Basketball

Gateway’s Alexis Margolis, at left, guards Plum’s Mackenzie Lake during a Section 2-5A matchup Jan. 13, 2020, at Gateway’s Furrie Sports Complex.
Gateway girls refocus for 2nd half of section play
January 18, 2020
After a 14-point loss to Section 2-5A rival Plum on Jan. 13 at Furrie Sports Complex, Gateway girls basketball team members held a players-only meeting to share their thoughts about the game and the overall state of the season heading into the second half of section play.

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Gateway’s Will Kromka (left) defends Greensburg Salem’s Shamar McCoy during a game last season.
Family ties run deep in Gateway basketball program
Some may say once someone becomes a Gateway boys basketball team member, he is part of a brotherhood. For a couple of current and former players, however, brotherhood is suitable in the more literal sense of the word.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Graci Fairman competes against Moon’s Sofia Mancini on Jan. 16, 2020, at Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson basketball teams score signature wins
The Thomas Jefferson basketball teams know how to make a good first impression.

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Pine-Richland’s Sophie Catalano prepares for the 2019-2020 season Nov. 23, 2019.
Pine-Richland girls basketball pushing through adversity
There’s good luck. There’s bad luck. And then there’s the luck the Pine-Richland girls basketball team has had to suffer through during its 2019-20 season.

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Aquinas Academy freshman Vinnie Cugini is a member of the 2019-20 basketball team.
Freshman Vinnie Cugini leads potent offense for Aquinas boys basketball
On Jan. 7, the Aquinas Academy boys basketball team won the first WPIAL section game in school history, besting Section 3-A foe St. Joseph, 76-73.

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Shadyside Academy’s John Salvitti (2) competes against Burrell Jan. 17, 2020 at Shadyside Academy.
Shady Side Academy boys basketball needs to surge in 2nd half of schedule
The Shady Side Academy boys basketball team is in need of a second-half surge in section play if it harbors any playoff hopes. As of Jan. 16, the Indians were 5-7 overall and 2-4 in the section.

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Burrell’s Brayden Callahan (23) dives for a loose ball against Shady Side Academy on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.
High school roundup for Jan. 17, 2020: South Fayette knocks off Thomas Jefferson
With the score tied heading into the fourth quarter, the South Fayette boys basketball team went out and snagged an upset win Friday night.

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A.J. Nelson makes game-winning shot as Sto-Rox edges Apollo-Ridge
January 17, 2020
Sto-Rox’s A.J. Nelson was well below his 16 point-per-game average Friday against Apollo-Ridge.

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Holiday weekend of great basketball at Woodland Hills makes for busy Saturday
It is a tradition that is growing into a feast for local high school basketball fans.

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Franklin Regional’s Luke Kimmich shoots from the corner against Hampton’s defender Matt Govi on Friday night, Jan. 17, 2020, at Franklin Regional High School.
Luke Kimmich, defense spark Franklin Regional to win over Hampton
Luke Kimmich was starting for Franklin Regional earlier in the basketball season.

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McKeesport’s Deamontae Diggs scores over Laurel Highlands’ Jayden Pratt (32) and Keandre Cook during their game Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at McKeesport.
Laurel Highlands can’t overcome slow start in loss at McKeesport
Laurel Highlands came on strong in the fourth quarter but could not climb out of a big early deficit as McKeesport prevailed 81-77 at home to take sole possession of second place in Section 1-5A boys basketball.

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Jackson Pruitt led Jeannette with 12 points Friday night.
Jeannette holds on to beat Brentwood, run winning streak to 8
Two streaks continued Friday night at Jeannette.

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Plum’s Max Matolcsy looks for an open teammate against Armstrong on Jan. 17, 2020.
Plum starts second half of section play with win over Armstrong
A balanced offensive attack is something every coach hopes for, and on Friday night, it helped the Plum Mustangs kick off the second half of their Section 3-5A schedule on the right note.

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Woodland Hills’ Jihaad Dennard competes against Penn Hills Jan. 14, 2020 at Woodland Hills.
Woodland Hills basketball showcase draws teams from 7 states for anti-violence event
High school basketball teams from seven states are headed to Woodland Hills this weekend for the Martin Luther King Weekend Stand Against Violence Showcase, a four-day event that features 41 boys and girls varsity games.

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Woodland Hills’ Peyton Pinkney celebrates during the Wolverines 55-53 overtime victory over Oakland Catholic Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at Oakland Catholic High School.
High school roundup for Jan. 16, 2020: Woodland Hills hits clutch shots to down Oakland Catholic
January 16, 2020
Peyton Pinkney and Joi Burleigh hit huge shots down the stretch to lead Woodland Hills to a 55-53 overtime victory over Oakland Catholic in a matchup of ranked teams Thursday night.

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Apollo-Ridge coach Mike Monstrola talks strategy with his team in a timeout during a section matchup with Burrell on Jan. 16, 2020.
Apollo-Ridge rolls past Burrell for fourth straight victory
The Apollo-Ridge girls basketball team is about to embark on a crucial stretch of Section 1-4A games with matchups against North Catholic, Indiana, Knoch and Freeport.

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Second half of WPIAL section boys basketball tips off Friday
Penn Hills has a two-game lead at the midway point in Section 1-5A boys basketball.

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Bishop Canevin’s Alyssa Pollice takes part in practice Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, at Bishop Canevin High School.
Bishop Canevin’s Alyssa Pollice goes from role player to reliable scorer
When Alyssa Pollice transferred from Seton LaSalle to Bishop Canevin last season, she gave the Crusaders girls basketball team something every team needs: that player who does the dirty work. Defense, rebounding and intangibles that don’t show up in the scorebook were her calling card.

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Penn Hills’ Kyree Hairston-Mitchell (2) looks to get by Woodland Hills’ Velton Kenney (1) Jan. 14, 2020 at Woodland Hills.
Point guard Kyree Hairston-Mitchell leads Penn Hills into WPIAL title contention
After a rocky 5-2 start to the season, the Penn Hills boys basketball team put together a five-game winning streak. Senior point guard Kyree Hairston-Mitchell played a pivotal role in righting the ship through his consistent play.

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Deer Lakes’ Ryan Butler scores over Summit Academy’s Kysheem Woods during the Saint Joseph’s tip off Tournament Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 at Saint Joseph’s.
Deer Lakes leaning on experience, defense heading into 2nd half of season
Entering the second half of section play, the Deer Lakes boys basketball team is in a position it didn’t expect to be.

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