iPreps

#iPreps, #TribHS

March 28, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

Another battle for LukeStrong

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Talking Points

Canon-McMillan’s Luke Blanock ‘doesn’t want to be the kid with cancer,” but the senior pitcher-outfielder has a recurrence of the Ewing’s sarcoma that prevented him from playing basketball and baseball as a junior.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for Blanock, who stood #LukeStrong as the Canon-McMillan community rallied around him. Blanock celebrated the one-year anniversary of his diagnosis in December.

TribHS page

Perennial boys volleyball powers to face challenges, by Ed Phillipps.

ON THE COURT

Kunst

Kittaning’s Noah Kunst

Kittanning senior Kunst shoots lights out at Cager Classic skill event, by Bill Beckner Jr.

ON THE DIAMOND

Leechburg softball dominates Riverview

South Allegheny softball poised for successful season, by Dave Mackall.

Connellsville Daily Courier roundup: Frazier softball rallies past GCC

More than Belle Vernon’s uniforms will be green, by Jeff Oliver.

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March 27, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

Issues of class

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TribHS page

Gorman: Multiplying a hoops issue

City League AD’s plan could lower ‘classification inflation,’ by Chris Harlan.

ON THE COURT

Highlands' Kaison Branch

Highlands’ Kaison Branch

Cager Classic notebook: Highlands, Mars players bury hatchet for weekend, by Bill Beckner Jr.

ON THE DIAMOND

California's Chris Swartz

California’s Chris Swartz

Previewing the 2015 WPIAL baseball season, by Paul Schofield.

Connellsville baseball wins Western PA opener after Southern trip, by Jason Black.

Pitching depth has Serra Catholic baseball optimistic, by Dave Mackall.

Hempfield softball motivated after missing playoffs, by Alex Oltmanns.

Greensburg Central Catholic hopes to bounce back in Class A, by Kevin Ritchart.

Geibel's Karly Judy

Geibel’s Karly Judy

Geibel softball excited for return after four-year hiatus, by Jason Black.

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March 26, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

A slippery slope

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Hugh Freeze

You might know Hugh Freeze as the head football coach at Ole Miss.

He became famous because of the movie, The Blind Side, as he was the football coach at Briarcrest Christian School, where Michael Oher played high school football.

Blind Side

But I first knew Freeze as a girls basketball coach whose undefeated team won a Tennessee Division II state championship. Check out this New York Times story: Hugh Freeze, Coach at Ole Miss, Follows Unlikely Blueprint

Hugh Freeze and Briarcrest Christian girls basketball

The significance of that connection? Freeze’s BCS girls basketball team competed in a division for independent schools (any school that offered financial aid to students). As impressive as BCS’s undefeated season was, his team heard whispers that it hadn’t played against the best competition in the state.

With the public-private debate raging on in Pennsylvania, I decided to call former Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association executive director Ronnie Carter, who also spent four years on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations and one year as its president. Carter presided over the split of the public and private schools, much to his regret.

“The first thing is, this is not a Pennsylvania-Tennessee thing,” Carter said. “Just about every state goes through it. There was a time right prior to this where the public-private thing was starting to rear its head – no matter what state, the bottom line is all about winning – and some group wins too much, they say, ‘We’ve got to do something about it.’”

That conversation prompted this column on the subject: Separation a slippery slope for public, private schools

The PIAA membership responded after watching Philly take over the PIAA basketball finals: As Chris Harlan reports, the PIAA basketball committee wants to revive Western final.

TribHS page

#TribHS roundup: Yough edges Trinity in nine innings

ON THE DIAMOND

Seton-La Salle's Lauren Zola

Seton-La Salle’s Lauren Zola

Seton-La Salle softball aiming for fifth straight section title, by Ray Fisher.

Plum's Michaela Palmieri

Plum’s Michaela Palmieri

Plum softball looks to top unprecedented 2014 season, by Ed Phillipps.

Chartiers Valley baseball hopes to triumph behind arms of unproven pitchers, by Gary Horvath.

Goals stay the same for Gateway track and field: Bring home the hardware, by Andrew John.

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March 25, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

A spirited debate

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TribHS page -- 3-24

Gorman: Public v. private debate rages on

#TribHS roundup: Moon downs defending champion West Allegheny

WPIAL softball preview

Previewing the 2015 WPIAL softball season, by Bill Hartlep.

