Basketball

Pine-Richland Cruises To First WPIAL Quad-A Basketball Title
February 27, 2016
Following a 77-75 double-overtime win against top-seeded Latrobe Wednesday, Pine-Richland got off to a mildly sluggish start early in the first quarter of Saturday’s WPIAL Class AAAA Championship game. However, that didn’t last long. The Rams opened up a 12-0 run midway through the first quarter, and never looked back, defeating North Hills 70-53 at the Petersen Events Center to win the first District 7 Championship in school history. “We went really light for two days after that,” said Pine-Richland head coach Jeff Ackermann. “We didn’t watch any film; I think it helped us that we played them twice in section play. From that standpoint, we didn’t need as much preparation. Nothing full court, we kept it light so they had legs. It was more about executing.”

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Beaver Falls Goes From Silver to Gold
February 26, 2016
Last year, Beaver Falls lost the Class AAA Championship Game on a last-second shot. This year, the Tigers left no doubt, as they took control early, and secured a 56-45 victory against Highlands at the Petersen Events Center to capture the tenth WPIAL championship in school history. The Tigers won their first championship since capturing back-to-back crowns in 2012 and 2013. Leading the way for Beaver Falls was Josh Creach, the Tigers’ 6-foot-7 junior guard, who scored a game-high 17 points and collected 17 rebounds.

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Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Golden in Boys Class A Title
The Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans used a strong defense and excellent free throw shooting to claim their third WPIAL boys basketball championship with a 50-36 victory over the Sewickley Academy Panthers. The Trojans were 14 of 18 in the fourth quarter from the line and held the Panthers to 4 of 15 shooting in that final frame to pull away for the win.

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Defense Wins Girls AA Championship for Bishop Canevin
A couple of late regular season losses knock the team down to second place and a section title and top-seed also vanish. But as the #4-seed, the team gets hot and runs through the playoffs en-route to a WPIAL championship. Bishop Canevin fans are all too familiar with the above scenario as first the Crusaders girls volleyball team this fall, then the girls basketball team have followed the exact same path. Friday, the basketball team captured a second Class AA girls title in four years with a dominating 53-33 victory over the 14th-seed Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions at the Petersen Events Center. Bishop Canevin used a stifling defense to jump out to an 11-0 lead through a pair of Greensburg Central Catholic early time outs.

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Scholastic Notebook – 02/26/2016
For the Aliquippa boys and Norwin girls, Saturday could be a perfect day to walk hand in hand into WPIAL lore. Both the Aliquippa boys and Norwin girls take undefeated records into WPIAL championship games Saturday at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center. If they both win, it will be only the fifth time in WPIAL history that boys and girls teams have won WPIAL titles with perfect records in the same year. The first time it happened was 1983 when Sto-Rox and Mount Alvernia were both undefeated while winning WPIAL titles. The last time it happened was 2012 when Seton-LaSalle and New Castle did it.

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Path to the Pete Recaps From Thursday 2/25
February 25, 2016
While there were a couple of games that were for seeding only, most of the eleven games were win and advance to the state playoffs, lose and hang up the uniforms for good. This was the second straight year that the WPIAL held consolation round games to determine the order and qualifiers for the PIAA postseason. However with expansion next year to six classifications, the WPIAL will go back to the old follow the leader. Anyway, here are the recaps form the final night of consolation basketball game sin the WPIAL. A special thanks to Mark Uriah, Kyle Dawson, Bob Orkwis, Steve Nagler, Dennis Fischer, Greg Kuntz, Bob Gregg, James Dotson, Matt Vandriak and Don Rebel for their help on these recaps. BOYS WPIAL CLASS AAAA Consolation Finals:

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Path to the Pete Recaps From Wednesday 2/24
February 24, 2016
While it may not measure up to the incredible hardwood action on Tuesday, there was still plenty of excitement at the four venues hosting WPIAL Semifinals action on Wednesday. While the boys Quad-A #1-seed fell in double overtime, the favorites were winners in Boys AA, Girls AAA and Girls A as in those three tournaments, it will be #1 vs #2 at The Pete on Saturday afternoon. Here are summaries from all eight WPIAL Semifinals games on Wednesday. A special thanks to Dennis Fischer, Tom Hays, Cory Campano, Steve Nagler, Aaron Anderson, Bob Gregg and Bob Barrickman for their help on these recaps. BOYS WPIAL CLASS AAAA Semifinals:

