Penn-Trafford hockey slumping after loss to Franklin Regional

Sunday, January 22, 2023 | 11:01 AM

It’s been a tough couple weeks for the Penn-Trafford hockey team.

The Warriors (8-5) have dropped three of their last four games, falling Jan. 17 to rival Franklin Regional, 6-1. The Warriors won the previous meeting 5-3, on Dec. 12.

Matt Knizner scored four goals for the Panthers (7-7).

Sean Goodman scored the only goal for the Warriors, who returned to action Jan. 26 at Thomas Jefferson.

The Warriors are in fourth place in Class 2A behind South Fayette (11-1), Armstrong (11-2) and Latrobe (10-4).

P-T girls take down Latrobe

Penn-Trafford still had the unsavory taste of a bad second half against top-ranked McKeesport in its mouth when it traveled to Latrobe on Jan. 16.

A good way to get rid of it was to have one of its better second halves of the season.

The Warriors pumped in 21 points in the third quarter to pull ahead of Latrobe and register a 56-45 victory in a Section 3-5A girls basketball game.

“Early in the season, we had an edge to us, but in the last week we kind of lost it,” said Penn-Trafford guard Olivia Pepple, who had a team-high 17 points. “This helps us get our confidence back.”

Penn-Trafford (10-3, 4-2) scored 10 straight points out of halftime and took its first lead at 24-23.

Kamryn Pieper hit two 3s, and Lilly Palladino and freshman Tori DeStefano made one each as the Warriors outscored the visitors 21-11 in the frame.

Latrobe (10-5, 3-3) still only trailed by 39-34 heading to the fourth quarter but could not regain the lead and saw a six-game winning streak end.

“We played with confidence, and we shot with confidence,” Penn-Trafford coach John Giannikas said. “We wanted to play fast. We made some extra passes and got better shots. We hadn’t had (a quarter) like that in awhile.”

Penn-Trafford outscored the Wildcats after halftime 38-22.

“Tori made a lot of defensive plays, too,” Giannikas said. “She is years ahead mentally and in how she approaches the game.”

The Warriors made eight 3-pointers from four players. Pepple, Palladino, DeStefano and Pieper each had two apiece.

“We love to play for each other,” Pepple said. “That helps us win games.”

DeSantis wins county title

Luke DeSantis captured the 115-pound title at the Westmoreland County Junior High School wrestling tournament Jan. 14.

He defeated Belle Vernon’s Colby Hibner, 19-4, in the finals. He was 4-0.

Ivan Ratesic finished second at 94 pounds, falling to Derry’s Dylan Bateman, 16-1.

The Warriors had two fifth place finishers — Aiden Toth (80) and Sidney Hand (115) — and a sixth place finisher in Seth Pochiba (130).

Warrior rifle team wins two

The Penn-Trafford rifle team improved to 7-1 with close wins against Hempfield and Franklin Regional.

The Warriors edged the Spartans, 797.52 to 794.57, and nipped the Panthers, 792.48 to 791.48.

Leading the way against the Spartans were Seth Baughman (100-10x), Carlee Valenta (100-9x) and Michael Koreen (100-8x).

Against Armstrong, Valenta led the way with a 100-9x. Following were Ivy Thomas (100-7x) and Seth Baughman (100-7x).

Patton, Alexander qualify

Penn-Trafford’s boys swimming team improved to 5-0 with an 85-49 victory against Armstrong.

Patton Graziano and Conner Alexander each qualified for WPIALs in another event.

The girls improved to 3-2 overall with a 97-75 win against Armstrong. Laela Whetstone became the first girls WPIAL qualifier of the season for the Water Warriors.

Spring signups

Signups for spring sports will begin on Family ID on Feb. 1.

The school will also offer athletic physicals at 5 p.m. Feb. 21. Sign-ups will be on the Family ID Spring Sports Registration.

First day of official practice/tryouts will be March 6 for all high school sports, including junior high baseball for eighth and ninth graders.

Information on teams with tryouts will be posted in early February.

Middle school softball and track will start March 20.

P-T boys fall short vs. Kiski

Noah Thimons and Isaiah Gonzalez scored 16 points apiece to lead Kiski Area (8-8, 3-2) to a 62-45 win over Penn-Trafford in a Section 3-5A boys basketball game Jan. 17.

Jason Sabol finished with 14 points for Penn-Trafford, which fell to 3-12 overall and 0-5 in section play.

Staff writer Bill Beckner Jr. contributed.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .


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