ON THE DIAMOND

Norwin junior Nick Amendola

Norwin junior Nick Amendola

New faces look to make impact with Norwin baseball, by Nathan Smith.

Plum's Alex Kiriloff

Plum’s Alex Kiriloff

Plum baseball returns from Florida with 3-0 record, by Ed Phillipps.

Latrobe baseball forming ‘building blocks’ to succeed, by Kevin Ritchart.

Bishop Canevin baseball ready for new section, by Nathan Smith.

ON THE COURT

Ford City boys basketball coach Greg Hutcherson with his team

Greg Hutcherson with the Ford City boys basketball team

Ford City, Kittanning making final appearances at Cager Classic, by Bill Beckner Jr.

ON THE TRACK

Franklin Regional senior Elizabeth Donahoe (right)

Franklin Regional senior Elizabeth Donahoe

Key contributors return for Franklin Regional track teams, by Kevin Ritchart.

OFF THE GRID

Quaker Valley boys lacrosse ready to silence doubters, by Gary Horvath.

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March 24, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

Ready to return to Hershey

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TribHS page

#TribHS notebook: Aliquippa motivated by loss in PIAA title game, by Chris Harlan.

#TribHS highlight reel: Fox Chapel claims NA Invitational

Gorman: We will miss Omogrosso

Blackhawk girls basketball coach Steve Lodovico might miss Omogrosso the most…

Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro

Burrell’s Sydney Bordonaro

Division-I bound duo to lead East girls team in Cager Classic, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Basketball all-stars delay hanging up sneakers, by Bill Beckner Jr.

A-K Valley notebook: Burrell soccer coach excited for opportunity in WPIAL, by Bill Beckner Jr.

RECRUITING

Pitt lands Upper St. Clair offensive lineman, by Jerry DiPaola.

ON THE DIAMOND

Connellsville pitcher Emily Keslar

Connellsville softball feasts on Ringgold pitching, by Jason Black.

#TribHS roundup: Shaler downs North Hills in opener

Connellsville Daily Courier roundup: Connellsville baseball tops Mars in South Carolina

Belle Vernon freshman Bailey Parshall

Belle Vernon freshman Bailey Parshall

Belle Vernon hoping to shake trend, by Bill Hughes.

Frazier softball optimistic heading into season, by Jason Black.

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March 22, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

PIAA basketball finals: Blackhawk, Vincentian repeat as champs

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Vincentian

Blackhawk girls beat Archbishop Carroll, defend PIAA title, by Chris Harlan.

Wise’s triple-double leads Vincentian to PIAA Class A title, by Kevin Gorman.

Vincentian's Brenna Wise

Vincentian’s Brenna Wise

Gorman: Word to Wise: She loves basketball

Quips

Aliquippa’s bid for undefeated season ends with loss in PIAA Class AA title game, by Chris Harlan.

Gorman: Aliquippa not perfect, but proud

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March 21, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

PIAA basketball finals: Seton-La Salle humbled

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Seton-La Salle

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Seton-La Salle players shed tears after losing to Neumann-Goretti in the PIAA Class AA final

It was a humbling experience for the first WPIAL team to play in the PIAA basketball championships this weekend, as the Seton-La Salle girls were neutralized by Neumann-Goretti, by Chris Harlan.

The Philadelphia Catholic League champions lost to the Rebels in the PIAA Class AA final last year, but returned a talented cast that dominated Seton-La Salle in nearly every facet. The nation’s No. 1 team, according to USA Today rankings, won by the second-most lopsided score in the history of the girls basketball finals.

Surprisingly, Seton-La Salle’s seniors handled defeat better than you would imagine.

Gorman: Seton-La Salle will go down in history

Despite the ending, it was an amazing career for Seton-La Salle stars Nicolete Newman and Cassidy Walsh, whose careers as ‘just winners’ were the focus of a column last month.

PIAA basketball roundup: Constitution downs Farrell boys in Class A

Three more WPIAL teams play in today’s PIAA finals, with two rematches:

In Class A girls at noon, Vincentian (29-1) plays Old Forge (16-10) in a rematch of the 2014 final, a 58-34 victory for Vincentian.

