Basketball

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
January 23, 2021
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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Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock handles the ball as Laurel Highlands’ Brandon Davis defends Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.
Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock steals show with Laurel Highlands’ Rodney Gallagher sidelined
January 20, 2021
Fans wanting to see a battle between Laurel Highlands standout Rodney Gallagher and Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock were likely a little disappointed Wednesday.

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OLSH’s Bryson Kirschner scores between Springdale’s John Hughes and Logan Dexter on Jan. 12.
Trib HSSN boys basketball state rankings for Jan. 20, 2021
The song remains the same for the most part in this week’s Trib HSSN boys basketball state rankings.

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New Castle’s Mike Graham scores past Chartiers Valley’s Anthony Mackey at the end of the third quarter on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, at Chartiers Valley High School.
Trib 10: New Castle makes big jump in boys basketball power ratings
There was plenty of shuffling going on in this week’s Trib HSSN boys and girls basketball power rankings. However, only two teams slipped out of the Trib 10.

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Burrell’s Olivia Watts goes through drills during practice Nov 23, 2020, at Burrell High School.
A-K Valley girls basketball notes: Burrell’s Watts on road to recovery from ACL tear
Olivia Watts is back on the road to recovery after a second ACL tear in her left knee put her on the sidelines for her entire junior season.

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Penn Trafford’s girls basketball coach John Giannikas is 200-139 in his career.
Westmoreland high school basketball notebook: Penn-Trafford’s Giannikas hits 200 wins
John Giannikas took over the Penn-Trafford girls basketball program prior to the 2006-07 season. The Warriors were a hit-or-miss playoff team in the years leading up to his start date.

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Knoch’s Nina Shaw drives into Highlands’ Kalleigh Nerone during their game on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, at Knoch High School.
Knoch girls eager to continue strong section start
It’s been nearly 50 years since a Knoch girls basketball team has won a section championship.

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Penn-Trafford’s Olivia Pepple battles Norwin’s Mara Polczynski for a loose ball during their game on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, at Penn-Trafford High School.
Westmoreland basketball teams adjust to higher classes
Greensburg Salem has a proud boys basketball tradition. Past players like to wax nostalgic and follow the current team, and current players want to learn about the names of the past.

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Chartiers Valley’s Helene Cowan (5) handles the ball against Gateway’s Kira Pavik (5) on Jan. 18.
Trib HSSN state girls basketball rankings for Jan. 19, 2021
With a lot more girls basketball action across Pennsylvania, there is a lot more movement in the weekly HSSN state rankings.

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Senior guard Dom Pesci plays defense on Plum’s Will Brewer during their Section 4-5A matchup on Jan. 19, 2021
Defensive effort leads Highlands boys to blowout of Plum
January 19, 2021
When the Highlands Golden Rams took the court for the second time this season Tuesday, they were ready to make another statement after taking down then-No. 1 Mars last Friday on a late 3-pointer.

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High school roundup for Jan. 18, 2021: OLSH girls win showdown
January 18, 2021
Katie Hoff scored 14 points to lead No. 3 OLSH (5-0, 5-0) to a 49-43 girls basketball victory over Sewickley Academy in a Section 1-2A showdown of WPIAL title contenders Monday night. Bre Warner scored 22 points and Kamryn Lightcap added 11 for No. 4 Sewickley Academy (3-2, 1-1).

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