Scholastic Notebook – 01/10/2014

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Friday, January 10, 2014 | 5:06 PM


No matter what time of year it is at Western Beaver High School, it always seems to be Miller Time.

Miller is a senior at Western Beaver. True, he may not be at the same athletic level as, say, New Castle’s Malik Hooker or Gateway’s Montae Nicholson, a pair of future Division I college players who shine in others sports. But as far as production goes in three sports, you’d be hard-pressed to find a WPIAL athlete who is better than Miller.

Western Beaver was a .500 team in football, but Miller was their leading receiver for the second year in a row.

Miller’s best two sports are baseball and basketball. In baseball, he is an outstanding infielder and pitcher and his father, Chad, is Western Beaver’s coach. Nick was 6-1 in the regular season last year as a junior and he hit better than .500 in the regular season. He also was the winning pitcher when Western Beaver won the WPIAL Class A championship.

Now in basketball, no player in the entire WPIAL is scoring points like Miller. A 6-foot-2 guard, Miller leads the entire WPIAL in scoring at 30.2 points a game, heading into tonight’s action.

Western Beaver plays in the same section as Class A powers Lincoln Park and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. A section title might be asking a lot. But Western Beaver is 9-1. This from a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2006.

Much is expected of Miller in baseball season also. But no matter what happens, he has left an everlasting mark at the small Beaver County school.

Central Maneuvers

This basketball season is double the fun at Central Valley.

There was a lot of talk about the Central Valley boys team before the season, and rightly so. The Warriors were pegged as one of the top teams in Class AAA of the WPIAL. So far, they are 9-1.

But the Central Valley girls team apparently isn’t content to let the boys hog the spotlight. The Central Valley girls had a huge win Thursday night, knocking off previously undefeated Blackhawk, 71-61. Blackhawk had looked terrific before the game, blowing out just about everyone.

But now the Central Valley girls sit atop the Section 2 standings with a 4-0 record, 8-3 overall. Central Valley is led by the best scoring tandem in the WPIAL in Seairra Barrett and Kiana Law, who both average more than 20 points a game.

This is the fourth year of Central Valley and neither the boys or girls have won a section title. And one day after the girls played Blackhawk for the section lead, the Central Valley boys do the same tonight against Blackhawk. Both Blackhawk and Central Valley are 4-0 in section.

Riggleman’s Night to Remember

It had been 44 years since a Mapletown boys basketball player had a game like Dereck Riggleman Thursday night.

Riggleman scored a school record 51 points in a 66-60 victory against Geibel. In the process, he also went over 1,000 points for his career.

Riggleman broke the school record of 44 points, set by Bob Clites against West Greene in 1970.

Mapletown usually doesn’t have much to boast about in boys basketball. The Maples haven’t had a winning season since 2007-08 and the school’s last section title came in 1972. But Riggleman is bringing attention to the eighth-smallest school in WPIAL basketball.

Riggleman was the seventh-leading scorer in the WPIAL before his 51 points. But his average went up three points and is now averaging 26 a game.

Scorin’ Cousins

Due to injuries and other medical issues, Matty McConnell hasn’t gotten the chance to play many games with his cousin, Jerrad Tuite, the last few years. But the two can be a lethal combination for Chartiers Valley’s boys team. McConnell averages 22 points and Tuite 17.

Tuite played less than a month a year ago because of a severe knee injury. Then this year, McConnell missed two weeks of games after an emergency appendectomy.

Top Competition

The Seton-LaSalle girls are considered one of the best teams in the state, regardless of classification. And credit the Rebels for not padding their record against inferior competition.

Seton-LaSalle has played an extremely tough non-section schedule. The Rebels have gone to out-of-state events that have included some of the top teams and players in the country. This Saturday, Seton-LaSalle is at it again.

Seton-LaSalle will play in the FamJuice Play-By-Play Classic at Philadelphia University. The event is played on two courts and includes 18 games. The first is at 9 in the morning and the final one at 9:15 at night.

Seton-LaSalle will play Archbishop Wood, which won three state championships in Class AAA from 2010-12.

Seton-LaSalle is the No. 1-ranked team in the Pennlive.com state Class AA rankings. Archbishop Wood is No. 3 in Class AAA.

Mount Lebanon will also play in the Play-by-Play Classic. The Blue Devils will play Central Bucks West.

Derry Hires Football Coach

Derry has turned to a former player for its next football coach.

The school hired Tim Sweeney Thursday night. Sweeney was a standout player at Derry but also went on to play at Penn State from 1985-88, making the team as a walk on.

Sweeney was an assistant at Derry from 2006-09.

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