Basketball

Scholastic Notebook – 06/01/2012
June 1, 2012
After Blackhawk’s Brendan McKay pitched a shutout in the WPIAL Class AAA championship Thursday, Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia said there is no stage too big for McKay. But as sophomores go, McKay has the entire stage to himself. The way McKay has pitched this season brings about a question. Has there ever been a sophomore pitcher in the WPIAL who has enjoyed this much success in one of the largest classifications? McKay, a sophomore left-hander, has been tremendous for a pitcher in any year, let alone one in his sophomore season. His statistics go beyond impressive.

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Scholastic Notebook – 05/25/2012
May 25, 2012
Seven of the eight teams in the WPIAL baseball finals are quite familiar with this championship stuff. They all have won at least one title in the past nine seasons. As championship traditions go, the eighth team in the finals is like the odd man out. Belle Vernon has never won a WPIAL championship, and  the WPIAL has been staging championships since 1914. Belle Vernon will try to win its first title when it plays Blackhawk in the Class AAA championship Tuesday night at Consol Energy Field in Washington.

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PIAA Basketball Finals Returning to Hershey
May 24, 2012
Basketball teams will once again travel "the Road to Hershey" in pursuit of a state championship. The PIAA Board of Control voted 29-2 to accept the proposal made by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts to move the championships back to the 10,000 seat Giant Center for the next four years. The Hershey bid was substantially better that that submitted by Penn State University. The Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State campus has hosted the championships for the past six years. Penn State officials have also said since submitting their bid that the university is now trying to become a host site for the NCAA Women's Regional tournament, which would be the same weekend as the PIAA championships in two of the four years.

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Scholastic Notebook – 05/19/2012
May 19, 2012
Aliquippa High School doesn’t have a track where athletes can practice. But the Quips always seem to have kids in the fast lane. On Thursday night at Baldwin, Aliquippa’s 400-meter relay won the WPIAL Class AA championship in grand fashion, setting a meet record and a school record with a time of 42.87 seconds. The team consisted of Hassan Thompson, Shaquere McBride, Dravon Henry and Kaylan Kenney. While this team’s run was impressive, having a group of top sprinters is nothing new for Aliquippa, despite the school not having a track. It was the seventh time in nine years that Aliquippa won the 400 relay title.

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Scholastic Notebook – 05/04/2012
May 4, 2012
Peters Township not in the WPIAL baseball playoffs? It will seem strange, but it could happen. And if Peters Township doesn’t make the postseason, you can almost be assured it will be a close call. Peters Township, one of the WPIAL’s top baseball programs, hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2002. But the Indians are in fourth place heading into today’s game against Mt. Lebanon. Peters Township is 6-4 in section and 7-10 overall. The top three teams make the playoffs, and Bethel Park (8-2), Upper St. Clair (8-3) and Mt. Lebanon (7-3) are all ahead of Peters Township. If Peters Township loses to Mount Lebanon Friday night on MSA, Peters Township is out of the playoffs.

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Scholastic Notebook – 04/24/2012
April 24, 2012
The Ellwood City baseball team fell from the ranks of the unbeatens last week when it dropped a 1-0 decision to Riverside. But Ellwood City still might be having the most impressive season of any team in the WPIAL – at least in terms of statistics. Ellwood City is now 12-1 on the season. In 12 of those 13 games, Ellwood City has given up two runs or fewer. Five of the wins have come by shutouts. Christian Kerns has been the main stopper for Ellwood City this season. He had been 13-0 over the past two seasons until taking the loss against Riverside. Anthony Carusone also has been stellar on the mound. Ellwood City and Riverside are now tied for the Section 5 lead. Maybe Ellwood City is smarting a little after going 15-5 last season, but missing the WPIAL playoffs. The Undefeateds:

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Scholastic Notebook – 04/14/2012
April 14, 2012
Tis’ the season for basketball all-star games. The top senior players – boys and girls -  in the WPIAL and City League will be playing in two all-star events the next two Saturdays. The Roundball Classic will be played next Saturday at Geneva College’s Metheny Fieldhouse. This has become the top all-star games in the area. The event includes two boys games and two girls games. The girls games are at 2 and 4, and the boys games at 6 and 8. A few of the top players in the girls games are Oakland Catholic’s Bobbi Baker, Mount Lebanon’s Kelly Johnson and Fort Cherry’s Beka Bellhy, Bethel Park’s Justine Carroll and North Allegheny’s Alexis Aiken. The boys games feature, among others, Highlands’ Micah Mason, Beaver Falls’ Sheldon Jeter, Butler’s Nate Snodgrass, Plum’s Nolan Cressler and Lincoln Park’s Devontae Watson.

