Scholastic Notebook – 05/12/2017
Friday, May 12, 2017 | 1:17 PM
The weather has been pretty decent for high school sports this spring. At West Allegheny, the spring has been near perfect.
But it has nothing to do with the weather.
The West Allegheny baseball team and the West Allegheny softball team are enjoying tremendous success. Both teams came close to perfect regular seasons.
The West Allegheny softball team was undefeated until the final game of the season when it lost to Chartiers Valley, 4-2. The Indians finished 18-1. By coincidence, the West Allegheny baseball team also finished the regular season 18-1. The baseball Indians lost only to Moon, 9-5, in the regular season.
It is highly unusual for baseball and softball teams at the same school to have only one loss each in the regular season. If West Allegheny would go and win WPIAL titles in both sports, that would also be highly unusual. In fact, it has happened only four times before and the last time was 14 years ago.
The only four schools to win baseball and softball titles in the same year are North Allegheny (2003), Riverside (1996), Sto-Rox (1985) and Swissvale (1980).
The WPIAL baseball and softball playoffs start next week.
Wildcats Can Pitch, Too
Much has been made – and rightly so – of the tremendous pitching this season by the Blackhawk Cougars baseball team. But Latrobe’s pitching hasn’t been far behind.
Blackhawk enters the WPIAL playoffs allowing only 27 runs in 20 games. But Latrobe has allowed only 30 runs in 19 games. Latrobe’s has been sensational the past three weeks. The Wildcats allowed only seven runs in the past 10 games and four of those came in a non-section game against Ligonier Valley.
North Hills a Section Champ
The North Hills baseball team tied Mars for a section championship in WPIAL Class 5A. It is only the third time since 1979 that North Hills won a section.
Although North Hills was very competitive in the largest classification the past few years, making the playoffs two of the past three seasons, the Indians are one of those teams that seemed to benefit from a drop in classification.
North Hills had always played in the largest classification in a section with the likes of North Allegheny and Seneca Valley. But under the new six-classification system, North Hills dropped to 5A.
Woes of the Bears
Clairton’s baseball team has had its struggles over the years, although the Bears at least won a game the past two seasons. This year, they finished winless at 0-12.
Here’s a statistic that tells you how bad it was and the difference between sports at Clairton. The Bears gave up twice as many runs a game in baseball as they did points in football. Clairton allowed 15.3 runs in baseball while they allowed only 7.7 points in football.
Cavanaugh Going for Bentworth History
Brenna Cavnaugh is a do-it-all track and field athlete at Bentworth High School. And she could end up doing what no female athlete has ever done at Bentworth.
First off, there is the WPIAL championship meet Thursday. It will be a busy day for Cananaugh as she is the No. 1 seed in three events and No. 3 in another. She is No. 1 in the 100 hurdles, triple jump and long jump, while she’s No. 3 in the 100 dash.
Cavanaugh’s long jump distance of 18 feet, 8 inches is the 14th-best in WPIAL history while her hurdles time of 14.51 is 23rd-best. If Cavanaugh wins a WPIAL title, she will be the first WPIAL champ at Bentworth since 2009.
Cavanaugh finished second in the 100 hurdles at last year’s PIAA Class AA championship to Sewickley Academy’s Summer Thorpe. Since Thorpe has graduated, Cavanaugh could be considered the favorite to win the title this year. If she does, she would become the first female in the history of Bentworth to win a PIAA title.
Big Macs Hire Coaches
In the WPIAL wrestling world, there was a notable coaching hire Thursday night. Canon-McMillan, a tradition-rich program, hired Jeff Havelka as the new coach. He takes over a team that won four WPIAL team titles in a row from 2010-13.
Havelka was an assistant at Waynesburg University the past three seasons. He once was the head coach at Chartiers-Houston for a year.
Canon-McMillan also hired Shawn Urbano as its new girls basketball coach. Urbano did a tremendous job at Cornell the past 10 seasons, turning around a struggling program. He guided Cornell to the WPIAL Class A title game this year.
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