In Class AA boys at 2 p.m., Aliquippa (29-0) plays Conwell-Egan (20-8). The Quips are attempting to become the 33rd team in PIAA history to finish undefeated.

In Class AAA girls at 6 p.m., Blackhawk (27-3) plays Archbishop Wood (26-4) in another rematch, a 51-43 victory for Blackhawk.

OFF THE GRID

Butler’s Paul wins state bowling title, Armstrong’s Shaner takes second

Football field deemed unsafe at Canon-McMillan, by Bill Hartlep.

Ringgold softball coach thrown into the fire, by Bill Hughes.

Charleroi pitcher Jen Tilghman

Charleroi pitcher Jen Tilghman

Charleroi girls softball ready for new section, by Bill Hughes.

Connellsville softball welcomes new coach, hopes to break trend, by Jason Black.

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March 20, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

High hopes in Hershey

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Boys HS hoops[1]

Undefeated Aliquippa looks to add to decorated basketball history, by Chris Harlan.

About halfway through the season, I wrote a column on Quips coach Nick Lackovich finding victory amid personal loss.

Aliquippa is one of only two PIAA boys basketball finalists not from District 12, which prompted this column: Gorman: Philly takes over PIAAs

Girls HS hoops[1]

On the girls side, defending champions Blackhawk, Seton-La Salle and Vincentian will face familiar foes in PIAA title games, by Chris Harlan.

ON THE ICE

Special teams spark Indiana to PIHL Division 2 championship, by Joe Sager.

ON THE DIAMOND

Leechburg softball coach Debbie Young

Leechburg softball coach Debbie Young

A-K Valley softball programs in transition under first-year coaches, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Greensburg Central Catholic sets sights on competing for titles in Class A, by Alex Oltmanns.

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March 19, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

Undefeated and undeterred

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TribHS page

Gorman: Undefeated wrestlers Lee, Teasdale share common goal

TribHS highlight reel: Monessen to forfeit four football victories

Penn Hills' Te'Shan Campbell

Penn Hills’ Te’Shan Campbell

Penn Hills’ Campbell joins elite group of state champion wrestlers for Indians, by Ed Phillipps.

Trib Cup page[1]

Keaton Hanna and his Mars teammates celebrate winning the PIHL Penguins Cup Class A title

Keaton Hanna and his Mars teammates celebrate winning the PIHL Penguins Cup Class A championship

Canon-Mac, Cathedral Prep, Mars face tall tasks Saturday against Flyers Cup champions, by Joe Sager.

#TribCup: Allderdice reflects on fairy tale season, by Brian Graham.

ON THE DIAMOND

South Fayette first baseman Logan Sharp

South Fayette first baseman Logan Sharp

South Fayette hoping new tech brings edge, by Gary Horvath.

Thomas Jefferson pitcher Lacie Lautner

Thomas Jefferson pitcher Lacie Lautner

Thomas Jefferson softball opens season as defending WPIAL Class AAA champion, by Ray Fisher.

Lady Highlanders looking to compete for WPIAL title, by Ray Fisher.

Greensburg Salem softball chasing fifth straight section title, by Kevin Lohman.

NET GAINS

Fox Chapel boys volleyball aims to continue playoff streak, by Marty Stewart.

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March 18, 2015
by Kevin Gorman

Four advance to PIAA finals

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Seton Blackhawk girls

Gorman: Bishop Canevin and Seton-La Salle a rivalry like none other

Seton-La Salle girls beat Bishop Canevin to reach PIAA title game, by Nathan Smith.

#TribHS roundup: Blackhawk girls return to PIAA title game

Norwin Vincentian girls

Vincentian girls headed back to PIAA finals, by Karen Price.

Norwin girls upended in PIAA West Region final, by Dave Mackall.

Aliquippa boys

Motivated by pregame speech, Aliquippa ‘rings’ up victory, by Chris Harlan.

BACK WITH BUCS

Former assistant Bellinotti named new Burrell head coach, by Bill Beckner Jr.

ON THE DIAMOND

Southmoreland's Michael Baird

Southmoreland’s Michael Baird

Southmoreland baseball prepared for jump in classification, by Jason Black.

Latrobe's Meredith Carr

Latrobe’s Meredith Carr

Latrobe softball focusing on fundamentals, by Kevin Ritchart.

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