Print

Former Steeler Aaron Smith to coach hoops at NA ..... more football rankings

Written by Mike White on .

You can see former Steeler Aaron Smith on the bench at North Allegheny boys basketball games this year.

Smith, who played 13 years for the Steelers, will be part of the staff of new North Allegheny coach Keith Noltz, who was hired in June. Noltz replaced Dave DeGregorio, who resigned in April. DeGregorio is now an assistant at Hampton.

Smith will be a volunteer assistant coach at North Allegheny. He already has been attending workouts with North Allegheny's team. Smith was a talented basketball at Sierra High School in Colorado. (Smith is pictured after sacking Peyton Manning). He went on to play football at the University of Northern Colorado.

"He was a good basketball player and he's a good basketball coach, too," said Bob Bozzuto, North Allegheny's athletic director. "We're very fortunate to have him. He's a quality guy."

Smith also is a volunteer assistant coach with the Marshall Middle School football team. Marshall is part of the North Allegheny district.

It will be an interesting basketball season for North Allegheny. The Tigers certainly have some talent and Noltz has an impressive resume, including more than a decade as an assistant coach at Division I colleges. His head coaching experience on the high school level was most recently at Canton McKinley from 2011-14. In 2012, he guided the Bulldogs to the elite 8 of the Ohio state tournament in Division I, the largest classification in Ohio.

More state rankings

The Post-Gazette releases its state football rankings every Sunday. But if you want to see another opinion, here are the state rankings by Pennlive.com (Harrisburg Patriot News):

CLASS 6A

1. St. Joseph’s Prep (12) - 4-0 - 1
2. Pittsburgh C.C. (7) - 4-1 - 2
3. Pine-Richland (7) - 4-1 - 3
4. North Penn (1) - 5-0 - 4
5. Neshaminy (1) - 5-0 - 5
6. Central Dauphin (3) - 4-0 - 6
7. State College (6) - 4-0 - 7
8. McDowell (10) - 4-1 - 8
9. Cumberland Valley (3) - 9
10. Emmaus (11) - 5-0 - 10
Teams to watch: Central Bucks South (1) 5-0, Parkland (11) 4-1, Perkiomen Valley (1) 5-0, Spring-Ford (1) 4-1, Wilson (3) 3-1.

 

CLASS 5A

1. Upper St. Clair (7) - 4-0 - 1
2. Penn-Trafford (7) - 5-0 - 2
3. Archbishop Wood (12) - 1-2 - 3
4. Manheim Central (3) - 4-0 - 4
5. Academy Park (1) - 5-0 - 5
6. Woodland Hills (7) - 4-1 - 6
7. Upper Dublin (1) - 4-0 - 7
8. West Allegheny (7) - 4-0 - 9
9. McKeesport (7) - 3-1 - 10

10. Cedar Cliff (3) - 4-0 -- NR
Teams to watch: Armstrong (7) 4-1, Bishop Shanahan (1) 5-0, Great Valley (1) 4-1, Grove City (10) 4-0, Whitehall (11) 3-2.

CLASS 4A

1. Imhotep Charter (12) - 4-0 - 1
2. Cathedral Prep (10) - 5-0 - 2
3. Thomas Jefferson (7) - 4-0 - 3
4. South Fayette (7) - 5-0 - 4
5. Belle Vernon (7) - 4-0 - 5
6. Berks Catholic (3) - 4-0 - 6
7. Greater Johnstown (6) - 5-0 - 7
8. Bethlehem Catholic (11) - 4-1 - 8
9. North Pocono (2) - 5-0 - NR
10. New Castle (7) - 4-1 - NR
Teams to watch: Cardinal O’Hara (12) 5-0, Clearfield (9) 4-1, Interboro (1) 4-1, West Mifflin (7) 5-0, Wyoming Area (2) 4-1.

