Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Burrell girls bit by injury bug

Saturday, January 12, 2019 | 7:42 PM

An already-daunting challenge became a near impossibility for Burrell last week when the Bucs took the floor for a Section 1-4A girls basketball game against No. 1 North Catholic.

Absent three starters to injury, the Bucs had just six healthy players on hand, five of whom were freshmen or sophomores, for what became an 85-19 loss to the top-ranked Trojans.

“It’s a shame because these kids were really starting to pick it up a little bit, and we thought we were going to compete for a playoff spot,” coach Joel Ceraso said. “It’s more for the kids. They were really starting to understand what we were trying to accomplish as a group, and then for all of a sudden, one by one, them to drop off, I feel badly for the kids that have to go in there who are kind of unprepared.”

Burrell (3-8, 1-5) is playing without senior Grace Omecinski (concussion) and freshmen Allison Fisher (foot) and Hope Clark (shoulder). That left just senior Kaylen Sharrow, sophomores Brooke Lonero and Hannah Morrow and freshmen Maci Frazer, Anna Novak and Larissa Zawrotny in uniform against North Catholic.

Sharrow scored all 19 of the Bucs’ points in the loss. Ceraso credited his players for showing heart in a difficult situation, and he hopes some of the players can return before the end of the season.

“We’re hoping we can finish on a positive note,” Ceraso said. “It’s tough for everybody.”

Knoch-down shooters

Knoch couldn’t miss for much of the first quarter in the Knights’ Section 1-4A boys basketball game Friday at Derry.

The team buried its first seven 3-point attempts of the night and finished with a school record of 14 made 3s in the 85-41 win.

Julian Sanks led four players in double figures with 23 points, and Scott Fraser added 11. The Knights (10-3, 4-0) have won eight consecutive games going into Tuesday’s section contest at Freeport.

Right on track

The Tri-State Track Coaches Association indoor track and field season began last weekend with a meet at Edinboro, and Kiski Area’s 3,200-meter relay started and finished fast.

The team of Kierra Shreffler, Emily Schrag, Jordan Fairman and Payton Sullivan won the race in 10 minutes, 39.79 second, outpacing Mt. Lebanon (10:46.61). The same four competitors took third in the 1,600 relay.

Kiski Area’s Jean Starr placed second in the shot put with a throw of 37 feet, 1 inch, and the Cavaliers’ boys 3,200 relay placed sixth.

Deer Lakes had three medalists as well as Josh Yourish placed third in the 800 run, and A.J. Dorman finished seventh in the 60 and 200 dashes.

Icy hot

Burrell’s dominance on the ice so far this season will extend to the PIHL All-Star Games later this month.

The Bucs will send six representatives to the PIHL Division II All-Star Game, which will be part of a quadruple-header Jan. 27 at Robert Morris’ Island Sports Center.

The six selections — forwards Jonas Sopko, Tyler Stewart and Dylan Zelonka, defensemen Bryce Schueler and Nathan Smith and goaltender Drew Burkett — are tied for the most of any PIHL team. Connellsville, Neshannock and Ringgold also will send six players to the Division II game, and Bethel Park and North Allegheny had six selections in Class AAA.

Stewart, a junior who leads all Division II skaters with 29 goals and 44 points, is a three-time All-Star selection. Burkett and Zelonka were picked for the second time.

Full-court Tess

North Catholic girls basketball star Tess Myers, a Lower Burrell native, received a Division I scholarship offer last week from La Salle, bringing her total to four.

Myers leads Class 4A No. 1 North Catholic (10-1, 6-0) in scoring, averaging more than 15 points. She sank the winning shot in the Trojans’ WPIAL championship game victory over Beaver last season.

The 5-foot-9 shooting guard, who’s the younger sister of former Burrell star and current IUP standout Natalie Myers, holds offers from Charlotte, Kent State, La Salle and Niagara.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at [email protected] or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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