Scholastic Notebook – 03/06/2015
Friday, March 6, 2015 | 12:44 PM
Chassidy Omogrosso is Blackhawk’s Energizer bunny.
The senior guard on the Blackhawk girls basketball team seemingly never stops on the court. Her motor is stuck on overdrive. While Comcast has bundle deals for cable television, Blackhawk has a bundle full of energy in Omogrosso.
Omogrosso’s “run” through the recent WPIAL tournament was one to behold.
She was close to unstoppable in the Class AAA playoffs, leading the Cougars to a second consecutive WPIAL title last Saturday at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center. No one has records for what is the greatest playoff run – scoring wise – for WPIAL girls basketball. But Omogrosso has to be somewhere near the top.
A senior guard and a Duquesne University recruit, Omogrosso played in four playoff games and scored 126 points, an average of 31.5. She scored 32, 35, 33 and 26 points.
To put Omogrosso’s playoff point total in perspective, maybe one should consider the top scorers in WPIAL boys playoff history. On the boys side, only six players in the history of the WPIAL have scored 126 points or more in a tournament. They are Penn Hills’ Drew Schifino (2000), Norwin’s John Naponic (1963), Yough’s Ben McCauley (2005), Chartiers Valley’s T.J. McConnell (2010), Sto-Rox’s Monty Latimer (1995) and Serra’s T.J. Heatherington (2009).
On top of having a terrific playoff run this year, Omogrosso heads into the PIAA playoffs as the eighth-leading scorer in WPIAL history with 2,562 career points.
Vincentian’s Wise One
While Omogrosso had an impressive playoff run this year, Vincentian’s Brenna Wise has had an unforgettable championship run over the past four years.
You will have a hard time finding any player – boy or girl – who had such success in championship games. Vincentian defeated Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic to win a fourth consecutive WPIAL Class A title last Saturday.
Wise was a one-girl wrecking crew in the title game with 35 points and 15 rebounds. Such performances in championship games have become commonplace for the senior guard-forward, who is a Pitt recruit.
When Wise was a freshman, she was a standout player. But when Vincentian won a WPIAL title in 2012, Wise had a severely sprained ankle and didn’t score in double figures. But in the past three seasons, she has averaged 26 points and 16 rebounds in the title game. What player in WPIAL history can claim those stats in three title games?
As a junior, Wise had 25 points and 13 rebounds in the title game against Serra Catholic. As a sophomore, she had 18 points and 20 rebounds against Serra Catholic.
Colts Who Score
The 78 points scored by Chartiers Valley in the Class AAAA final against North Allegheny were the second-most ever in a AAAA title game. Butler scored 79 in 1991.
Chartiers Valley’s Matty McConnell scored his 2,000th point in the title game when he made a half-court shot at the end of the third quarter. He joins his brother, T.J., in the 2,000-point club. T.J. was a 2010 Chartiers Valley graduate and the McConnells are the only two brothers in WPIAL history to score 2,000 points.
The only sisters in WPIAL history to score 2,000 points are the Bulger sisters at Oakland Catholic – Meg and Kate. What’s interesting is there is a McConnell connection to the brothers and sisters.
Matty and T.J. were both coached by their father, Tim. Meanwhile, both Bulgers were coached by Suzie McConnell-Serio, who is Tim’s sister.
From Regional to States
The PIAA individual wrestling championships started yesterday and last through Saturday in Hershey. A “stellar six” went to the tournament from Franklin Regional.
The six Franklin Regional wrestlers who qualified for the tournament are Devin Brown (113 pounds), Spencer Lee (120), Dom Giannangeli (138), Michael Kemerer (145), Josh Maruca (152) and Josh Shields (160).
The question is how many state titles will come with Franklin Regional. Not one? Not two? Not three? Not four?
Well, consider this: five of the six wrestlers are either a defending champion or finished no lower than third last year. Brown won a state title at Saegertown High School in 2013 before transferring to Franklin Regional and winning another championship last year. Lee is a sophomore who is a defending state champion and has never lost a high school match.
Kemerer has finished second three years in a row. Shields also was second last year and Maruca third.
Franklin Regional can lay claim to being one of the best teams from the WPIAL in years and they are trying to win their sixth championship in two years. Last year, they won the WPIAL team tournament, the PIAA team tournament and the PIAA team championship at the individual tournament.
So far this year, the Panthers have won the WPIAL and PIAA team tournaments.
Loughran to Fox Chapel
There is a rather noteworthy change on the WPIAL football front.
In early February, Tom Loughran resigned as South Park’s football coach. It was notable because Loughran coached the Eagles for 32 seasons and won two WPIAL and two PIAA titles.
But Loughran will still be a head coach this upcoming season – but on the other side of the city.
Loughran has agreed to become the coach at Fox Chapel. The Fox Chapel school board is expected to approve his hiring at a meeting March 9.
Loughran takes over for Eric Ravotti, who resigned after four seasons. Loughran’s record at South Park was 185-143-4. Taking the Fox Chapel job should is not totally surprising when one considers the circumstances. When he resigned at South Park, Loughran said he still wanted to coach again. Fox Chapel makes sense, because Loughran and his wife, Dink, are building a new house in Oakmont and will move from Pleasant Hills. Oakmont is a short drive down Route 28 from Fox Chapel.
Other Coaching News
In other WPIAL football coaching news, one of Loughran’s former South Park assistants will be a head coach next season. Mike Collodi is the new coach at Elizabeth Forward. He was an assistant under Loughran the past seven seasons.
Mark Washington was Moon’s coach the past four seasons, but his job was opened after the 2014 season. He will be Hopewell’s coach next season. Washington takes over for Dave Vestal, who left to become Seneca Valley’s coach.
Thursday night, Jon Miller was named the new coach at Trinity, taking over for Ryan Coyle. Miller was Moon’s head coach in 2009-10 and had a 3-15 record. He was an assistant last season at Bethel Park, but he also has been an assistant at Canon-McMillan, Upper St. Clair and North Hills.
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