Print

WPIAL in guarded condition: Butler, Carmody, Cummings, Schifino, Smith off to torrid starts

Written by Mike White on .

(State boys basketball rankings below notes)

Austin Butler. Robby Carmody. Nelly Cummings. Sherron Schifino. Nick Smith. Those five came into the season with reputations as top-notch guards in the WPIAL. They have done nothing but enhance their reputations.

Those five have been absolutely killin' it the first month of the season. Not only are they scoring at a big clip, but doing plenty of other things. Three of them are future Division I college players. Smith and Schifino hope what they are doing might attract more college interest.

**** Butler is a 6-foot-5 senior guard with shooting range from the locker room. I haven't seen him yet this season, but coaches have said he is doing much much more than shooting this season. His stats show it. Butler is averaging 30.1 points a game and is shooting 53 percent from the field. He has made 18 of 45 3-pointers (40 percent), but he is scoring in a variety of ways. He is also averaging 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 steals.

Butler is a Holy Cross recruit.

**** No one in the WPIAL has been hotter than Smith lately. A 6-1 senior guard at North Hills, Smith has averaged 38 points over the past three games. He scored 34 against Central Catholic, 37 against Baldwin and a school record 44 against Hampon. Smith (pictured in a game against Butler) broke the school record of 43, set by Mickey Schramm 50 years ago. Now for the most coincidental thing: Schramm set the record also against Hampton. 

Smith is now averaging 29 points a game. He is shooting 48 percent from the field and 84 percent from the free-throw line. He also is averaging 5.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals.

Smith has a few offers from Division II colleges. A few Division I schools had expressed interest in the summer and fall. But for now, Smith is trying to simply worry about playing his senior season, and let the college chips fall where they may afterward.

**** Lincoln Park's Cummings was the most heavily-recruited senior in the WPIAL before signing with Bowling Green. Cummings (pictured in a game last week against Highlands) is averaging 30.3 points and shooting 93 percent from the free-throw line. He is shooting 42 percent from the field. He now has more than 1,700 career points. He made 29 consecutive free throws to start the season.

**** Schifino also is doing much more than shooting outside shots this season - although his 3-point percentage is startling. He is averaging 24 points a game, but get this: He is shooting 63 percent (24 of 38) from 3-point range. Penn Hills upended New Castle at New Castle in the championship of the New Castle Tournament. That is no easy feat. And Schifino was named MVP of the tournament. That says something.

Schifino is hoping his play attracts some more colleges.

**** Carmody is a junior at Mars and one of the most heavily-recruited players in the WPIAL in a decade. He has scholarship offers from Pitt, Duquesne, Penn State, Notre Dame, Purdue, Louisville and others. Kentucky and Arizona also have shown recent interest in the 6-4 guard. 

Carmody (pictured in a game against Seneca Valley) is averaging 21.9 points a game and is one of the most versatile guards in the state, evidenced by his statistics. He is averaging a double double at 12.3 rebounds a game. He is shooting 71.5 percent from the field. That's amazing for a guard. He is shooting 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Go check out these guys at a game. They're impressive. But they are not the only guards doing well. Laurel's Mason Mraz might not be as widely-known as some of the aforementioned, but he has been impressive, averaging 29 points a game. 

We will run the leading scorers in the WPIAL in Friday's paper. We are still compiling leaders. But it seems like individual scoring is up so far this season.

One of the top scorers is not a guard, but he is impressive. Southmoreland's Brandon Stone is 6-10, but can step outside and shoot, as well as handle the ball. He is averaging 28 points a game. He has a few Division I college scholarship offers, including one from Duquesne.

Undefeated showdown

There is a big game in the WPIAL Tuesday night that matches undefeated teams. Fox Chapel is 9-0 and plays at 7-0 Penn Hills. Schifino is a player to watch, and it will be interesting to see how Fox Chapel senior inside player Jake Livingston does against Penn Hills' Chavar Williamson, and how Fox Chapel guard Carson Cohen does against Penn Hills' defensive pressure.

