Westmoreland high school boys basketball notebook: Greensburg Salem to recognize former coach Sapotichne

Thursday, December 16, 2021 | 9:22 PM

Greensburg Salem will honor one of its most successful coaches Dec. 29 with “Coach Paul Night,” a tribute to former boys basketball coach Paul Sapotichne.

The event will fall in line with the Golden Lions’ game against Riverview, the other school where Sapotichne coached up until his retirement last summer.

He recently spoke to the current Greensburg Salem team at a practice.

Sapotichne coached Greensburg Salem for 29 seasons and won 399 games. The 2009 Golden Lions reached the PIAA finals, and he was named the state’s coach of the year.

He coached Riverview for six seasons.

Greensburg Salem is looking for alumni players to attend the event to celebrate Sapotichne’s career. Those interested can email athletic director Frank Sundry (frank.sundry@gslions.net).

WCCA showcase weekend

Hempfield and Jeannette will serve as host sites for the third annual Westmoreland County Coaches Association Boys Basketball Showcase on Saturday.

There will be eight games, four at each site.

The schedule at the Hempfield Spartan Field House has Ligonier Valley vs. Greensburg Salem at noon, Mt. Pleasant vs. Monessen at 1:45 p.m., Hempfield vs. Belle Vernon at 3:30 and Kiski Area vs. Southmoreland at 5:15.

At Jeannette, it will be Norwin vs. Greensburg Central Catholic at noon, Burrell vs. Valley at 1:45, Jeannette vs. Latrobe at 3:30 and Derry vs. Yough at 5:15.

Marinchak hits 1,000

Ligonier Valley senior guard Matthew Marinchak became the 25th boys basketball player in school history — Laurel Valley and Ligonier Valley included — to top 1,000 career points.

He reached the milestone last Saturday early in the fourth quarter of a 78-72 double-overtime victory over Valley at the Plum tournament.

He had 36 points in the win.

The last Ligonier Valley player to eclipse 1,000 points was his brother, Michael Marinchak, who plays baseball at Seton Hill.

The older brother finished with more than 1,500 points.

Thomas on the mend

Greensburg Salem senior Ben Thomas has not played yet this season as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn ACL. The 6-foot-3 guard was one of the team’s top scorers last season.

He is expected to make his return in early January when the Golden Lions open section play.

Tyree coaching again

Monessen graduate Tim Tyree is back on the sidelines as an assistant coach with Dave DeGregorio at North Allegheny.

Tyree, who won two WPIAL Class A championships as the coach at Vincentian in 2018 and ’19, also coached at Chatham before returning to the WPIAL.

Section time

Section play is here already.

On Friday night, Kiski Area at Franklin Regional and Latrobe at Woodland Hills tip off Section 3-5A, Belle Vernon visits Mt. Pleasant and Yough goes to Uniontown (3-4A) and South Allegheny visits Ligonier Valley (3-3A).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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