Westmoreland girls basketball notebook: Southmoreland moves forward after key player transfer
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 | 5:38 PM
The Southmoreland girls are having their best season, record-wise, in program history.
The Scotties found their way to an 11-0 record and No. 3 ranking by the Tribune-Review in WPIAL Class 4A by playing team basketball.
That mantra won’t change as the Scotties move forward after the departure of sophomore forward Bailey Kuhns, who has transferred to Greensburg Central Catholic.
The Scotties were that much more threatening with Kuhns — a 6-foot post player who can handle the ball, shoot, rebound and defend — but they must move on.
“We have eight solid girls I know I can put in the game at any time,” said Scotties coach Brian Pritts, who has 221 career wins. “I have the utmost confidence in all of them.”
Defensive-minded Southmoreland is in first place in Section 3-4A. The Scotties have not won a section title since 2007, when they went 15-1 in Section 3-AAA and finished 22-4 overall. They are limiting opponents to 29.8 points.
“We’re trying to play together as a team and do the things we have been doing well,” senior forward Sarah Pisula said. “Our defensive pressure has been a big key.”
Next for Kuhns
Kuhns’ paperwork has been filed with the WPIAL, GCC athletic director Dan Mahoney confirmed, and now the school will await word from the league on Kuhns’ eligibility.
In all likelihood, she will have to sit out 21 days from the date of her enrollment at GCC, per in-season transfer rules, and would be ineligible to compete in the playoffs.
Shady Side Academy has one of the more productive scorers in WPIAL Class 3A in junior Nyla Rozier, a 5-11 guard.
Rozier has local ties. She is the daughter of former Greensburg Central Catholic standout Robin Mull and the niece of former GCC all-state players Arlene and Monica Mull.
Rozier scored a career-high 37 points, including six 3-pointers, in a 56-54 win over Carlynton on Monday in double overtime.
Robin Mull, a guard on GCC’s 1997 PIAA championship team, played at Point Park, and Arlene was a college player at Robert Morris and Monica at Hiwassee (Tenn.).
Norwin saw a boost in the WPIAL Class 6A rankings after its 63-55 win over previous No. 2 North Allegheny.
The Knights (8-2) leapfrogged the Tigers (7-1) into the No. 2 spot. Norwin is alone in first place in Section 1, a game better than North Allegheny.
Two other local teams remain in the top five in their classes, and a new Westmoreland team found its way into the rankings. Unbeaten Southmoreland is No. 3 in Class 4A, and Greensburg Central Catholic is No. 4 in Class A.
Derry vaulted into the No. 5 spot in Class 3A after wins against Bishop Canevin, Shady Side Academy and Steel Valley.
Look at the job Gene Brisbane has done at Derry since he returned to high school basketball. The Trojans’ fourth coach in as many years has the team at 7-4, in first place in their section and ranked No. 5 in Class 3A.
In Derry’s last three seasons, the team had records of 9-11, 2-19 and 7-15.
Games to watch
Thursday’s schedule features some notable local matchups, starting in Class 5A where Latrobe (5-5, 2-3 Section 3) hosts No. 2 Woodland Hills (9-2, 5-0).
Other top games include Baldwin (7-3, 3-2) at Hempfield (5-4, 2-3) in Section 2-6A; Indiana (8-4, 3-2) at Greensburg Salem (4-7, 2-3) in Section 1-4A; No. 3 Southmoreland (11-0, 5-0) at Belle Vernon (7-3, 3-2) in Section 3-4A; and Deer Lakes (7-3, 4-1) at No. 5 Derry (7-4, 4-1) in Section 3-3A.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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