Westmoreland high school notebook: Jeannette girls hoops nears return

Saturday, January 15, 2022 | 8:01 AM

The Jeannette girls basketball team is hoping to return to the court soon after a week-long quarantine.

The Jayhawks had to postpone three games and five practices after a few girls came down with the flu and another tested positive for covid-19.

“We are being very cautious,” Jeannette athletic director Adrian Batts said.

Batts said the plan is for the team to return to practice Monday.

“I think once we get past this week we’ll be fine. Coach (Bill) Flow is great with the girls. He’s going to get this turned around. I truly believe in him as a coach.”

Jeannette (0-9) is trying to snap a 31-game losing steak that dates back three seasons. The team has not played since Jan. 6.

Moracco closes in

Derry senior basketball player Tiana Moracco needs three points to reach 1,000 points for her career and is 50 away from tying the school record of 1,047 points set by Lindsay Dixon from 1999-2002.

Derry has invited alumni and the community to attend Tuesday’s home game against Mt. Pleasant to watch Moracco chase the career milestone and continue to pursue the record.

Moracco, a guard who has scored more than half of Derry’s points, had a school-record 39 in a recent game against Deer Lakes.

Close to the vest

The numbers are in for Penn-Trafford senior football player Jack Jollie’s personal effort to raise funds for the Penn Township Police Department.

Jollie raised an impressive $33,281 to help the department buy bulletproof vests, which cost more than $1,000 apiece and are often replaced every five years.

Jollie, a tight end who caught the tying touchdown pass in the Warriors’ 17-14 overtime win over Imhotep Charter in the PIAA Class 5A championship, made the fundraiser a senior project.

“I take a lot of pride in our Penn-Trafford police officers,” Jollie said. “They protect us. They do everything for us. They keep us safe.”

Humbert set for Big 33

Belle Vernon football coach Matt Humbert will be on the Team Pennsylvania staff for the Big 33 Classic set for May 30 at Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg.

Humbert will be the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the all-star game against Team Maryland.

Balance is what Humbert said to expect from the offense — at least initially.

“The goal is to be multiple so that you have a little bit of everything going into those practices,” he said. “A lot of it is going to be predicated on what type of kids we have and to focus more on what they will do best. You want to be universal in a lot of things to minimize install time and make sure the kids can pick up the basic stuff quick, so you can maximize your reps.”

Humbert said he will try to incorporate some of Belle Vernon’s playbook but also will pull from another WPIAL assistant on staff in T.J. Plack of Peters Township and Pennsylvania head coach John Franco of Tyrone.

Belle Vernon quarterback Devin Whitlock is expected to get a serious look for the Big 33. Rosters will be announced at a later date.

Reilly selected

Latrobe freshman soccer player Robin Reilly, who plays cup for the Riverhounds Academy, was selected to attend the U.S. Youth Soccer ODP National Training Camp set for Jan. 27-30 in Tampa, Fla.


Jeannette soccer siblings Jordan and Jorel Taylor played for the winning team at the PA West Futsal State Cup Championship as members of Team Barbarian Futsal Club U16.

Now, the brothers will compete in the national tournament next month in New Jersey.

Yough openings

Yough athletic director Scott Morrison has been busy lately. That is because he has three head coach openings for fall sports.

Vacancies exist in girls soccer, boys soccer and girls volleyball.


Norwin senior football player Dom Barca received a preferred walk-on offer from Seton Hill. Barca played running back and returned kicks for the Knights.

He also is one of the school’s better hockey players.

• Penn-Trafford senior lineman Declan Ochendowski, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound offensive tackle and defensive end, picked up a Division II offer from Mercyhurst.

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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