Pine-Richland notebook: Rams welcome new boys basketball section opponents

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Saturday, July 6, 2024 | 1:59 PM


A new two-year cycle for WPIAL and PIAA sports brings some changes in section opponents for the winter athletics teams at Pine-Richland.

New section alignments were announced by the WPIAL on June 18, and Class 6A in boys basketball jumped from 12 to 16 teams for the next two years.

Three of the new schools — Fox Chapel, North Hills and Woodland Hills — are in Section 1-6A with the Rams.

All three came up from Class 5A.

North Allegheny, Butler, Seneca Valley and New Castle all return to Section 1 with Pine-Richland, while Central Catholic moves to Section 2.

The amount of section games played increases from 10 to 14.

Imani Christian is voluntarily moving up from Class A to 6A and is in Section 2.

In girls basketball, there are 12 teams in Class 6A, one less than last cycle, but there’s been some section opponent shuffling.

Pine-Richland will be in Section 1 again but has two new opponents in North Hills and Woodland Hills. Both schools were in Class 5A the last two seasons.

Perennial power Norwin moved to Section 2, along with Hempfield

For boys wrestling, Pine-Richland is in Section 4-3A with Mars, Butler, North Allegheny and Seneca Valley.

Class 3A is split into nine sections, and for individual season the Rams are in the Northern Sectional with their section mates as well as Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Hampton, Indiana, Kiski Area, Central Catholic, North Hills, Penn Hills and Shaler.

There are 30 Class 3A teams in WPIAL swimming and diving and Pine-Richland is in Section 2 with Butler, Mars, Moon, North Allegheny, North Hills and Seneca Valley.

Pine-Richland is one of 14 schools that will have a WPIAL gymnastics team.

The defending Class 3A champion Rams are in Section 1 with Baldwin, Burrell, Fox Chapel, Hempfield, North Allegheny, North Hills and Thomas Jefferson.

Wood heats up in June

Pine-Richland grad Matt Wood has spent the entire minor league baseball season at Milwaukee’s High-A affiliate Wisconsin and last month had a breakout at the plate.

Wood hit .328 and carried a .469 on base percentage in June with four doubles, a homer and 11 RBIs. He had a hit in 14 of the 19 games he played and finished the month on a five-game hitting streak. There were five multi-hit games in the month, including a 4-for-5 performance June 16 where he drove in three runs in a 8-5 win over West Michigan.

It was a nice bounce back after a difficult May where Wood hit .194.

As of June 30, Wood was hitting .264 with a .376 on-base percentage and .750 OPS. He has four homers and 30 RBIs.

Wood, 23, was a fourth-round pick of the Brewers in 2022 after playing collegiately at Penn State.

Killian 5K coming this month

The seventh annual Killian 5K, which honors the late Killian Cavanaugh and raises funds for scholarships in his memory, is set for July 27 at North Park Boathouse in Allison Park.

Cavanaugh was a Shady Side Academy grad and Pine Township resident. He died in 2017 due to illness at age 20 while attending the University of Chicago.

Registration is $35 and benefits the Killian Patrick Cavanaugh Memorial Scholarship fund, which is for a scholarship at Shady Side Academy and The Killian Cavanaugh Memorial Student-Athlete Scholarship at Pine-Richland. Ben Rishel won the Pine-Richland scholarship in 2023 and Cooper Zancosky won it this year.

More information can be found at the event’s website www.killian5k.com.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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