Pine-Richland notebook: Realignment puts Rams in conference with Aliquippa

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Sunday, March 3, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Pine-Richland football coach Jon LeDonne will face his alma mater, Aliquippa, next fall.

It’s a scenario that seems crazy with Aliquippa’s Class 2A enrollment, but due to the PIAA competitive balance rules, the Quips will be bumped up to Class 5A next year and are in a conference with the Rams.

Alignments for WPIAL fall sports were announced Feb. 19.

The Quips originally played up voluntarily in Class 3A but have been bumped up a class twice since the competitive balance rules were established.

Aliquippa coach Mike Warfield has indicated that the school intends to pursue legal action against the PIAA in hopes of avoiding the promotion to 5A.

The rest of the section is mostly familiar opponents for Pine-Richland. Shaler, North Hills, Fox Chapel and Penn Hills were all in the conference last cycle. Plum is another newcomer.

For volleyball, Class 4A jumps up from 16 to 24 teams.

Pine-Richland will have one new section opponent, North Catholic, to go along with mainstays North Allegheny, North Hills, Butler and Seneca Valley.

There’s a bit of change in girls soccer with the WPIAL going from two sections to three in Class 4A.

Allderdice, Butler, North Hills, North Allegheny and Seneca Valley will be in Section 3 with Pine-Richland.

Previous conference opponents Shaler and Fox Chapel have dropped down to Class 3A.

The change in boys soccer is similar to the girls.

There will be three sections opposed to two and Pine-Richland is in with Fox Chapel, Butler, North Allegheny, North Hills and Seneca Valley.

Central Catholic moves to Section 1 and Shaler drops to Class 3A.

In girls tennis, Montour moves into Section 2-3A with Pine-Richland.

The Pine-Richland boys golf team will welcome Knoch and New Castle to Section 3-3A.

For girls golf, Butler and Mars are newcomers to Section 1-3A with Pine-Richland.

Cross country alignment remains the same for Pine-Richland.

Pine-Richland field hockey will have five opponents in Class 3A, which is down from seven. Allderdice will not field a team and Peters Township moved to 2A. Hempfield, North Allegheny, Norwin and Mt. Lebanon remain in 3A.

All alignments are set for a two-year cycle.

P-R girls fall

Madison Zavasky put forth a sterling effort, but Pine-Richland girls basketball’s upset bid against Peters Township fell short in the first round of the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs.

Zavasky scored a game-high 32 points, but No. 2 Peters Township pulled away for a 58-46 win on Feb. 22.

The Rams finished the season 8-14. They hung with the Indians throughout, trailing 32-26 at halftime and 46-38 after three quarters.

It was the final high school game for Zavasky, an IUP recruit.

She leaves Pine-Richland as one of the most prolific scorers in program history.

This year she became the fourth girls basketball player to reach 1,000 points joining Amanda Kalin, Carrie Walker Kelly and Kristen Wisse.

Wrestling qualifies 5

It was a successful day at the Class 3A Northern Sectional for Pine-Richland wrestling, which crowned three section champions.

Dominic Ferraro (139), Mac Miller (160) and Vaughn Spencer (172) won titles for the Rams, while Alden Rockacy (107) and Max Kosher (114) took fifth-place matches.

Ferraro won a 6-0 decision over Armstrong’s Max Formaini in the final. He pinned Tyler Bollinger in the quarterfinals and received a forfeit from North Allegheny’s Griffen Reid in the semifinals.

Miller won his championship match via a 11-2 major decision over Fox Chapel’s Milo Chiu. He pinned Plum’s Charlie Campbell in the semifinals and won by tech fall against Armstrong’s Isaiah Greenia in the quarters.

Spencer won his second consecutive section title with a 8-2 decision over Central Catholic’s Nezumiiro Green.

He had a 23-9 decision over Plum’s Jack Tongel in the semifinals and a pin against North Hills’ Sebastian Lopez in the quarters.

Spencer was vying for a second consecutive WPIAL title at the district championships March 1-2 at Canon-McMillan, which was past the deadline for this edition.

Jerry medals

Kendyll Jerry had a career day at the Class 3A WPIAL diving championships.

Jerry, a junior, finished fifth at the district meet Feb. 24 at North Allegheny to earn a spot on the podium.

She finished with a score of 374.65 and ended up one spot short of qualifying for the state meet.

Freshman Reyah Griffin qualified for her first WPIAL championship and finished tied for 22nd with a score of 132.45.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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