Sports

WPIAL Plays of the Week – Week Fifteen
December 13, 2016
After heat acclimation, training camp, scrimmages, Week Zero and 15 weeks of district and state play, the 2016 football season has finally concluded in Pennsylvania. In the inaugural year of six classifications, two WPIAL representatives claimed gold in Hershey. After a lopsided opening week loss, Beaver Falls appeared to be a longshot to achieve its lofty goals, but the Tigers persevered from that setback, and never lost again. In contrast, Steel Valley never faced adversity this year, as the Ironmen turned in one of the most dominant seasons in state history, winning every game by mercy rule. Here are the top plays that helped both of those teams secure PIAA Championships. 1-2. Steel Valley 49, Southern Columbia 7

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PIHL Notebook – 12/13/2016
With the calendar turned to December and snow falling, it truly feels like hockey season in Western Pennsylvania. To that point, the PIHL Power Play Show made its 2016-17 debut last week, and now the PIHL Notebook is back, too. The initial installment of this weekly update must first acknowledge the groundwork laid by its former author, Adam Hoerner. With Adam hanging up the skates, though, the notebook will keep many of the same features, but will also include a few new wrinkles going forward. Melting the Ice (the top winning streaks in each classification)

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WPIAL Alum Q&A – Alex Dagnal
December 12, 2016
With the PIAA football championships concluding this past weekend, it's now time to officially shift the focus to the winter sports. As such, a hockey standout will be featured this week on the WPIAL Alum Q&A. More often than not, Peters Township has been one of the best teams in the PIHL. Similarly, Robert Morris University has put a very competitive squad on the ice in recent years. Alex Dagnal has experienced that success first hand, as he was a member of the Indians previously, and now contributes to the Colonials.

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Scholastic Notebook – 12/12/2016
No one knew much about Najhier West before the PIAA Class 2A championship Saturday morning. But only hours after the game, West was being talked about on national television and his running ability put him right up there with some well-known athletes on a college and pro level. West is a junior running back at Steel Valley, the backup halfback to DeWayne Murray. But Murray wasn’t at full strength and didn’t play all that much in the title game against Southern Columbia at Hersheypark Stadium. It might have been a big deal because West is the sixth-leading rusher in WPIAL history. But Steel Valley simply went West.

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WPIAL Coaches Corner – Bob Palko
December 11, 2016
‘Tis the season for getting to know some of the hometown coaches here in western Pennsylvania. In this brand new feature titled “Coach’s Corner”, I will be interviewing a different coach every week and asking them questions about their personal life and about coaching. Hopefully their answers will not only shed some light on how they coach their respective teams, but also allow readers to get to know the men behind the fields/courts. First up this week is the West Allegheny Indians football Coach Bob Palko. Coach Palko led the Indians to another WPIAL title this year, his record 8th title as a head coach. He also recorded his 200th win in the state playoffs this year, another amazing milestone. Let’s take a look inside Coach Palko’s corner:

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 12/11/2016
With the high school football season now in the rear view mirror and the holidays just a few short weeks away, we turn our attention to the roundball, the mats and the ice as we go full throttle into the winter high school sports season this week on the MSA Sports Network. We have coverage of WPIAL and District 6 boys and girls high school basketball along with the debut of WPIAL and District 6 scholastic wrestling and more PIHL high school hockey and women's college basketball featuring Carlow University, plus it's the season debut of The WPIAL Roundball Report to go along with Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle and The PIHL Power Play Show ALL here at MSAsports.net Monday, December 12th:

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2016 PIAA Football Playoffs – The Road to Hershey RESULTS
Six strong WPIAL champions participated in the PIAA playoffs, four of them advanced to the finals in Hershey and two of them came home as state champions. Both Beaver Falls in 3-A and Steel Valley in 2-A won state crowns for the first time in school history while both Pittsburgh Central Catholic in 6-A and Clairton in 1-A fell short of adding to the PIAA titles count and settled for silver in a chilled Chocolate Town. Here are ALL of the final results from the first ever expanded 2016 PIAA Football Playoffs. Games marked with (MSA) are games broadcast live and archived on the MSA Sports Network. 2016 PIAA CLASS 6-A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

