Westmoreland notebook: Jeannette looking for new girls basketball coach

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Saturday, March 20, 2021 | 4:23 PM


Jeannette is taking its girls basketball program in a new direction.

The district opened the coaching position held for the last three seasons by Jonathan Bass after the Jayhawks finished 0-19 this season.

The team was 0-6 in section play but opted to enter the WPIAL open playoff tournament and lost in the Class 2A preliminary round to Seton La Salle, 67-18.

“It was very tough with covid and the fact that we were so young and inexperienced,” Bass said. “I do appreciate the opportunity that Jeannette gave me. I just wish we had a summer to work with this group and participate in summer league. The first two years we were building toward something good. Then covid happened and shut the gym down for a group that needed to be in there working all offseason.

“This group was forced to play varsity when they were not ready. We missed a whole offseason.”

Jeannette allowed 59.2 points, the second most in the WPIAL, while scoring just 21.1 a game, the lowest average in its classification.

Bass, while enthusiastic and known for promoting his team and players on social media, had a record of 8-54 in his time with the program.

He was a two-year assistant under Janine Vertacnik, who left in 2018 to take the Monessen job.

Bass coached in the Jeannette Knee-High program for nine years and worked with middle school players in the winters during his time as an assistant.

Miller coaching

Former Hempfield golf standout Katie Miller was approved to be an assistant golf coach at Oakland Catholic.

Miller, who has become an accomplished amateur since giving up her pro status, won three PIAA titles before a college career at North Carolina.

Pitching in

Former Yough standout pitcher Shelby Lawrenzi has joined the Franklin Regional softball coaching staff to work with the Panthers’ pitchers. She attends Seton Hill but an injury sidelined her playing career there.

“It was a nice addition. She will really help our girls,” Panthers coach Jim Armstrong said. “I told a friend of mine we were looking to bring someone on (to help with pitchers) and they said, what about (Lawrenzi)? It worked out.”

Hempfield coach

Hempfield has begun the interviewing process to bring in a new football coach. The district hopes to have a replacement for Rich Bowen by early April.

Parker all-state

Hempfield’s Sam Parker was named to the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association all-state third team.

Parker made the team in the high jump. His top mark of 6 feet, 2 inches this season happened at Hempfield.

He said it

“People always told me I was gonna be good, but I never expected it to be like this. It’s only the beginning.” — Belle Vernon freshman Quinton Martin, who has Power-5 football scholarship offers from Pitt, West Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Recruiting

Belle Vernon football player Dakota Marion announced a commitment to Bluefield State, a Division II program in West Virginia.

Marion is a 6-foot-2, 245-pound offensive guard and defensive end.

• Greensburg Salem’s Madison Cassidy will swim at Saint Vincent. Cassidy is a four-time WPIAL medalist in the 100-yard breaststroke. She also earned a medal with the medley relay in 2019.

• Tyler Martin, a senior at Hempfield, will continue his football career at Saint Vincent.

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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