Basketball

Quaker Valley coach Mike Mastroianni keeps his distance while giving player direction during a practice on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.
Quaker Valley boys basketball bounces back after close loss to start season
January 24, 2021
On Jan. 8, the Quaker Valley boys basketball team started their season with a 55-54 loss to Montour in a Section 2-4A game at home.

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Penn Hills’ Amoni Blackwell takes a shot during practice last season.
Penn Hills girls determined to work through struggles
The Penn Hills girls basketball program is looking to regain focus after an up-and-down start to the season.

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Penn Hills’ Eddie Daniels (4) competes against Woodland Hills last season.
Penn Hills boys using balanced attack to contend for section title
The Penn Hills boys basketball team knew going into the season it would need scoring balance to be successful. The Indians have showcased that facet of their game so far.

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Chartiers Valley’s Helene Cowan (5) shoots the ball against Gateway on Jan. 18, 2021.
Chartiers Valley girls bask, just briefly, in state record winning streak
For months, weeks, even days leading up to Jan. 18, Chartiers Valley girls basketball coach Tim McConnell did not want to talk about or mention “the streak.”

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Carlynton’s Khalil Kerr (4) plays against Seton LaSalle last season.
Carlynton boys basketball back on right track
After three sub-.500 seasons for the Carlynton boys basketball program, the 2019-2020 campaign put the Cougars back on the winning track.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Graci Fairman handles the ball as Chartiers Valley’s Helene Cowan defends in a WPIAL Class 5A semifinal Feb. 26, 2020.
Thomas Jefferson set for another rivalry matchup with Chartiers Valley girls
The rivalry continues.

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Mt. Lebanon’s Jake Reinke scores next to Penn Hills’ Daemar Kelly during their game on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, at Mt. Lebanon High School. Reinke scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Blue Devils to a 52-48 victory.
High school roundup for Jan. 23, 2021: New Castle fends off Lincoln Park
January 23, 2021
Isaiah Boice and Michael Wells scored 13 points each to help New Castle hold off a late rally by Lincoln Park for a 59-58 boys basketball victory in a matchup of top-ranked teams Saturday.

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Penn-Trafford’s Kenzie Powell celebrates a Warriors’ basket during a game against Norwin on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, at Penn-Trafford High School.
WPIAL girls basketball rankings: Week ending Jan. 23, 2021
Class 6A

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Kiski Area players and coaches celebrate Abigail John’s (middle) last-second basket at the buzzer to beat Greensburg Salem on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, at Greensburg Salem.
Kiski Area girls beat Greensburg Salem on buzzer-beater
Finally, Greensburg Salem took the court for a girls basketball game.

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Chartiers Valley coach Tim McConnell shouts instructions during a WPIAL Class 5A semifinal against Thomas Jefferson on Feb. 26, 2020.
Chartiers Valley’s state-record winning streak snapped at 64 games
The streak is over.

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Shady Side Academy’s Ethan Salvia, left, reaches for the ball against North Catholic’s Ryan Feczko, right, during a scramble for a ground ball Friday night, Feb. 14, 2020 in WPIAL basketball playoffs at Fox Chapel High School.
Shady Side Academy Bulldogs get off to a hot start with a young team
Heading into this season, Shady Side Academy boys basketball coach David Vadnais knew his team was going to be young and would have to find its identity early after a long layoff.

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Joey Dudkowski shoots Pine-Richland into contention
Pine-Richland’s Joey Dudkowski can drive to the hoop for a layup, pull up for a mid-range jumper and get off a quick 3-pointer from the perimeter, each with a fluid ease.

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Plum’s Kennedie Montue drives to the basket past Hampton’s Olivia Bianco during their game on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at Hampton High School. Hampton won, 68-41.
Plum girls basketball back in rhythm early-season shutdown
Plum girls basketball coach Steve Elsier said his team has played well as it gets into the meat of its truncated season but knows there are a lot of challenging matchups ahead as the Mustangs hope to claim their first section championship and set themselves up for a WPIAL playoff run.

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The OLSH bench celebrates a 3-pointer against Sto-Rox in the WPIAL finals last season.
What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Jan. 22, 2021: Quips, Chargers collide
January 22, 2021
While there are plenty of section games on the WPIAL boys basketball schedule Friday, one of the top matchups is a nonsection battle of undefeated teams when Aliquippa visits Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

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Plum’s Camryn Rogers (left) battles Hampton’s Olivia Bianco for a loose ball during their game on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at Hampton High School. Hampton won, 68-41.
High school roundup for Jan. 21, 2021: Bethel Park’s Liv Westphal drops 45 on Mars
January 21, 2021
Duquesne recruit Liv Westphal had the biggest scoring night in the WPIAL so far this season, hitting for 45 points to lead Class 6A No. 5 Bethel Park (3-1, 1-0) to a 75-61 nonsection win over Mars on Thursday night. Alexa McDole had 14 points and Ava Black added 13 for Mars (3-5, 2-2).

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Belle Vernon coach Kaitlyn Slagus talks with her players during a late timeout Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in the Leopards’ 40-22 victory over Mt. Pleasant.
Belle Vernon girls get defensive during key section win vs. Mt. Pleasant
The game started an hour earlier than usual, but Belle Vernon’s defenders looked like they would have been ready to go any time of the day.

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Highlands’ Dom Pesci calls time out after falling on a loose ball in the final seconds against Mars on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at Mars Area High School.
A-K Valley boys basketball notebook: Highlands boys send message
After losing their top three scorers from last season some might have counted Highlands out this season, but coach Tyler Stoczynski and the Golden Rams reloaded and have sent a message.

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Burrell junior guard Brandon Coury holds his follow through Thursday after a shot at practice.
Junior Brandon Coury shines as Burrell gets off to best start in 6 years
Through its first five games of the season, the Burrell boys basketball team is off to its best start since the 2014-2015 season, and Brandon Coury is a big reason why.

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Ligonier Valley’s Isaac Neidbalson (12) scores against Penns Valley last season.
Westmoreland County boys basketball notebook: Ligonier Valley finally getting started
As of Wednesday, nine WPIAL boys basketball teams had yet to play a game this season due to covid-19 shutdowns and scheduling issues.

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What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Jan. 21, 2021: Battle of unbeatens in Class 5A
Two WPIAL Class 5A girls basketball teams that finished a combined 22-21 a year ago are off to perfect starts this season.

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