Scholastic Notebook – 02/09/2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013 | 12:49 PM





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With section play complete in WPIAL boys basketball, there are a lot of old faces at the top this year, but most certainly some new faces, too.

First, for the old faces:

* Uniontown’s victory against Laurel Highlands Friday night enabled Uniontown to tie Laurel Highlands for the WPIAL Class AAA Section 3 championship. That gives Uniontown its 46th section title, the most in WPIAL history. Washington is second with 43 titles.

* Beaver Falls won its fifth section title in a row.

* Monessen extended its WPIAL record string of consecutive playoff appearances to 32. Blackhawk has the next-longest current streak with 30 appearances in a row. Chartiers Valley is in for the 20th consecutive season.

Now for the new faces:

* Mars won a section title outright for the first time in school history. The only other time Mars won a section championship was 1987, but the Planets tied for that title.

* Beaver’s victory against Blackhawk enabled Beaver to tie Central Valley for the section title. This is Beaver’s first section championship since 1978.

* Deer Lakes won a section championship for the first time since 1992.

* East Allegheny made the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 1996.

Fall of the Raiders

The Cornell Raiders were one win away from winning a WPIAL title last year. This year, the Raiders couldn’t even win a section game.

Cornell’s fall from glory was quick and dramatic. The Raiders won 19 games a year ago and lost in the WPIAL Class A championship to Lincoln Park. But this year, Cornell was 3-19 and 0-10 in section play.

Just Perfect

New Castle is the only undefeated team in WPIAL boys basketball while Blackhawk and Vincentian Academy are the only undefeated teams in girls basketball.

On the other side, the Southmoreland and West Greene boys teams failed to win a game. West Greene has lost 28 in a row and this was the fourth time in eight years the Pioneers did not win a game.

There are five girls teams that didn’t win a game – Mapletown, Western Beaver, Wilkinsburg, Leechburg and Laurel Highlands.

Champs, But No Playoffs

Althought the Imani Christian boys won the WPIAL Class A Section 4 championship, the Saints won’t be in the WPIAL playoffs.

Imani Christian started playing a WPIAL schedule this school year, but the Saints are on a two-year probationary period and not eligible to participate in the playoffs.

Thorpe by a Nose

Shaler’s Geno Thorpe edged out St. Joseph’s John Arcuri for the WPIAL scoring title by a the slimmest of margins. Thorpe finished with a 25.38 average while Arcuri averaged 25.27.

But Thorpe is the only player among the WPIAL’s top 10 scorers who will not be in the playoffs.

Coaching Moves

Pete Logan has resigned as boys basketball coach at Ringgold High School. On Logan’s resume are two WPIAL championships he won at Brownsville and also Clairton.

Imani Christian hired Jason Bell as its new football coach. Bell most recently was the head coach at Schenley High School, which closed a few years ago. Bell won a City League championship at Schenley in 2009.

Who is Mr. Football? sponsors a football award called Mr. Pennsylvania Football and the winner, errr, winners will be announced Saturday night at a banquet in Hershey, where Penn State coach Bill O’Brien will be the main speaker.

Actually, two Mr. Pennsylvania Football Awards will be given – one for big schools (Class AAAA and AAA) and one for small schools (Class AA and A).

The finalists for the big school award at North Allegheny quarterback Mack leftwich, Erie Cathedral Prep quarterback Damioin Terry, North Allegheny lineman Pat Kugler, Central Valley receiver Robert Foster and Pennridge running back Michael Class. All but Class are seniors. Class is a junior.

The five finalists for the small school award are Port Allegany quarterback Matt Bodamer, Clairton running back/receiver/defensive back Tyler Boyd, Old Forge running back-defensive back Brian Tomasetti, Williams Valley receiver Owen Daniel and Imhotep Charter running back David Williams. All five finalists are seniors.


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