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WPIAL Hall of Fame Class of 2012
April 13, 2012
Neil Walker is known for his baseball talent. The current Pirates second baseman had an unforgettable baseball career at Pine-Richland High School and was a first-round draft pick. But it is what Walker also did in other sports that helped earn him a spot in the WPIAL Hall of Fame. The WPIAL Hall of Fame class for 2012 was announced Thursday at a news conference, and Walker was one of the selections. Walker was in Los Angeles with the Pirates, but his father was at the news conference at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District. Walker had a terrific baseball career at Pine-Richland, starting four seasons and batting .504 for his career. He hit .657 as a senior with 13 home runs, 42 RBIs and a 1.403 slugging percentage for a WPIAL championship team.

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Scholastic Notebook – 04/08/2012
April 8, 2012
It is most certainly one of the oddest sports combinations you will see in the WPIAL. You’ll be scratching your head trying to figure out how many times you have seen a championships golfer who also is one of the best shot putters and discus throwers in the district. As odd as it sounds, Katerina Luttner is living out the combination at Fox Chapel High School. She won the WPIAL girls golf championship in 2010 and was the runner-up in 2011. She also has been a medalist at the PIAA level and has a golf scholarship to the University of Mississippi. But in the spring, she throws the discus and shot put for Fox Chapel. This spring, Luttner is the No. 1 discus thrower in the entire WPIAL with a mark of 111 feet, 8 inches. She also has the fourth-best shot put at 34-10.

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Scholastic Notebook – 03/30/2012
March 30, 2012
The high school baseball season is young and maybe it still isn’t clear as to who are all the best teams are in each classification. But it is quite clear a team worth watching is in Class AAAA. Mount Lebanon. Through the first week of the season, Mount Lebanon just might be the biggest surprise. After all, the Blue Devils weren’t in the MSA Sports preseason top 10. They weren’t in the Post-Gazette top five, either. But heading into Friday, Mount Lebanon had a 3-1 record and had knocked off some of the big boys, namely three teams in the MSA top 10. Mount Lebanon started the season last Friday with a 7-4 victory against No. 5 Pine-Richland. The Blue Devils beat No. 8 North Allegheny, 9-6, on Tuesday. Yesterday, they knocked off No. 1-ranked and defending WPIAL champion Seneca Valley, 10-9.

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 03/26/2012
March 26, 2012
With the winter high school sports season now completely in the books, the spring high school and college sports season takes center stage as March turns to April this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have Semifinals and Championship Game action in the PIAA boys and girls state basketball playoffs along with the Semifinals and Championships on the PIHL Penguins Cup Playoffs and the Pennsylvania Cup Hockey Finals, plus college baseball and women's lacrosse as well as the WPIAL Roundball Report and the PIHL Power Play Show ALL here at MSAsports.netMonday, March 26th:WPIAL Boys High School Lacrosse - North Allegheny vs Mount Lebanon at 8:00pm on the North Allegheny Sports Network at MSAsports.net Tuesday, March 27th:

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2012 MSA SPORTS BOYS ALL-NETTERS
March 25, 2012
For the Girls All-Netters team, CLICK HERE. When it comes to picking the player of the year in WPIAL basketball season, you have to be on guard – twice. The MSA Sports staff has selected two guards as the co-Players of the Year. They are Highlands’ Micah Mason and Shaler’s Geno Thorpe. Those two players also lead the MSA Sports All-Netters team for 2012. Here is a look at the players of the year and also the first and second team All-Netters.

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2012 MSA SPORTS GIRLS ALL-NETTERS
For the Boys All-Netters team, CLICK HERE.

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Chester, Neumann-Goretti, Imhotep Charter & Philly Constitution Win PIAA Boys Hoops Titles
For the second straight year, both Montour in Class AAA and Lincoln Park in Class A, won four rounds of games in the state boys basketball playoffs to qualify for the state finals at Penn State University, and for the second straight year, the Spartans and Leopards return home with silver. A day later, Beaver Falls lost in heartbreak fashion in overtime to defending champion Imhotep Charter as the three WPIAL teams go 0-3 in not so Happy Valley this weekend. Here are ALL of the results from the 2012 PIAA Boys Basketball Playoffs.All games with (MSA) after the score can be heard archived here on the MSA Sports Network.2012 PIAA CLASS AAAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:Chester Clippers 59 - Lower Merion Aces 33PIAA CLASS AAAA Semifinals:Lower Merion Aces 79 - Erie Cathedral Prep Ramblers 48Chester Clippers 67 - Central Dauphin Rams 48PIAA CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:

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Seton-LaSalle, Archbishop Carroll, Archbishop Wood & Steelton-Highspire Win PIAA Girls Basketball Gold
Seton-LaSalle finished a storybook season with a perfect ending. The Rebels ran away with the gold by routing York Catholic in the PIAA Girls Class AA championship game at Penn State University, closing out an undefeated 30-0 season. The news was not so good for two other WPIAL girls teams as Oakland Catholic was shutdown in losing to Archbishop Carroll 56-37 in AAAA while North Catholic lost to Steelton-Highspire 66-59 in Class A. Here are ALL of the final scores from the 2012 WPIAL Girls Basketball Playoffs.All games with (MSA) after the score can be heard archived here on the MSA Sports Network.2012 PIAA CLASS AAAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:Archbishop Carroll Patriots 56 - OAKLAND CATHOLIC EAGLES 37  (MSA)PIAA CLASS AAAA Semifinals:OAKLAND CATHOLIC EAGLES 64 - Governor Mifflin Mustangs 39Archbishop Carroll Patriots 65 - Spring-Ford Rams 43

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Imhotep Charter Repeats as PIAA Class AA Boys Champs With Overtime Win Over Beaver Falls
March 24, 2012
Imhotep Charter claimed their second straight PIAA Boys Class AA title, but this time it wasn't easy. The Panthers defeated the Beaver Falls Tigers 56-54 in overtime at the Bryce Jordan Center. It's the third overall title and the second won in extra time, the Panthers need two extra sessions to defeat North Catholic in the 2009 championship game. It was a lot easier last year, the Panthers blew out Greensburg Central Catholic 67-34.Shakur Nesmith forced overtime with a steal and score with 19 seconds remaining. Coach Andre Noble said his kids could have given up at that point, but Nesmith read the trap right and was able to get the tying points. The Tigers had a chance to win it, but Sheldon Jeter missed a deep three.

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Steel-High Wins Back-to-Back PIAA Gold; Beats North Catholic In Class A Girls Finals
Rayvon Donald did the job on both ends, with a rebound and put back and followed with a steal all in the final minute to seal a  66-59 win for the Steelton-Highspire Rollers over the North Catholic Trojanettes in the PIAA Girls Class A championship game at the Bryce Jordan Center.The Rollers claim back to back championships, defeating Bishop Guilfoyle last season 73-60. Junior Malia Tate-DeFreitas averaged 32.4 points per game to lead the state, she struggled from the field shooting 5 of 21, but still led the Rollers with 18 points. She also contributed with eight rebounds and nine assists. It was only the third time this season that she was held under twenty points in a game.Amber Hess-Moore stepped up the scoring with 17 points, including five of seven triples. Amber Anderson added 13 points and seven rebounds. Donald only scored eight points but controlled the glass, with 9 rebounds.

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Neumann-Goretti Beats Montour Again for Three-Peat in PIAA Boys AAA
The Montour Spartans jumped out to a ten point first quarter lead but the Neumann-Goretti Saints rallied to take the lead late in the second quarter and survived some poor free throw shooting down the stretch to claim their third consecutive PIAA Class AAA Boys Championship with a 48-45 victory Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.Montour had a chance to tie the game with two seconds to play, but Kevin Scuilli's three point attempt from the left corner was deflected by La'Quan Coaxum, ending the dreams of the Spartans. The Saints could have pulled away but went 5 of 15 in the fourth quarter from the line, a 14 of 30 performance for the game.

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Oakland Catholic Falls to Archbishop Carroll in PIAA Girls AAAA Finals
March 23, 2012
The Archbishop Carroll Patriots picked up their second PIAA Girls Quad-A title with a 56-37 victory over Oakland Catholic on Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Patriots won the 2009 title and fell to Mount Lebanon in last year's title game.The Patriots were led by Sarah Curran with 16 points and 7 rebounds, Rachel Pearson added 14 points with 7 rebounds and Meghan Creighton with 10 points and 7 boards.Archbishop Carroll took the lead midway thru the first quarter as Creighton hit a three to stake the Patriots to a 14-9 lead. Oakland Catholic turned the ball over five times in the first and went without a basket over the final 3:07.The second quarter started the same way as the first for the Eagles, only one point and no field goals thru the first four minutes. Pearson hit a three with 2:27 left in the half forced Oakland Catholic coach Shannon Boyle to take a timeout with a 22-10 Patriots lead.

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Lincoln Park Comes Up Short Again in State Class A Boys Title Bid
The Philadelphia Constitution Generals made their first trip to Penn State a good one as they defeated the WPIAL champion Lincoln Park Leopards 68-49 in the Class A Boys title tilt. Seniors Savon Goodman and Daiquan Walker dominated the show for the District 12 champions, scoring 27 and 22 points respectively.The win was the fourteenth straight for the Generals.Lincoln Park fell for the second straight year in the title game, falling to another D-12 school, Math, Civics and Science 70-55. The Leopards saw a ten game winning streak come to an end.Constitution jumped out to a 7-2 lead, highlighted by a Savon Goodman slam. The Generals extended that lead to 22-11 after one, but went cold in the second, coming up empty on five out of six possessions near the end of the half. Lincoln Park cut the lead to six twice, but missed multiple chances to reduce the deficit.

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