Westmoreland notebook: Monessen boys basketball turn focus to PIAA playoffs

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Saturday, March 2, 2019 | 7:28 PM


Monessen did not make the PIAA Class A boys basketball playoffs last season and had a coaching change in the offseason when longtime coach Joe Salvino left to take the Belle Vernon job.

Dan Bosnic came aboard and didn’t need to do much homework on the program. He knew about the team’s rich history — seven WPIAL titles, two PIAA championships — and simply wanted to keep the arrow pointing upward.

“Monessen has such tough kids, and they want to compete and win,” Bosnic said. “Our kids fight and battle.”

That long-standing characterization, the coach hopes, will carry into the PIAA playoffs Friday. The Greyhounds (15-9), who lost to top-seeded Vincentian Academy, 61-49, in the WPIAL semifinals, are aiming for another playoff run.

“We’re going to get back in the gym and get back at it,” Bosnic said. “That first state playoff game is always a tough out. We’ll see what happens.”

Bosnic said the team expects to be a full strength for the state playoffs. Two years ago, the Greyhounds won the WPIAL title and reached the PIAA semifinals before losing to Kennedy Catholic — now one of the top teams in 6A — 73-59 at Slippery Rock.

Hockey playoffs

Latrobe and Franklin Regional will return to the ice to begin the PIHL Class AA Penguins Cup playoffs Monday night.

Latrobe (14-4) opens against Hampton (10-7) at 7:15 p.m. at Kirk Nevin Arena in Greensburg, and Franklin Regional (11-6) takes on Mars (15-4) at 9:30 p.m. at Baierl Complex in Warrendale.

Hempfield (11-7), which topped Quaker Valley, 8-5, in the play-in round, faces top-seeded Pine-Richland (18-0) at 7 p.m. Monday at the Baierl Complex.

Brose adds offers

Hempfield junior football lineman Fintan Brose added two more college football offers from the Mid-American Conference and Ivy League. Akron offered after the 6-foot-3, 280-pound tackle after he visited the campus last weekend. Princeton followed late last week.

His other offers are from Vanderbilt, Kent State, Fordham, William & Mary and Bowling Green.

Recruiting

Norwin will send a pair of volleyball players to the Division I level. Seniors Hannah Horvath and Rachel Langsdorf signed with St. Francis (Pa.).

Horvath is a setter and libero. Langsdorf played outside and middle hitter for the Knights.

• Ligonier Valley junior football lineman Michael Petrof has an offer from Yale.

• Southmoreland junior softball player Charity Henderson committed to play at Cal (Pa.). Henderson, an outfielder for the WPIAL Class 3A champion Scotties last season, had a team-best .492 batting average with 31 hits, four home runs, 25 runs and 21 RBIs.

• Franklin Regional senior soccer player Jake Shulock will continue his playing career at Westminster.

• Latrobe senior defensive back Bo Ruffner will continue his football career at Waynesburg.

• Senior linebacker Jack Poling (5-8, 170) of Franklin Regional will play for new coach Aaron Smetanka at Saint Vincent.

Spring ahead

Monday is the first official practice date for WPIAL spring sports. That includes baseball, softball, track & field, boys tennis, boys volleyball and lacrosse.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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