Westmoreland County high school notebook: Hempfield set to host annual tip-off tournament

Sunday, November 26, 2023 | 3:33 PM

High school basketball season starts Friday.

Hempfield will be buzzing with local openers at the Spartan Field House on Friday and Saturday.

Six boys teams will play in the 19th Hempfield tip-off tournament.

On Friday, the matchups are Franklin Regional vs. Connellsville at 4:45 p.m., Penn-Trafford vs. Greensburg Central Catholic at 6:15, and Greensburg Salem vs. Hempfield at 7:45.

On Saturday, the round-robin event has Greensburg Central Catholic vs. Franklin Regional at noon, Connellsville vs. Greensburg Salem at 1:30 p.m., and Hempfield vs. Penn-Trafford at 3.

There will be junior varsity games Saturday at the school’s auxiliary gym.

State football playoffs

Belle Vernon (11-1) football, fresh off a WPIAL championship repeat, will play District 10 champion Hickory (11-2) in the Class 3A semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny.

Belle Vernon also is seeking back-to-back state titles.

Friday’s winner plays the winner of Wyomissing (13-1) and Northwestern Lehigh (14-0) in the championship at 1 p.m. Dec. 9 at Cumberland Valley’s Chapman Field.

All-state soccer

Three local girls were lauded as all-state performers by the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association.

Two of them are from Latrobe.

Junior midfielder Robin Reilly and junior defender Ava Yurko were selected, along with Franklin Regional senior goalkeeper Aris Lamanna.

Reilly, a West Virginia commit, finished the season with 14 goals and 13 assists, while Yurko scored six goals while playing out of the back for the Wildcats. Yurko is a Youngstown State commit.

Lamanna was one of the top keepers in the state. She posted nine shutouts and made 119 saves, giving up 13 goals in 18 games. She had 31 shutouts in 62 career games.

All-section runners

Coaches in WPIAL Section 5-2A decided to form an all-section team this season to recognize the top runners, who automatically made the list if they qualified for the PIAA meet.

Others were selected by a coach vote.

The boys’ first team included: Dylan Holliday, Gianni Pesi and Logan Metzger of Belle Vernon; Nick Szekely and Lukas Czegan of Greensburg Central Catholic; Alex Brown of Steel Valley; Harrison Bommer of Calvary Chapel Christian School; Braden Donovan of Serra Catholic; and Carter Kent and Niamh McClaflin of California.

The girls’ first team was as follows: Tessa Rodriguez, Bella Tatar, Nina Francia and Heidi Beitler of Belle Vernon; Lexi Ohler of Southmoreland; Cate Clark and Emily Ruperto of Serra Catholic; Ada Bommer of Calvary Chapel Christian School; and Nolan Althoff and Antonia Stickle of Greensburg Central Catholic.


Latrobe baseball player Jake Cramer will continue his playing career at Pitt-Johnstown.

A senior, Cramer played outfield last season for the Wildcats, who made a surprise run to the WPIAL Class 4A championship game. He delivered an RBI single in a 10-7 win over No. 1 seed Montour in the semifinals.

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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