Westmoreland County high school notebook: 9 county basketball teams in PIAA field

Saturday, March 2, 2024 | 11:36 AM

The PIAA basketball playoff field is set.

State first-round games will begin March 8-9.

Boys qualifiers from Westmoreland County are Franklin Regional in Class 5A, Derry and Burrell in 3A, Greensburg Central Catholic and Jeannette in 2A and Monessen in Class A.

For the girls, it’s Norwin in 6A, Greensburg Central Catholic in 2A and Monessen in A.

The PIAA is expected to release its pre-slotted brackets Sunday. Higher-seeded teams will play at home in the first round.

Dolinski added

With some openings on the roster, Hempfield senior football lineman Joe Dolinski was added to the East team for the East-West large-school all-star game.

He will join Spartans teammate Josh Reilly, a kicker and punter, who also was selected.

The event is set for May 19 at Cumberland Valley. There is a small-school game at noon.

Other county players picked to play in the games are Norwin safety Luke Denny, Southmoreland running back Da’sjon Craggette and Belle Vernon defensive end Braden Laux and tight end Aiden Johnson.

Roger Beitel of Ligonier Valley will be the coach of the East small-school team, with Jeannette’s Tom Paulone one of his assistants.

Ron Prady of Latrobe is an assistant for the East large-school team.

GCC openings

Greensburg Central Catholic is looking for a softball coach after the resignation of Mike Gaffney. GCC also is looking to name a new girls golf coach after Bob Statler stepped down. The girls have won nine consecutive WPIAL championships.

Spring training

Monday marks the first official practice day for spring sports: baseball, softball, boys tennis, boys volleyball and lacrosse.


Latrobe junior football player John Wetzel, who plays quarterback and safety for the Wildcats, picked up two more Division I scholarship offers, from Delaware and Kent State.

Belle Vernon punter Willie Schwerha received a Division I offer to kick at Delaware State. In 13 games last season for the two-time WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A champion Leopards, Schwerha averaged 36.8 yards per punt with a long of 62. He averaged 48.6 yards on kickoffs.

• Owen Sinclair, a senior football standout at Franklin Regional, will attend The Kiski School in Saltsburg for a post-grad year as he pursues a college playing career. A 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker, Sinclair had 80 tackles this season, including 91/2 for loss, and three sacks.

• Adalyn O’Rea of Southmoreland will play volleyball at Westmoreland County Community College.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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