State boys rankings

Here are the state boys basketball rankings heading into this week. The rankings are compiled by Mike Bullock and cityofbasketballlove.com

(records through games of Dec. 31/OW-others to watch/NR-not ranked)

 

CLASS 6A

 

No.  School                                            Rec    Pvs

1.     William Allen (11)                             8-0        1 

2.     Archbishop Ryan (12)                      9-0        2

3.     Reading (3)                                      7-2        3                            

4.     Plymouth-Whitemarsh (1)                7-1        4

5.     Roman Catholic (12)                        8-1        5

6.     Pine-Richland (7)                             7-0      10

7.     Emmaus (11)                                   6-1         8

8.     Penn Hills (7)                                   7-0     OW                               

9.     Abington (1)                                     7-3         6

10.   Downingtown East (1)                      9-0    OW

 

Checked in: No. 8 Penn Hills/No. 10 Downingtown East.

 

Checked out: No. 7 Carlisle/No. 9 Pocono Mountain West.

 

Others to watch: Butler (7, 6-3), Carlisle (3, 6-2), Central Dauphin East (3, 7-1), Chambersburg (3, 6-3), Cheltenham (1, 5-2), Coatesville (1, 6-3), Conestoga (1, 7-1), Council Rock South (1, 7-1), Dallastown (3, 7-1), Father Judge (12, 7-2), Fox Chapel (7, 9-0), Harrisburg (3, 5-2), Hatboro-Horsham (1, 5-3), Hazleton (2, 4-2), La Salle College (12, 6-3), Latrobe (7, 7-1), North Hills (7, 6-1), Pennsbury (1, 5-3), Perkiomen Valley (1, 6-2), Pocono Mountain West (11, 6-2), St. Joseph’s Prep (12, 6-2), State College (6, 6-2), Stroudsburg (11, 5-2), Williamsport (4, 6-3).

 

CLASS 5A

 

No.  School                                             Rec     Pvs

1.     Archbishop Wood (12)                     6-2         1

2.     Bangor (11)                                      6-0         2

3.     Abington Heights (2)                        8-1         3

4.     Archbishop Carroll (12)                    8-1         7

5.     Northeastern (3)                               9-0         5

6.     Whitehall (11)                                   8-1         6

7.     Bonner-Prendergast (12)                 8-0         8

8.     Chester (1)                                       5-2         9

9.     Meadville (10)                                  8-0       10

10.   Penncrest (1)                                   7-2     OW

 

Checked in: No. 10 Penncrest.

 

Checked out: No. 4 Upper Merion.

 

Others to watch: Academy Park (1, 3-2), Allentown Central Catholic (11, 4-4), Bishop Shanahan (1, 5-4), Blue Mountain (11, 5-1), Cathedral Prep (10, 5-2), Chartiers Valley (7, 6-1), Great Valley (1, 6-2), Hampton (7, 6-3), Highlands (7, 5-3), Hollidaysburg (6, 6-3), Holy Ghost Prep (1, 6-2), Manheim Central (3, 6-0), Mars (7, 5-2), Martin Luther King (12, 7-3), Mastery Charter North (12, 10-0), Mechanicsburg (3, 6-2), Milton Hershey (3, 3-2), Montour (7, 4-2), Palmyra (3, 9-1), Phoenixville (1, 7-2), Pottsville (11, 3-2), Simon Gratz (12, 6-4), Spring Grove (3, 5-2), Springfield-Delco (1, 5-2), Strath Haven (1, 6-2), Upper Merion (1, 6-3), West Scranton (2, 6-2).

 

CLASS 4A

 

No.  School                                                  Rec    Pvs

1.     Imhotep Charter (12)                             8-1       1

2.     Scranton Prep (2)                                  6-1        2

3.     New Castle (7)                                       6-1        3

4.     Quaker Valley (7)                                   7-1        4

5.     Bethlehem Catholic (11)                        6-2        5

6.     Universal Audenried (12)                       6-2    OW

7.     Lancaster Catholic (3)                           8-0        8

8.     Clearfield (9)                                          7-0        9

9.     Strong Vincent (10)                                5-2    OW                                       

10.   Beaver Falls (7)                                      3-3      10

 

Checked in: No. 6 Universal Audenried/No. 9 Strong Vincent.

Checked out: No. 6 Meyers/No. 7 Salisbury.

