Sports

MSA Sports Top Ten – WPIAL Girls Basketball – 12/14/2015
December 14, 2015
Here are the latest MSA Sports Top Ten WPIAL Girls Basketball rankings for the 2015-2016 season...including a NEW #1 team in Class AAAA. Check out the weekly girls rankings every Monday, along with girls hoops talk during The WPIAL Roundball Report every Wednesday night at 6:00pm and girls basketball broadcasts throughout the regular season with exclusive coverage of every girls WPIAL playoff game in February sponsored by Carlow University all here on the MSA Sports Network. WPIAL CLASS AAAA Girls Basketball Top Ten: 1.     NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS  (4-0) (Last Week #2) 2.     PENN HILLS INDIANS  (3-1) (Last Week #1)

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WPIAL Alum Q&A – Luke Stork
Even though the warm December temperatures have not made the past few weeks feel like winter, on the high school calendar, it is certainly winter sports time. Consequently, the WPIAL Alum Q&A will shift its focus to former high school standouts who are now playing well at the collegiate level in basketball or hockey. This week, former Upper Saint Clair hockey player and current member of the Ohio State hockey team Luke Stork is profiled. Like several of the elite hockey players in the area, Stork did not spend his entire time during his high-school years playing with the school’s varsity team. Rather, Stork played just one year with the Panthers, in 2010-11.

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PIHL Notebook – 12/14/2015
Welcome to another edition of “PIHL Notebook,” your weekly companion to “The PIHL Power Play” on the MSA Sports Network. First up, “Melting the Ice” provides your weekly thermometer of streaking teams around the league. Meanwhile, this week’s “Scoreboard Watch” includes a Class AA team notching its first victory while a Division 2 powerhouse suffers its first loss. Last but not least, we round things out with a preview of upcoming MSA broadcasts, including a battle of two red-hot teams in Class AA. So, let’s light the lamp on this edition of “PIHL Notebook.” MELTING THE ICE (Records listed indicate current unbeaten streak): Class AAA: Peters Township (6-0-4); Canon-McMillan (4-0-2); Erie Cathedral Prep (2-0-1)

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 12/13/2015
December 13, 2015
The end of another season and the end of the four classification era in Pennsylvania also marks the final cruise on the 2015 Road to Hershey this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have the final two scholastic football games of the year on Saturday as the two remaining 2015 WPIAL champions in Aliquippa in AA and Pittsburgh Central Catholic in AAAA play for a PIAA state football championship on Saturday.

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Scholastic Notebook – 12/11/2015
December 11, 2015
There is a Wildcat strike in WPIAL boys basketball this season. Big things are expected of the Latrobe Wildcats and coach Brad Wetzel’s crew has been impressive in the first week of the season. Latrobe is 3-0, including Tuesday’s victory against Pine-Richland, which was the No. 2-ranked Class AAAA team in the MSA Sports preseason Class AAAA rankings. This could be one of Latrobe’s best teams in a while, at least the best since the 2009 team that went 19-4. Latrobe is the odds-on favorite to win Section 1. If Latrobe wins the section, it would be only their fourth crown in the past 30 years. The others were in 1987, 1990 and 2009.

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WPIAL Big Game Hunting – State Semifinals
December 10, 2015
The quarterfinals sliced the number of District-7 teams in half and, shocked the entire community of high school football in the state of Pennsylvania. Erie Cathedral Prep over Thomas Jefferson was tough, but we had a feeling something like that could happen, District – 7 has typically, especially lately had difficulty in that quarters round. The jaw-dropper was Berlin Brothersvalley knocking off our Clairton Bears. No one saw that coming, I don’t think even Berlin Brothersvalley fans thought that would happen. Five turnovers are tough to overcome, even for the best. So we move to the PIAA semis with AAAA and AA games involving WPIAL teams.