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Path to the Pete Recaps From Tuesday 2/23
February 23, 2016
While Tuesday was a bad night for top-seeds, it was a GREAT night to be a high school basketball fan. Five of the eight Final Four games turned into thrillers with teams laying it on the line for a spot in Championship Weekend. Four #1-seeds entered the night two wins from securing an expected championship. The night ended with only one team still alive and great heartbreak for eight teams that now must wait for the state postseason. Here are recaps from the Boys AAA, Boys A, Girls AAAA and Girls AA Semifinals. A special thanks to Mike Azadian, James Dotson, Bob Barrickman, Bob Orkwis, Josh Rowntree, Mark Schaas, Kevin Zielmanski and Randy Gore for their help on these recaps. WPIAL CLASS AAA Semifinals:

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WPIAL Alum Q&A – Angela Heintz
In the 2011-12 season, the Seton-La Salle girls basketball team achieved history, as the Lady Rebels went undefeated en route to the WPIAL and PIAA championships. While several players and coaches contributed to reach those accomplishments, arguably nobody was more important than Angela Heintz. Heintz, who now excels for Mercyhurst University, is this week's feature for the WPIAL Alum Q&A.  Heintz was a junior in 2011-12 when the Rebels recorded those accolades, and individually, she was recognized as an All-State performer that campaign, as she averaged more than 14 points per contest. In the PIAA title game against York Catholic, she notched a team-best 18 points and five assists. 

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 02/22/2016
February 22, 2016
There is plenty of district gold to be won on the hardwood, on the mat and in the pool this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have ALL the Semifinals, Championships and Consolation boys and girls games in the 2016 WPIAL Basketball Playoffs along with the District 6 boys and girls high school hoop playoffs. We also have the 2016 WPIAL Individual Wrestling Class AA Championships and the Class AAA-4 Sectionals, the end of the regular season in PIHL high school hockey and the 2016 WPIAL boys and girls Diving Championships, plus Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle and The PIHL Power Play Show and The WPIAL Roundball Report on a special night ALL here at MSAsports.net Monday, February 22nd:

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Path to the Pete Recaps From Friday 2/19
February 20, 2016
Quarterfinals Weekend began with every boys and girls district basketball team knowing they were no longer in do-or-die mode. Sure, you lose and your WPIAL title hopes vanish, but with the Consolation Round, hopes that your season would continue into the state playoffs keep the season going for this weekends losers. Here are summaries from Quarterfinals Friday in Boys AAA, Boys A, Girls AAAA and Girls AA around the WPIAL hardwood. A special thanks to Mark Uriah, T.J. DiStefano, Randy Gore, Tom Hays, James Dotson, Bobb Gregg, Dennis Fischer, Lee Mohn, Steve Nagler, Cory Campano, Mark Schaas, Bob Barrickman, Sean Meyers, Bob Orkwis and Melissa Carle for their help with these recaps. WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:

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Scholastic Notebook – 02/19/2016
February 19, 2016
The first round of the WPIAL boys and girls basketball playoffs are over, and this opening round set a record for records. For sure, the 2016 first round should always be remembered for so many memorable individual scoring performances. Hockey has the Frozen Four. The WPIAL first round had the Hot Four. Four players – two boys and two girls – broke long-standing scoring records for their classifications.

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Path to the Pete Recaps From Wednesday 2/17
February 17, 2016
While 24 WPIAL Basketball Playoff games were scheduled for Tuesday, the only winner was Mother Nature as the 12 boys and 12 girls opening round games were pushed back 24 hours. On Wednesday, the higher seeds all prevailed with the exception of three teams including two defending champions. #4 Peters Township in Girls AAAA was upset in the opening round Wednesday, as were two-time defending Girls AA champion and #3-seed Seton-LaSalle and defending Boys AAA champion and #7-seed Indiana. Here are the summaries from the end of the First Round in Boys AAA, Boys A, Girls AAAA and Girls AA.