 

CLASS 3A

1. Hickory (10) - 5-0 - 1
2. Beaver Area (7) - 4-0 - 2
3. Notre Dame-Green Pond (11) - 5-0 - 3
4. Aliquippa (7) - 4-1 - 4
5. Central Valley (7) - 4-1 - 5
6. Beaver Falls (7) 3-1 - 6
7. Montoursville (4) - 5-0 - 7
8. Karns City (9) - 4-1 - 8
9. Central Martinsburg (6) - 4-1 - 9
10. Danville (4) - 4-1 - 10
Teams to watch: Keystone Oaks (7) 3-1, Loyalsock Twp. (4) 4-1, Middletown (3) 4-0, New Hope-Solebury (1) 4-0, Scranton Prep (2) 4-1.

 

CLASS 2A

1. Steel Valley (7) - 4-0 - 1
2. Dunmore (2) - 5-0 - 2
3. Southern Columbia (4) - 5-0 - 3
4. Ligonier Valley (6) -  5-0 - 4
5. Berlin Brothersvalley (5) - 5-0 - 5
6. Schuylkill Haven (11) - 5-0 - 6
7. Wilmington (10) - 5-0 - 7
8. Washington (7) - 4-0 - 8
9. Neshannock (7) - 4-1 - 9
10. South Williamsport (4) - 4-1 - 10
Teams to watch: Kane (9) 5-0, Lakeland (2) 4-1, North Penn-Mansfield (4) 4-1, Sharpsville (10) 4-1, Wellsboro (4) 5-0.

 

CLASS 1A

1. Clairton (7 - 4-0 - 1
2. Bishop Guilfoyle (6) - 5-0 - 2
3. Jeannette (7) - 5-0 - 3
4. Rochester (7) - 4-0 - 4
5. Conemaugh Twp. (5) - 5-0 - 5
6. Northgate (7) - 4-0 - 10
7. Portage (6) - 4-1 - NR
8. Williams Valley (11) - 4-1 - NR
9. Bishop Canevin (7) - 3-1 - NR
10. Tri-Valley (11) - 4-1 - NR
Teams to watch: Cochranton (10) 5-0, Curwensville (9) 4-1, Elk County Catholic (9), 5-0, Homer-Center (6) 5-0, Old Forge (2) 3-2.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Two WPIAL girls basketball players ranked in top 100 in country

Written by Mike White on .

Two girls basketball players from the WPIAL are ranked among the top 100 players in the country. One already has made a college decision and the other is getting close to a decision.

Sam Breen, a 6-foot-2 forward at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, is ranked the No. 67 player in the country in ESPN's HoopGurlz rankings. Breen already has made a verbal commitment to the University of Dayton.

Desiree Oliver, a 5-7 guard at Penn Hills, is ranked the No. 94 player in the country by HoopGurlz. Oliver plans on making a verbal commitment to a college in the next week or so. She has narrowed her choices to Temple, George Washington and LSU.

Desiree OliverOliver has visited all three schools. She went to LSU recently for a weekend.

"It was different from the other two schools I was considering," said Oliver. "It was more of a campus and college town."

On her visit, Oliver (pictured to left) attended an LSU football game.

"The atmosphere was crazy," she said.

George Washington is recruiting Oliver as a point guard while Temple and LSU believe she could be a combo guard.

Both Breen and Oliver were Fabulous 5 selections after last season. Breen helped North Catholic win a state championship in Class A. She averaged a double-double at 26 points and 10 rebounds. She also averaged 3 assists, 3 steals and shot 55 percent from the field. Breen heads into her senior season with 1,782 career points. She has a good chance to become only the 41st girl in WPIAL history to score 2,000 career points.

Oliver, meanwhile, averaged 18.8 points a game last season in helping the Indians reach the WPIAL AAAA semifinals. She did a little of everything, averaging 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals a game. She shot 44 percent from 3-point range.

Oliver will enter her senior season with 1,177 career points.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Friday Night Rewind: Surreal statistics - and highlights - from Key, Oaks-Beaver

Written by Mike White on .

Looking back at Week 4 of the high school football season.

I slept in this morning. Was tired and worn out. That Beaver-Keystone Oaks game took a lot out of me.

In more than three decades of covering games for the Post-Gazette, I've never seen one like Beaver's 77-49 victory against Keystone Oaks Friday night. It was a record-breaking night for scoring by both teams, and a record-breaking night for quarterbacks Darius Wise of Beaver and Alex Smith of Keystone Oaks. Today's Post-Gazette story points out all of the records. 