 

Others to watch: Berwick (2, 6-0), Blackhawk (7, 4-4), Central Valley (7, 5-3), Conwell-Egan (12, 4-4), Eastern York (3, 6-1), Farrell (10, 3-4), Forest Hills (6, 5-1), Franklin (10, 5-2), Lower Moreland (1, 4-2), Meyers (2, 3-3), Middletown (3, 5-0), Nanticoke (2, 5-1), Punxsutawney (9, 7-0), Salisbury (11, 5-2), Strong Vincent (10, 5-2), Universal Audenried (12, 6-2).

 

CLASS 3A

 

No.  School                                                   Rec    Pvs

1.     Neumann-Goretti (12)                            3-4        1

2.     Trinity (3)                                                8-0        2                                  

3.     Lincoln Park (7)                                      5-2        3

4.     Valley Forge (1)                                      7-3        4

5.     York Catholic (3)                                     7-1        6

6.     Del-Val Charter (12)                                6-4        7

7.     Steel Valley (7)                                        5-4        5 

8.     Lancaster Mennonite (3)                         8-1        9

9.     Mid Valley (2)                                           6-1        8

10.  Loyalsock (4)                                             7-1     10 

 

Checked in: None.

 

Checked out: None.

 

Others to watch: Bellwood-Antis (6, 5-2), Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (7, 6-3), Central Cambria (6, 6-1), Columbia (3, 8-1), Dunmore (2, 3-4), Fairview (10, 8-0), Girard (10, 6-2), Greenville (10, 8-0), Juniata (6, 8-0), MaST Community (12, 8-1), Notre Dame-Green Pond (11, 5-4), Richland (6, 3-2), Shady Side Academy (7, 6-3), Steel-High (3, 3-3), Wellsboro (4, 7-2), Westmont Hilltop (6, 5-3).

 

CLASS 2A

 

No.  School                                                  Rec    Pvs

1.     Math, Civics & Sciences (12)                 8-1        1

2.     Constitution (12)                                    7-3         2

3.     Sewickley Academy (7)                          5-1        3

4.     Greensburg C.C. (7)                               8-0        4

5.     Bishop Canevin (7)                                 6-2        5

6.     Church Farm (1)                                     5-2         6

7.     Bishop Guilfoyle (6)                                2-1         7

8.     Mahanoy Area (11)                                 6-0         8

9.     Shenandoah Valley (11)                          7-1        9                                       

10.   Ridgway (9)                                             7-1    OW

 

Checked in: No. 10 Ridgway.

 

Checked out: No. 10 Our Lady of Sacred Heart.

 

Others to watch: Bishop McCort (6, 5-0), Brockway (9, 6-2), Cambridge Springs (10, 5-2), Clarion (9, 5-2), Clarion-Limestone (9, 4-3), Coudersport (9, 5-0), Fort Cherry (7, 7-2), Keystone (9, 5-1), Laurel (7, 8-0), Marian Catholic (11, 4-1), Millersburg (3, 7-2), Moshannon Valley (6, 7-0), Motivation (12, 7-4), Neshannock (7, 6-1), North Penn-Mansfield (4, 6-3), Our Lady of Sacred Heart (7, 5-3), Penns Manor (6, 6-2), Portage (6, 6-1), Rocky Grove (10, 7-1), Williams Valley (11, 7-2).

 

CLASS 1A

 

No.  School                                                   Rec    Pvs

1.     Kennedy Catholic (10)                            5-1        1

2.     St. John Neumann (4)                            6-0        3

3.     Elk County Catholic (9)                           6-0        4

4.     Monessen (7)                                          3-4        2                                   

5.     Saltsburg (6)                                           7-0        5

6.     York Country Day (3)                              5-3        6

7.     Shanksville-Stonycreek (5)                     6-1       7 

8.     Lourdes Regional (4)                              5-2        9 

9.     Lincoln Leadership (11)                           7-1        8

10.   Southern Fulton (5)                                 7-1      10

 

Checked in: None.

 

Checked out: None.

 

Others to watch: Bishop Carroll (6, 3-4), Clairton (7, 3-3), Cornell (7, 6-2), Faith Christian (1, 5-2), Ferndale (6, 7-1), Jenkintown (1, 5-2), Millville (4, 5-0), Rochester (7, 7-1), Sankofa Freedom (12, 4-4), Shade (5, 5-2), St. Joseph (7, 6-0), Turkeyfoot Valley (5, 5-2), Union (7, 6-2).

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
Commenting policy | How to report abuse
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.