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St. Joe’s Prep Pounds Central Catholic for PIAA 6-A Title
For the third time in four seasons, Pittsburgh Central Catholic (14-2) made the cross-state strip to Hershey, in search of what would be a second-consecutive PIAA title. However, this trip was not as sweet as last year’s 21-18 victory over Parkland, as the Vikings fell to St. Joseph’s Prep (14-0) by a final score of 42-7 in the first ever Class 6A Championship Game. Despite the lopsided margin of victory, both teams were scoreless after 12 minutes of play. It was D’Andre Swift, the University of Georgia commit, who broke the frigid air at HersheyPark Stadium Saturday evening with a 34-yard touchdown scamper with a little under five minutes to go in the first half.

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First PIAA Crown for Beaver Falls in Win Over Middletown
December 10, 2016
Beaver Falls (13-1) forced six turnovers and held District 3 Champion Middletown (14-1) to negative rushing yards, claiming the PIAA 3A Championship, 30-13, at Hersheypark Stadium Saturday. The Tigers intercepted Blue Raiders Quarterback Chase Snavely five times and sacked him five additional times, surrendering just 118 total yards in the game. “It’s exciting, it’s history,” Tigers coach Ryan Matsook said. “The history isn’t happening to a more deserving group of kids than the kids I’ve got. “

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Steel Valley Slams Southern Columbia for Perfect 2-A State Crown
15 games. 15 wins. 15 mercy rules. Steel Valley (15-0) completed one of the most dominant seasons in WPIAL and PIAA history with a 49-7 thrashing of defending PIAA 2A Champion Southern Columbia (15-1) in the PIAA 2A Championship at Hersheypark Stadium Saturday. The win completes a season for Steel Valley in which they reached the high school football mercy rule running clock in every contest, outscoring opponents 806-121. “I think that’s a Hall of Fame Team,” Steel Valley head coach Rod Steele said. “To go 15-0 with 15 mercy rules, I don’t know if anyone has ever done that.”

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Bishop Guilfoyle Blanks Clairton for 3rd Straight PIAA 1-A Title
December 9, 2016
For the Clairton seniors like Lamont Wade and Noah Hamlin, a PIAA championship was the final piece in their incredible careers. The Bears left Hershey unfulfilled, though, as the Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders decisively prevailed, 17-0, in the Class 1A title game at Hersheypark Stadium. Bishop Guilfoyle (15-0) captured its third straight crown, and extended its win streak to 47 games, denying the Bears (14-1) a chance for redemption after the Marauders won 19-18 in the 2014 meeting. In the process, the Bears suffered their first shutout in more than 13 years.

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2016-2017 WPIAL Girls Basketball PREVIEW
The year of major change around the WPIAL has made it through one season and now it's the winter sports, specifically girls basketball, that gets a taste of the new expanded six classifications. New rivalries, fewer playoff teams in each class and more champions crowned in the end. Here is a preview of players to watch and teams to beat with our MSA Sports Preseason Top Ten teams in each class. WPIAL CLASS 6-A: Players to Watch: Lauren Gilbert - Baldwin Justina Mascaro - Bethel Park Cheyenne Trest - Canon-McMillan Gabby Badway - Fox Chapel Michelle Burns - Hempfield Kate Sramac - Mount Lebanon McKenzie Bushee - Mount Lebanon Desiree Oliver - Penn Hills

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2016-2017 WPIAL Boys Basketball PREVIEW
The year of major change around the WPIAL has made it through one season and now it's the winter sports, specifically boys basketball, that gets a taste of the new expanded six classifications. New rivalries, fewer playoff teams in each class and more champions crowned in the end. Here is a preview of players to watch and teams to beat with our MSA Sports Preseason Top Ten teams in each class. WPIAL CLASS 6-A: Players to Watch: Tyler Frederick - Butler Austin Butler - Latrobe Jake Biss - Latrobe Nick Smith - North Hills Sherron Schifino - Penn Hills Andrew Petcash - Pine-Richland Phil Jurkovec - Pine-Richland

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2015-2016 WPIAL Girls Basketball REVIEW
December 8, 2016
Before we look ahead to the upcoming WPIAL girls basketball season, let's look back at the 2015-2016 campaign where Vincentian Academy earned their one for the thumb with a fifth straight district title while Norwin in AAAA were able to repeat as WPIAL champs. Meanwhile, South Fayette in AAA and Bishop Canevin in AA won titles a year after losing in the finals the previous season. none of those four WPIAL champs were able to add state gold to their title pot, but Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic was back on top in the PIAA for the Trojans first state crown in over 20 years. Here is a look back at the 2015-2016 WPIAL Girls Basketball regular season standings, WPIAL postseason results and PIAA state playoff finals from a year ago.

