Westmoreland H.S. notebook: Penn-Trafford, Greensburg Salem among biggest moves in basketball realignment

Monday, June 20, 2022 | 8:36 AM

Summer is just starting, but the WPIAL has its new basketball sections in place for the next winter season.

The biggest movers in Westmoreland County are Penn-Trafford and Greensburg Salem, which are dropping from Class 6A.

Penn-Trafford will be in 5A in boys and girls hoops. The Greensburg Salem boys are down two classes, and the Golden Lions girls one, to 4A.

Boys Section 3-5A will be Franklin Regional, Gateway, Latrobe, Kiski Area, McKeesport and Penn-Trafford.

The Greensburg Salem boys voluntarily played in 6A to reduce travel. Their move now promotes it.

The Golden Lions are in Section 1-4A with Freeport, Hampton, Highlands, Knoch and Indiana.

Girls Section 3-5A has Penn-Trafford, Latrobe, Albert Gallatin, Connellsville, McKeesport, Oakland Catholic and Thomas Jefferson.

Greensburg Salem and Derry are now Section 1-4A neighbors, alongside Freeport, Highlands, Knoch, North Catholic and Valley.

Boys and girls programs from two other local schools are moving from 4A to 3A in Mt. Pleasant and Yough, and the Derry boys are going down a class to 3A along with the Ligonier Valley girls.

The Monessen boys and Jeannette girls will go from 2A to Class A.

The Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic boys are in a new-look Section 3-2A that houses Clairton, Leechburg, Serra Catholic, Riverview and Springdale.

Class 6A will have two sections for both boys and girls. Boys Section 2 looks like this: Hempfield, Norwin, Baldwin, Canon-McMillan, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair.

That is quite a change for Norwin and Hempfield.

Girls Section 1 will bring Hempfield and Norwin together but also will include Butler, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland and Seneca Valley.

As in the past, the top four teams in each section will make the playoffs.

Two more for Martin

Belle Vernon rising junior football player Quinton Martin added two more Power 5 scholarship offers last week as Michigan State and Florida State reached out to him.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder played running back and defensive back last season for the WPIAL Class 4A runner-up Leopards.

His other offers include Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Louisville, Maryland, Boston College, Texas and others.

D1 offers for Tapper

Hempfield rising senior Liz Tapper received her first two NCAA Division I scholarship offers, from Duke and Penn State.

She turned heads Saturday by winning the New Balance Nationals title in the discus with a throw of 163 feet, 2 inches at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

Tapper won the PIAA Class 3A discus (153 feet) and shot put (46-4.25) championships in Shippensburg.

She holds Hempfield records in the discus and shot.

Michigan also is showing interest.

WCCA 7s approaching

The Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 Football Tournament will return July 21, at Latrobe.

Norwin is the returning champion of the passing tournament, now in its 11th year.

Penn-Trafford has five titles and three runner-up finishes.

Wildcats win

Latrobe won the second annual Tre Cunningham Memorial Boys Basketball Tournament at Jeannette, defeating Yough in the championship.

Rising senior guard Landon Butler was the MVP and received a $1,000 scholarship.

LV coach

Ligonier Valley hired Kelly Steffey as girls soccer coach. She replaces Eric Vogelsang, who was not retained.

Steffey, who is from Williamsfield, Ohio, has been a substitute teacher at Ligonier Valley for five years.

She attended Pymatuning High School and Malone College, where she was an NCAA Track and Field Championships qualifier in the high jump.

She transferred to Western Kentucky.

Repeat for Lehigh

Katie Lehigh, who has family in Murrysville, won her second straight Colorado Class 5A state golf title.

She birdied four of the final six holes to repeat. She joins her sister, Lauren, with two state titles.

Katie has committed to play at Fresno State and will play against her sister at another Mountain West Conference school. Lauren plays at New Mexico.

The Lehighs are cousins of former Franklin Regional basketball player Johnny O’Toole.


Penn-Trafford rising junior Olivia Pepple is carving a path to Division I basketball. The guard announced an offer from Farleigh Dickinson of the mid-major Northeast Conference.

The 5-foot-9 Pepple averaged 11.5 points and 4.1 rebounds last season.

Mt. Pleasant senior wrestler Noah Gnibus committed to Pitt-Johnstown. A 189-pounder, Gnibus finished second in the WPIAL and second at regionals last season.

• Buffalo is showing strong interest in Norwin rising seniors Joey Castle (kicker/punter) and Xander Smith (long snapper). Both were offered opportunities to play for the Bulls, although financial terms are on hold.

• Carnegie Mellon extended an opportunity to Penn-Trafford incoming senior Josh Huffman, a halfback and inside linebacker for the Warriors. The Tartans are a Division III program.

• Rising senior soccer player Mauriana Dorsch of Franklin Regional committed to play at Division II Tiffin. A fullback and winger for the Panthers, Dorsch also was one of the top runners on the track team this season.

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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