George Guido: Still more to chew on from basketball season
Saturday, April 10, 2021 | 6:58 PM
Taking care of a couple of leftovers from the scholastic basketball season:
• Rochester lost the WPIAL Class A boys title game to Bishop Canevin, 42-27. It was 10-9 Crusaders at halftime.
But the question came up — when was the last time such few points were scored in a WPIAL boys title game?
One doesn’t have to go back that far. Monessen lost the 2012 Class AA game 47-27 to Beaver Falls. Also, in 1960, Wampum defeated Etna, 42-27, in what then was called Class B.
The 27 is the lowest total since New Wilmington defeated Glassport, 43-26, in 1943.
Keep in mind that before 1939, there was a center jump after EVERY basket. Now, there’s only a center jump at tip-off time and at the start of overtimes. Low-scoring games were the order of the day.
An example of that was the 1937 WPIAL title game where Ford City defeated Duquesne, 20-19. As far as low scoring by the losing team goes, the WPIAL record is North Braddock Scott beating Duquesne, 36-11, in 1931. Four years earlier, it was New Castle over Coraopolis, 23-11.
• Going back to the start of the season, what might have been the best tip-off tournament was one that never was played. The St. Joseph Tip-off Tournament not only included the host Spartans, but also entered were Mohawk, the WPIAL Class 3A champion and PIAA runner-up; Neshannock, WPIAL Class 2A champ and PIAA runner-up; and West Greene, a team that made the WPIAL finals for the fourth straight season.
As we recall, a statewide shutdown was declared Dec. 7, four days before the start of the regular season. Some teams played just that one night and resumed their seasons Jan. 8.
But, oh, what fun that St. Joseph tournament might have been.
The 1960 WPIAL title game mentioned earlier had someone who played in that game and went on to hit 351 MLB home runs. Can you name him?
32 and counting
One of the WPIAL’s most impressive streaks is Serra Catholic’s 32-game home baseball winning streak.
It’s not known whether it’s a WPIAL record, because the league doesn’t keep track of those types of records, but it’s still impressive.
Also impressive is the fact Serra plays at one of the neatest WPIAL venues — Boston Field, in the shadow of the Boston Bridge that crosses the Youghiogheny River connecting McKeesport with Elizabeth Township.
So far this season, seven of Serra’s eight games have been at home, which makes one wonder whether Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim set up the Eagles schedule. When Syracuse was in the Big East, Boeheim’s Orange rarely left New York state before Jan. 1.
Serra’s 32-game streak will be on the line Tuesday when the Eagles host Shady Side Academy. First, Serra will visit Shady Side on Monday for Section 3-2A action.
Hockey semis set
It will be an all-A-K Valley doubleheader Wednesday in the PIHL Penguins Cup Class A semifinals at Robert Morris’ Island Sports Center.
Freeport will take on Indiana at 6:30, followed by Kiski Area and Chartiers Valley at 8:30 on Neville Island.
Winners are scheduled to play April 19.
Dick Allen was a key member of Wampum’s 1960 WPIAL and PIAA championship team. Wampum won three state titles in six seasons (1955, ’58 and ’60) even though it was the smallest high school in the state. But the tiny school closed in 1961, and students now attend either Ellwood City or Mohawk.
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