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2015-2016 WPIAL Boys Basketball REVIEW
WPIAL Class AA champion Aliquippa was not only the lone district team to repeat as district champions, but they were also the only WPIAL team to bring home state gold in the PIAA playoffs after both Allderdice from the City League and Mars in AAA made it to Hershey, but settled for silver. The Quips joined Pine-Richland in Class AAAA, Beaver Falls in Class AAA and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in Class A as well deserved WPIAL basketball champs from the 2015-2016 campaign. Here is a look back at the season with the WPIAL Boys Basketball regular season standings, WPIAL postseason results and PIAA state playoff final scores from a year ago. Top FOUR teams in ALL sections qualify for the WPIAL playoffs:

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Big Game Hunting for State Finals
December 7, 2016
And then there were four. Four WPIAL teams still alive as we head to the final weekend of the 2016 high school football season in the state of Pennsylvania. That final week takes place here in 2016 in week 15, as opposed to week 16 in years past. Doesn’t feel any different to me, the weather is still going to be frigid, and despite the number of teams in Hershey, I am willing to bet attendance won’t be very different with games being played on school or work days and school or work nights. The teams that are in Hershey are very familiar as well. So one year in, the staff at Big Game Hunting, after a secret ballot, has officially declared its hatred for six classifications.

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MSA Sports Frozen Fab Five PIHL Rankings – 12/07/2016
Here are the inaugural MSA Sports Sports Frozen Fab Five rankings of PIHL high school hockey teams in each of the four classifications for the 2016-2017 high school hockey season. Don't miss the latest rankings every Wednesday during the regular season, plus PIHL Notebook every Tuesday on our website and the weekly Chatham University PIHL Power Play Show every Wednesday night at 8:00pm. We also have audio and video game broadcasts and center stage interviews as well here on the home of the best PIHL high school hockey coverage, the MSA Sports Network. PIHL CLASS 3-A: 1)   NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS  (7-1-1) (Last Week *)

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WPIAL Plays of the Week – Week Fourteen
December 6, 2016
The WPIAL has almost always enjoyed strong showings in the state football playoffs, as the district boasts the most PIAA football titles ever. With the expanded classifications, five WPIAL teams had an opportunity to advance to Hershey. While West Allegheny's terrific season came to an end, the other four representatives all advanced. Thus, this week's installment highlights the plays that helped send each team to "Chocolate World." 1. Beaver Falls 14, Central Martinsburg 7

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WPIAL Alum Q&A – Quad Law
December 5, 2016
While the football season is still ongoing for four WPIAL teams, the majority of high school and college teams have concluded their seasons. For many seniors at both levels, it's the final time they will play in a competitive game. Former Ringgold star Quad Law recently concluded his college career at Gannon University, but he made quite an impact in his many years on the gridiron.

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Scholastic Notebook – 12/05/2016
Clairton’s Lamont Wade and Steel Valley’s DeWayne Murray have run their way into the WPIAL record book. They are two of only seven runners in WPIAL history to rush for 6,000 yards in a career. While the yards are impressive, maybe the thing that is most impressive about the two is how many yards they gain every time they touch the ball. The yards-per-carry average of both Wade and Murray is among the best in WPIAL history. Wade is now the third-leading rusher in WPIAL history with 7,005 yards while Murray is sixth with 6,418 yards. But what’s incredible is that both are averaging 11 yards a carry for their career. Wade has carried 604 times for an 11.6-yard average, while Murray has carried 576 times for an average of 11.1.

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1 1,816 1,817 1,818 1,819 1,820 2,027