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MSA Sports Frozen Fab Five Hockey Rankings – 12/09/2015
December 9, 2015
Here are the latest MSA Sports Sports Frozen Fab Five rankings of PIHL high school hockey teams in each of the four classifications for the 2015-2016 high school hockey season. Don't miss the latest rankings every Wednesday during the regular season, plus PIHL Notebook every Monday on our website and the weekly PIHL Power Play Show every Wednesday night at 8:00pm with audio and video game broadcasts as well here on the home of the best PIHL high school hockey coverage, the MSA Sports Network. PIHL CLASS AAA: 1)   PETERS TOWNSHIP INDIANS  (6-0-4) (Last Week #1) 2)   CANON-McMILLAN BIG MACS  (5-2-3) (Last week #2)  

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PIAA Plays of the Week – PIAA Quarterfinals
December 8, 2015
When the WPIAL champions were crowned at Heinz Field last month, the four victorious teams were qualified for the PIAA postseason. In the quarterfinals round on the road to Hershey, two of the four WPIAL representatives claimed victory, as Quad-A Champion Central Catholic prevailed, as did Class AA Aliquippa. Surprisingly, previously undefeated Clairton tasted defeat at the hands of Berlin-BrothersValley in Class A, while Thomas Jefferson came up just short against Class AAA powerhouse Erie Cathedral Prep. This week's edition of the top plays focuses on the critical moments that helped the Vikings and Quips continue their season. 1. Aliquippa 27, Karns City 17

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WPIAL Alum Q&A – Luigi Lista-Brinza
December 7, 2015
Nine days ago, the Central Catholic Vikings captured their fifth WPIAL football championship, defeating Penn-Trafford at Heinz Field in the Class Quad-A Championship. Prior to that, the last time Central Catholic captured gold was 2013, when running back Luigi Lista-Brinza paced the offense. That season, Lista-Brinza totaled more than 1,600 yards on the ground. As a result, he was named to the first team All-Conference, and second-team All-State.

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PIHL Notebook – 12/07/2015
Welcome to another edition of “PIHL Notebook,” your weekly companion to “The PIHL Power Play” on the MSA Sports Network. First up, “Melting the Ice” provides your weekly thermometer of streaking teams around the league. Meanwhile, this week’s “Scoreboard Watch” includes an overtime thriller in Class AAA and winless team erasing that goose egg in Division 2. Last but not least, we round things out with a preview of upcoming MSA broadcasts, including a battle between two red-hot teams in Class A. So, let’s light the lamp on this edition of “PIHL Notebook.” MELTING THE ICE (Records listed indicate current unbeaten streak): Class AAA: Peters Township (6-0-3); Canon-McMillan (3-0-2); Shaler (3-0-0)

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 12/06/2015
December 6, 2015
We continue our ride on the Road to Hershey on a bust first full week of December this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We follow the two remaining 2015 WPIAL champions in Aliquippa on Friday and Pittsburgh Central Catholic on Saturday as they play in the PIAA Semifinals state football playoffs. We also continue our early season coverage of WPIAL and District 6 boys and girls high school basketball, WPIAL and District 6 scholastic wrestling, audio and video coverage of PIHL high school hockey and men's and women's college basketball featuring Carlow University, plus the PIHL Power Play Show and the first edition of Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle ALL here at MSAsports.net Monday, December 7th:

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District College Football Recap for Saturday, December 5th
The dream of a Division II National Championship is over. The #10 Slippery Rock football team fell at #5 Shepherd on Saturday 28-16. The Rock tied a school record with a 12-2 record and matched the 1998 team with advancement to the national quarter finals. With the loss, SRU also saw a 9 game winning streak come to an end. The Rock scored on their second possession of the game, going 13 plays. Shamar Greene(West Mifflin) scored his 16th touchdown of the season on a 2 yard run, on a 4th and goal attempt. The Rock had a chance to extend their lead, Andrew Huska’s 41 yard field goal attempt was blocked in the first quarter. Shepherd used a long drive of their own but Ryan Earls missed a 43 yard attempt and SRU maintained the lead.

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PIAA Football Quarterfinals Recaps 2015
December 5, 2015
Last year, the WPIAL sent all four of its champions to Hershey to play in the PIAA football finals. In both 2012 and 2013, three of the four District 7 teams made it to Hersheypark Stadium. This year after the Quarterfinals, only two teams are left standing as another WPIAL Triple-A champ is ousted by Erie Cathedral Prep while Clairton is stunned by a team they beat last year by 28 points. Here are recaps from all four PIAA Quarterfinals state football playoff games involving the four WPIAL champions. A special thanks to Sean Meyers, Bob Gregg, Bob Barrickman and Paul Paterra for their help on these recaps.

