Some items that fell off my laptop.
*** It might be a little early to start thinking about this, but the WPIAL playoffs do start in a little more than a week. So, it's not too early to think about who should be on the Fabulous 5?
The Post-Gazette picks a Fabulous 5 after the state playoffs. It is the top five players in the WPIAL-City League (regardless of class. The player could be anywhere from a freshman to a senior). This season, I think there are a few definites, but the last one or two spots could be hard to pick. What do you think? Who should be on the Fabulous 5?
Here are some candidates (in no particular order): Lincoln Davis, Central Catholic; Nate Snodgrass, Butler; Justin Dobbs, Allderdice; J.C. Howard, North Allegheny; Sheldon Jeter, Beaver Falls; Micah Mason, Highlands; Devontae Watson, Lincoln Park; Geno Thorpe, Shaler; Wayne Capers, Chartiers Valley; Nolan Cressler, Plum; Tyler Scott, Gateway; Barnett Harris, Gateway; Andy Andrle, Pine-Richland; Shakim Alonzo, Woodland Hills; Devin Wilson, Montour; Kamic Anyang, Mt. Lebanon; Corey Eggleston, New Castle; Shawn Anderson, New Castle; Luke Hagy, Mt. Lebanon; P.J. McLaughlin, Greensburg Central Catholic.
Am I missing anyone?
Mason and the playoffs
It looks like Highlands and star senior guard Micah Mason have a decent chance to make the WPIAL playoffs after all. The Rams are tied with Kittanning for fourth place in WPIAL Class AAA with a 5-7 record. Both teams have two games remaining. Highlands plays Deer Lakes and Hampton while Kittanning plays Deer Lakes and Mars. There is a good chance both Highlands and Kittanning will end up tied for the final playoff spot, and because they split two meetings, both teams would qualify.
Mason should win the WPIAL scoring title for the second year in a row. If Highlands failed to make the playoffs, Mason would have been the first WPIAL scoring leader to miss the playoffs since Mohawk's Shawn Carr in the 2003-04 season.
For the SEALs
*** Interesting story from Gary Lambrecht of the Annapolis Capital about former North Allegheny basketball player Ted Connolly, who moved into the starting lineup at Navy in January. But that's not the interesting part. Connolly (pictured) is one of the select few Naval Academy seniors who has been selected to train to be a Navy SEAL.
Connolly, by the way, also played football at North Allegheny.
Elsewhere in basketball
*** Here are the state rankings, regardless of classification, by Jerry Shenk and the Middle Atlantic Sports News and llhoops.com. The top 10 includes two WPIAL teams - Shaler and Beaver Falls.
*** Serra girls basketball coach Bill Cleary needs two wins to reach 500 for his career. I don't know too many girls coaches around the WPIAL who won 500 games.
Big 33 and Super Bowl
Eight former Big 33 players were on the teams in this Sunday's Super Bowl. The Big 33 is a summer all-star football game that pits Pennsylvania against Ohio. The former Big 33 players on the Giants were Chris Snee, Chase Blackburn, Mario Manningham, Da'Rel Scott and Henry Hynoski.
The Big 33 players on the Patriots were Lousaka Polite, Brian Hoyer and Zoltan Mesko. Also for the Patriots, Dan Koppen (another former Big 33 player) was on injured reserve.