Someone tweeted at me last night "Shootout At The KO Corral." Good one.

There were a number of unbelievable statistics, but here is another one that wasn't mentioned in the story on the game. Maybe you see something like this with a good team in a small class, like Clairton, against a horrible team. But not in a game involving two good teams.

Here it is: Beaver had 11 possessions end in a touchdown and eight of them lasted three plays or less. Wow.

Now that's incredible. Beaver had two scoring drives of three plays, three scoring drives of two plays and three of one play. Someone from that Ripley's Believe It Or Not should watch the film of this game. 

And if you wanted to see highlights of the game with some comments from players and coaches, check this out:

And if you would like to see the game in its entirety, it will be on Comcast's Xfinity On Demand later today. Chris Shovlin and Ellis Cannon were on hand broadcasting the game. Check it out. It's worth it. And big shoutout to Ken Baker, a Robert Morris staffer who was doing stats for Xfinity during the game.

To access the game later today, go to "On Demand" on Xfinity. Then go to Xfinity Services, then Get Local, then Sports and then Xfinity High School Football.

And there has never been a scoreboard in the WPIAL like the one below. Beaver and KO combined for most points in a WPIAL game since at least 1950:

Beaver-KO scoreboard

 

Returns are in

East Allegheny got thumped by Neshannock last night, but Taivion Boynes did it again for EA. He returned another interception for a TD. This one was 44 yards. That's four interception returns for touchdowns in the past two games. Now THAT sounds surreal.

More notes, thoughts

**** First time I've seen Keystone Oaks Alex Smith live. Duquesne may have a steal with him. Has size, pretty good arm and fairly athletic. Duquesne is a good level for Smith, but he could go to a higher level. I've seen worse QBs than him get scholarship offers from FBS schools.

Duquesne coach Jerry Schmitt has done great job landing good WPIAL QBs. He got Montour's Dillon Buechel and then South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh. I don't know when, but one day Brumbaugh might have a battle on his hands with Smith for the starting job at Duquesne U.

**** Darius Wise is one of the faster players I've seen. So many Keystone Oaks players had angles on him all night, and he just ran away from them. If Aliquippa players had trouble catching him, you know he's fast.

Wise would be a nice receiver/slotback pickup for some D-1 college.

**** Best game next week is Pine-Richland vs. Central Catholic. It's at Highmark Stadium on the South Side. I'll provide an update later this week on tickets because that place will have trouble holding the crowd. Two years ago, the same two teams met and the game was sold out. Highmark is a great setting for a sporting event, but it's not quite large enough for a big game like this.

**** Lamont Wade's yards-per-carry average for the season is now at 16.0. Not bad. He has rushed 36 times for 577 yards.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Friday Night Rewind: Surreal statistics - and highlights - from Keystone Oaks-Beaver

Written by Mike White on .

Looking back at Week 4 of the high school football season.

I slept in this morning. Was tired and worn out. That Beaver-Keystone Oaks game took a lot out of me.

In more than three decades of covering games for the Post-Gazette, I've never seen one like Beaver's 77-49 victory against Keystone Oaks Friday night. It was a record-breaking night for scoring by both teams, and a record-breaking night for quarterbacks Darius Wise of Beaver and Alex Smith of Keystone Oaks. Today's Post-Gazette story points out all of the records. 

Someone tweeted at me last night "Shootout At The KO Corral." Good one.

There were a number of unbelievable statistics, but here is another one that wasn't mentioned in the story on the game. Maybe you see something like this with a good team in a small class, like Clairton, against a horrible team. But not in a game involving two good teams.

Here it is: Beaver had 11 possessions end in a touchdown and eight of them lasted three plays or less. Wow.

Now that's incredible. Beaver had two scoring drives of three plays, three scoring drives of two plays and three of one play. Someone from that Ripley's Believe It Or Not should watch the film of this game. 

