Mike White | Saturday, February 28
Live blog from the WPIAL basketball championships at Duquesne's Palumbo Center
3:05 - This championship stuff isn't just for the girls at North Catholic.
The North Catholic boys won the WPIAL Class AA championship with a 51-44 victory against Jeannette. On Friday night, the girls won the 15th title in school history. It was the first for the boys.
"We've been jealous of the girls," said North Catholic coach Dave Long.
Long has one son and three nephews on the team. On top of that, he has a niece, Lauren Savulchak, who is the leading scorer on the girls' team.
Jesse Long had 17 points for North Catholic and Henry Pwono added 16, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Jordan Hall and Moziah Harris both scored 15 for Jeannette, but Hall was 5 of 22 from the field. He finished 2 of 13 from 3-point range. Jeannette shot only 35 percent (19 of 54) from the field and was 2 of 18 from 3-point range.
* How about Pwono's last two years? He left Central Catholic and transferred to North Catholic as a junior. He missed out on a WPIAL championship last year when Central Catholic won Class AA. But Pwono got his this year.
* Terrelle Pryor was here for the game.
* WPIAL czar Tim O'Malley is busy working on sites for the first round of the PIAA playoffs next Friday and Saturday. Talking to him, it hit me that there is a terrific first-round matchup in Class AAA boys. How about Chartiers Valley against City League champion Perry? That will be Friday, most likely at Allderdice.
2:18 - North Catholic has a 48-43 lead with 57.8 seconds left. The Trojans just turned the ball over again after Joe Long made a great steal on Jordan Hall. Timeout Jeannette. Look for Hall to shoot a 3-pointer.
2:13 - Now North Catholic has the turnover bug. The Trojans have turned it over five of their past six possessions. Jordan Hall just got a steal and fed Dane Vaughn for a layup and Jeannette has sliced the deficit to 46-43 with 2:56 left.
2:08 - Jordan Hall continues to misfire. From the second quarter on, he is 2 of 12 from the field, including 0 of 8 from 3-point range.
2:04 - Jeannette has turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions. North Catholic has taken advantage and opened up a 46-36 lead with 6:31 left in the game. Jeannette called a timeout to try and stop the momentum.
1:57 - After three quarters, North Catholic leads Jeannette, 39-36. Jeannette trailed by one, but North Catholic's Joe Long made a nice steal, drove the length of the court, missed a layup, but Joe Long followed it and scored.
1:48 - Jeannette started the second half with some energy and has jumped to a 30-29 lead.
1:40 - North Catholic leads at halftime, 27-22. Jeannette has 14 turnovers in the first half and North Catholic 12. Jeannette's Jordan Hall hit two of his first three 3-pointers, but was 0 for 4 after that. For the half, he has six points, but is 2 for 9 from the field.
1:28 - Henry Pwono has been a big factor for North Catholic. Jeannette doesn't have an answer for his size. Pwono has 10 points so far.
1:25 - North Catholic holds a 22-20 lead over Jeannette. Jeannette had trouble with turnovers in the first quarter, making eight in the first seven minutes. Jeannette fell behind by 22-14, but is making a comeback.
12:38 - Some coaching news around the WPIAL. Doug Kelly resigned as Franklin Regional's boys' coach after seven seasons. Kelly did a good job at Franklin Regional, leading the Panthers to the WPIAL playoffs a few times in his seven seasons. They were 15-8 this year, but 20-8 last season, qualifying for the PIAA playoffs for only the third time in school history.
Also, Bethel Park has opened its boys' coaching position. That means Mark Gaither is out after only two seasons. He came to Bethel Park from Ringgold, after Mike Mastroianni left to become Quaker Valley's coach.
12:26 - Sto-Rox won the Class AA championship, 51-34. Darryl Ford scored 15 points and Tynesha Lee 11. Kerry Connolly is the team's point guard, but pulled down nine rebounds to go along with nine points. Jordan Dwyer led Seton-LaSalle with 11 points and Katie Gattuso 10. Seton-LaSalle shot 3 of 25 from the field in the second half.
12:17 - Sto-Rox has done a good job bottling up Seton-LaSalle's Katie Gattuso. Sto-Rox's zone has kept her from getting many touches. Sto-Rox leads, 44-34, with 2:13 left.
12:04 - Jeannette plays North Catholic in the Class AA boys' championship at 1. Wonder if Terrelle Pryor will be here? He has been at some games lately, cheering on his old Jeannette teammates.
12:02 - Sto-Rox has opened up a 40-26 lead after three quarters.
12:00 - Sto-Rox's coach is Carrie Palermo. She might guide Sto-Rox to its first girls' title. Her husband, Bill, is her assistant. He used to be the head coach. He coaches the team as much as his wife. Bill Palermo has won numerous WPIAL softball championships.
11:53 - Seton-LaSalle trails, 32-24, and is in some trouble because Jordan Dwyer just picked up her fourth foul.
11:48 - It's halftime of the Class AA girls' championship and Sto-Rox has a 30-17 lead.
Just talked to WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley, who said the crowds for the tripleheader were excellent. The league sold more than 5,500 tickets. Throw in the freebies and the total attendance was in excess of 6,000. The Hampton student section was one of the largest in recent years.
Pitt assistant football coach Greg Gattuso is in the stands, watching daughter, Katie, play for Seton-LaSalle. Gattuso is showing some emotion, but it's only natural for a parent in this big of a game.