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WPIAL Girls Sports Realignment
February 16, 2016
We all knew it was coming. A major change to the WPIAL high school sports landscape based on the PIAA's decision to increase from four to six classifications in basketball and softball, plus the increase in other sports such as soccer, volleyball and lacrosse. The WPIAL Board of Control approved the various steering committee's re-alignment suggestions starting with the 2016-2017 school year. This alignment also will be for the 2017-2018 school year. For interactive listing, CLICK HERE. GIRLS BASKETBALL Class 6A

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WPIAL Boys Sports Realignment
We all knew it was coming. A major change to the WPIAL high school sports landscape based on the PIAA's decision to increase from four to six classifications in football, basketball and baseball, plus the increase in other sports such as soccer and lacrosse. The WPIAL Board of Control approved the various steering committee's re-alignment suggestions starting with the 2016-2017 school year. This alignment also will be for the 2017-2018 school year. *For an interactive listing, CLICK HERE FOOTBALL Class 6A

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WPIAL Alum Q&A – Nolan Cressler
February 15, 2016
Although the WPIAL has produced some notable NCAA Division I basketball players recently, not many of those athletes could boast that they played meaningful minutes on a team ranked in the top 20 nationally. Former Plum standout Nolan Cressler accomplished that feat earlier this season, though, with Vanderbilt University. Before Cressler's rise to prominence in college, he rewrote the record books for the Plum Mustangs. Cressler holds the all-time scoring mark in school history, with more than 1,500 points. His final two seasons were particularly impressive, as he averaged more than 25 points and 7.5 rebounds as a junior, and slightly increased those marks in his senior campaign.

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 02/14/2016
February 14, 2016
To our Sweetheart Fans, we continue our exclusive journey on The Path to the Pete this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have ALL the First Round and Quarterfinals boys and girls games in the 2016 WPIAL Basketball Playoffs along with the start of the District 6 boys and girls high school basketball playoffs and the WPIAL Individual Wrestling Class AA-2 Sectionals and PIHL high school hockey, plus Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle, Carlow Sports Talk and The PIHL Power Play Show and The WPIAL Roundball Report on a special night ALL here at MSAsports.net Monday, February 15th: TALK SHOW - Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle at 7:00pm on MSAsports.net TALK SHOW - Carlow Sports Talk at 8:30pm on MSAsports.net

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Path to the Pete Recaps From Saturday 2/13
February 13, 2016
While the weather outside was freightful...and frigid, the postseason basketball inside was delightful for the winners, not so much for those teams that saw their 2016 season come to an end. Here are recaps from the Boys AAAA, Boys AA, Girls AAA and Girls A Preliminary and First Round games, 18 games in all on Saturday afternoon on the Path to the Pete. A special thanks to Mike Azadian, Mark Schaas, T.J. DiStefano, Bob Orkwis, Sean Meyers, Steve Nagler, Brandon Showers, Brian Mroziak, Greg Kuntz, Jason Tennant, Nate Regotti, Lee Mohn, Bob Barrickman and Bob Gregg for their help on these recaps. WPIAL CLASS AAAA Preliminary Round:

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Path to the Pete Recaps From Friday 2/12
February 12, 2016
The first night of the 2016 WPIAL Basketball Playoffs featured Preliminary Round hoop games from Boys AAA and Girls AA along with First Round action from Boys A and Girls AAAA. Here are recaps from all 18 district playoff games to begin the trip on the Path to the Pete. A special thanks to Josh Rowntree, Cory Campano, Randy Gore, Steve Nagler,  Andy Stanko, James Dotson, Mark Schaas, Gary Frankhouser, Steve Superick, Brian Mroziak, Bob Orkwis, Paul Paterra, Bob Barrickman, Melissa Carle, Kyle Dawson, Bob Gregg and Kevin Zielmanski for their help with these recaps. WPIAL BOYS CLASS AAA PRELIMINARY ROUND:

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WPIAL Boys Basketball Preview
There are 74 boys teams that begin the Path to the Pete in the hopes of raising one of the four championships at the Petersen Events Center on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh on February 26th or 27th. Here are some factoids to help you get ready for the 2016 WPIAL Boys Basketball Playoffs. CLASS AAAA

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