And if you wanted to see highlights of the game with some comments from players and coaches, check this out:

And if you would like to see the game in its entirety, it will be on Comcast's Xfinity On Demand later today. Chris Shovlin and Ellis Cannon were on hand broadcasting the game. Check it out. It's worth it. And big shoutout to Ken Baker, a Robert Morris staffer who was doing stats for Xfinity during the game.

To access the game later today, go to "On Demand" on Xfinity. Then go to Xfinity Services, then Get Local, then Sports and then Xfinity High School Football.

And there has never been a scoreboard in the WPIAL like the one below. Beaver and KO combined for most points in a WPIAL game since at least 1950:

Beaver-KO scoreboard

Returns are in

East Allegheny got thumped by Neshannock last night, but Taivion Boynes did it again for EA. He returned another interception for a TD. This one was 44 yards. That's four interception returns for touchdowns in the past two games. Now THAT sounds surreal.

More notes, thoughts

**** First time I've seen Keystone Oaks Alex Smith live. Duquesne may have a steal with him. Has size, pretty good arm and fairly athletic. Duquesne is a good level for Smith, but he could go to a higher level. I've seen worse QBs than him get scholarship offers from FBS schools.

Duquesne coach Jerry Schmitt has done great job landing good WPIAL QBs. He got Montour's Dillon Buechel and then South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh. I don't know when, but one day Brumbaugh might have a battle on his hands with Smith for the starting job at Duquesne U.

**** Darius Wise is one of the faster players I've seen. So many Keystone Oaks players had angles on him all night, and he just ran away from them. If Aliquippa players had trouble catching him, you know he's fast.

Wise would be a nice receiver/slotback pickup for some D-1 college.

**** Best game next week is Pine-Richland vs. Central Catholic. It's at Highmark Stadium on the South Side. I'll provide an update later this week on tickets because that place will have trouble holding the crowd. Two years ago, the same two teams met and the game was sold out. Highmark is a great setting for a sporting event, but it's not quite large enough for a big game like this.

**** Lamont Wade's yards-per-carry average for the season is now at 16.0. Not bad. He has rushed 36 times for 577 yards.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Friday Night Countdown: Week 4 predictions

Written by Mike White on .

Tonight's Post-Gazette Game of the Week is Beaver at Keystone Oaks. Follow @mwhiteburgh for updates. Follow @BrianBatko for updates from Central Valley-Quaker Valley. Follow @PGVarsityXtra for updates and notes on many district games. If you have a score or update, tweet @PGVarsityXtra with #wpial.

Do you realize after tonight the regular season is halfway over? This isn't exactly a good week for big games. But next week you have the showdown with Pine-Richland-Central Catholic, Thomas Jefferson-Ringgold, Mars-New Castle, Beaver at Central Valley, Rochester-Northgate.

For now,

Dozen predictions

Fresh out of the oven here are a dozen predictions to go. Last week, was a paltry 7-5, which brought season record to 32-16.

Beaver over Keystone Oaks - On way to game might have to stop at Coach's Bottleshop & Grille, which is a stone's throw away from Dormont Stadium. It's former high school hoops coach John Lee's place, so I know I can get a little hoops talk in there from the old mailman. As for this game, I think Darius Wise and Beaver deliver a non-conference W. Anxious to see Duquesne QB recruit Alex Smith of KO. But it will be KO's defense that will have the biggest test.

Central Valley over Quaker Valley - Will Amos Luptak be back at QB for Quaker Valley? He hasn't played because of an injury. Even with Luptak, it would be hard to go against Central Valley.

Armstrong over Franklin Regional - I've been a believer in Zane Dudek. Now maybe I should be a believer in Armstrong's team. Dudek won't get 300 for the third consecutive game, but Armstrong will get another win. 

Other top games - Mars over Highlands; Northgate over Sto-Rox; Norwin over Canon-McMillan; Neshannock over East Allegheny; Jeannette over Imani Christian; Seton-LaSalle over Serra; Fort Cherry over Shenango; Burrell over Apollo-Ridge; Avonworth at Bretnwood.

If you want to hear some talk about the big games, some predictions and the wildly popular "Just Askin" segment, take a look at Brian Batko and yours truly in this week's edition of This Week In High School Sports.

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.