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Scholastic Notebook – 12/04/2015
December 4, 2015
Bill Cherpak’s coaching resume is as impressive as it gets. It took him less than 20 years to win 200 games at Thomas Jefferson High School. He has five WPIAL championships on his list of accomplishments. But this season may have very well been Cherpak’s best coaching job. This was not one of Cherpak’s best teams in terms of talent. Just about anyone will tell you that. Even Cherpak will admit it. But when they handed out the WPIAL Class AAA gold championship trophy last week at Heinz Field, it went to the black and gold of Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson beat Central Valley for the title. Who would’ve thunk that after the first two games of the season, the Jaguars would be calling themselves champions.

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2015-2016 WPIAL Boys Basketball Preview
December 3, 2015
Three elite boys basketball programs added to their trophy case this past spring, ending personal droughts at the same time. In Quad-A, Chartiers Valley won a sixth title and their first since 2010...In Double-A, Aliquippa won an eleventh crown, but first since 2007...While Monessen captured their seventh district gold ball and first since 2011. There was a new kid on the block as Indiana won a first ever WPIAL basketball crown by edging Beaver Falls at the buzzer in a Class AAA thriller. That success did not carry over to the state playoffs however as only ALiquippa made it to the PIAA Finals in Hershey but settled for silver as District 12 won all four state basketball championships.

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2015-2016 WPIAL Girls Basketball Preview
December 2, 2015
The 2015-2016 WPIAL girls basketball season tips off on Friday, December 4th with several teams on a golden run hoping to continue their hardwood success this upcoming season. Vincentian Academy has won four straight Class A district titles while Blackhawk in AAA and Seton-LaSalle in AA are looking for a third straight WPIAL title. Class AAAA gold has run through Section 1 the last two years with Penn-Trafford winning it all in 2014 and Norwin taking the crown last year. Plus Blackhawk and Vincentian Academy are defending state champions coming into this years campaign. Here are the Pre-Season Top 10 in each classification along with the players to watch in each class.

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WPIAL Big Game Hunting – State Quarterfinals
For the final time ever it will be just four WPIAL teams carrying the District-7 flag into the PIAA tournament. A tough job for WPIAL coaches this quarter-final round of the state playoffs,(the WPIAL Championship games are the first round of the state playoffs), the tough job of re-igniting your team emotionally after playing for a gold football at Heinz Field. It is no secret that the District-7 title games are a much bigger deal than a lot of other districts around the state. Not just in football but truly in every sport, avoiding a WPIAL championship hangover is a tall task moving into the PIAA tournament. Lucky for us we have four of the best coaches in the business going to the quarter-finals.

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District College Football Preview for Saturday, December 5th
And then there was one. Slippery Rock remains as the only district college football team playing in the month of December. The Rock is looking to advance to the national semifinal next weekend. Here is the game preview, a recap will be posted on Saturday evening: NCAA Division II Football Playoffs/Super Region 1 Championship Slippery Rock (12-1) at Shepherd (11-0)   Noon The second seed in the region travels to the top seed to determine who advances to the national semifinals next week. The PSAC champions are ranked 10th in the last national poll while the Rams are ranked 5th.

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MSA Sports Frozen Fab Five Hockey Rankings – 12/02/2015
Here are the latest MSA Sports Sports Frozen Fab Five rankings of PIHL high school hockey teams in each of the four classifications for the 2015-2016 high school hockey season. Don't miss the latest rankings every Wednesday during the regular season, plus PIHL Notebook every Monday on our website and the weekly PIHL Power Play Show every Wednesday night at 8:00pm with audio and video game broadcasts as well here on the home of the best PIHL high school hockey coverage, the MSA Sports Network. PIHL CLASS AAA: 1)   PETERS TOWNSHIP INDIANS  (5-0-3) (Last Week #1) 2)   CANON-McMILLAN BIG MACS  (4-2-2) (Last week #2)  

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WPIAL Plays of the Week – WPIAL Championships 2015
December 1, 2015
Nearly three months of terrific football action culminated on Saturday with the WPIAL Championship games at Heinz Field. Four teams were crowned champions of their respective classifications, including one repeat winner, the Clairton Bears. Additionally, the Aliquippa Quips, Thomas Jefferson Jaguars and Central Catholic Vikings all hoisted the trophies, securing their spot in the PIAA postseason. Congratulations to all of the winners, as well as every team and all the players and coaches for a wonderful 2015 WPIAL campaign. To put the cherry on top of the great season, here are the very best plays from Championship Saturday. 1. Aliquippa 44, South Fayette 38

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