Christian Athletic Conference and looks to continue its run of success in a conference game at Cornerstone Prep. The Chargers (5-2, 2-0) posted a come-from-behind overtime win in their most recent contest.
Wrestling: Plum faces a massive challenge as Class AAA No. 1 Kiski Area visits. The Cavaliers (4-0, 2-0) are coming off the team championship at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament, their fourth in a row at the event.
Girls basketball: Butler County rivals Freeport and Knoch meet in a Section 1-4A game. The teams began the week tied for second place in Section 1-4A. Freeport, averaging 66.9 points per game, will test a Knoch defense allowing under 40 per contest.
Class 6A No. 5 Fox Chapel will attempt to continue its strong start as it visits Seneca Valley in a Section 1-6A game. The Foxes (8-2, 3-1) and Raiders (8-2, 2-2) are battling for playoff position.
Lower Burrell native Tess Myers helped lead North Catholic to the WPIAL Class 4A championship last season, hitting the game-winning shot in the final, and she’ll lead the No. 1 Trojans (8-1, 4-0) into a Section 1-4A game in her hometown against Burrell.
Boys basketball: The two teams that began the week tied atop Section 3-3A meet as Valley (3-5, 3-0) hosts Deer Lakes (6-4, 3-0). The Vikings and Lancers split an entertaining pair of games last season.
Springdale hosts Summit Academy in a game between two teams tied for first place in Section 1-2A. The Dynamos average 61.5 points per game, second in the section — behind Summit (4-3, 3-1), which puts up 67.6.
Wrestling: It’s traditionally the biggest wrestling match of the year in the Alle-Kiski Valley, and this year is no different as Class AA No. 1 Burrell (3-1) hosts Class AAA No. 1 Kiski Area (4-0). Both teams are multiple defending WPIAL champions in their classification, with Kiski Area winning the past two in AAA and Burrell the last dozen in AA. Kiski Area holds a seven-game winning streak in its series with Burrell, including a 40-25 victory last season.
Wrestling: Valley hosts its annual duals tournament, with Knoch and Riverview among the attending teams.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at email@example.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.