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Bethel Park upends Fox Chapel .... Other Saturday WPIAL basketball highlights

Written by Mike White on .

Report on the Fox Chapel-Bethel Park game along with highlights from other WPIAL boys and girls playoff games today.

It was like a blur in the final minute and change. Just like that, in the span of 34 seconds, the Bethel Park-Fox Chapel game changed drastically and Bethel Park went on to a 49-45 victory today in a WPIAL Class AAAA first-round playoff game at North Hills.
Fox Chapel had come back from a seven-point deficit after three quarters and taken a 44-42 lead with 2:13 remaining on a blocked shot and dunk at the other end by Brian Papich. Matt D'Amico then made one free throw with 1:53 left to give the Foxes a 45-42 advantage.
Then it came apart for Fox Chapel. With 1:07 left, Bethel Park's Levi Metheny, the quarterback and son of football coach Jeff Metheny, grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to bring the Black Hawks within 45-44. Then 27 seconds later, with D'Amico dribbling near half court, Metheny made the defensive play of Bethel Park's season, reaching in, poking the ball away and coming up with a steal.
But last shot apparently never crossed Josh Krafczysnki's mind. Bethel Park hurried, Krafczynski nailed a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left, just seven seconds after Methen's steal. It was his 14th shot of the game. Every one of the 14 was a 3-pointer and this was his sixth make.
After Krafczynski's 3-pointer, D'Amico missed a 3-pointer, Bethel Park's Joe Mascaro was fouled, and he made two free throws to seal the win.
Krafczynski finished with 20 points and Mascaro added 11. Bethel Park's defense was excellent, holding Fox Chapel (17-6) to its lowest offensive output of the season. D'Amico, Fox Chapel's all-time leading scorer, was held to 11. Guard Brian Papich didn't score in the first half, but finished with 16. Junior guard Billy Urso also is a scoring threat. But D'Amico had only 11 points, 11 below his average, and attempted only nine shots.
Papich scored 16 but was scoreless in the first half. Urso was 2 of 9 from the field and scored four. Bethel Park's defense left other players alone and the Black Hawks usually double-teamed D'Amico, Papich and Urso when they tried to drive.
Ben O'Connor"We said all week that you don't have to make 15 3-pointers to win," said Bethel Park coach Ben O'Connor (pictured). "You just have to play hard, play well and play focused. It's as simple as that. It's always pretty, especially in the playoffs.
"The way to sum up the game is they made a run to go up three and our could've broke – and they didn't. The best thing I could say about our guys is they just kept playing."
Skrinjar thought D'Amico was fouled on Metheny's steal.
"It was pretty obvious to me that he got hit and got fouled, but that wasn't the way the official saw it," Skrinjar said. "It didn't come down to that play, anyway, I don't think."
It was a tough ending for Fox Chapel and especially the terrific careers of D'Amico and Papich.
"We never feel like we're out of the game with the guys we have," Skrinjar said. "It's been what we've done year, push in the fourth quarter. It's kind of what we expected. We just didn't get it finished today.

CLASS AAAA BOYS
*** New Castle 85, Latrobe 66: For one half, Latrobe stayed close with powerful New Castle. But New Castle came on strong in the second half for an 85-66 victory.
Top-seed New Castle pushed aside a shaky first half by using a strong third quarter to defeat No. 16 Latrobe in a WPIAL Class AAAA first-round game at North Allegheny.
Malik HookerIt was New Castle's 43rd consecutive win against WPIAL competition and ninth straight WPIAL playoff win. Malik Hooker led New Castle (23-0) with 31 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Anthony Richards added 11 points and 9 assists. Latrobe (12-10) led New Castle, 20-18, after the first quarter and trailed the Red Hurricanes, 41-39, at the half.
But New Castle then pulled away by outscoring Latrobe, 27-12, in the third quarter to take a 68-51 lead. Matt Cullen scored 16 points and Sean Graytok 15 for Latrobe.
****Hampton 61, Peters Township 26: Ryan Luther scored 27 points as Hampton crushed Peters Township. The Talbots shot 46 percent from the field and outscored the Indians, 26-7, in the third quarter after leading, 26-11, at the half. Jake Brucker scored a team-high six points for the Indians.
****Franklin Regional 70, Seneca Valley 59: Matt Fisch scored 18 points and Matt Renzi added 15 to lead the No. 7 Panthers (16-6) to the win against the Raiders (12-11) at Plum. Zach Snyder scored 18 points for the Raiders, who made it to the semifinals last season.

CLASS AA BOYS
****Jeannette 61, Sto-Rox 34: Julian Batts scored 15 of his 25 points in the first half to vault the Jayhawks (13-9) past the Vikings (11-12) at North Hills. The Jayhawks shot 50 percent from the field and held the Vikings to 21 percent shooting.
****Chartiers-Houston 66, Charleroi 60: The Bucs (17-6) won a playoff game for the first time in school history by defeating the Cougars (13-8) at Chartiers Valley. Miles Williamson paced the Bucs with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
****Brownsville 42, Brentwood 40: Ryan Novotney's basket with eight seconds left gave the Falcons (14-7) their first playoff win since 2001 by edging the Spartans (12-9) at Peters Township.
****Frazier 46, South Allegheny 43: Charles Manack's 20 points pushed the Commodores (15-7) to the win against the Gladiators (14-9) at Baldwin. The Commodores trailed by four points at the half, but outscored the Gladiators, 19-10, in the third quarter.
****Apollo-Ridge 52, California 38: Duane Brown and Alex Smith scored 13 points apiece to help the Vikings (19-3) win their sixth game in a row by defeating the Trojans (10-13) at Elizabeth Forward. The Vikings outscored the Trojans, 28-6, in the third quarter.
****Shady Side Academy 74, Northgate 56: The Indians (14-9) earned their eighth win in a row with the triumph against the Flames (8-15) at Fox Chapel. Kyle Olander led the Indians with 27 points and Mike Ware had 22. Taymon Russell scored 26 for the Flames.
****Washington 68, Burrell 52: Nate Swart scored 22 points and Dupree Jenkins had 20 to propel the Little Prexies (17-6) to the victory against the Bucs (6-16) at Chartiers Valley.
****Laurel 46, West Shamokin 45: Jake Hough and Zac Horner each scored 15 points in helping the Spartans (13-10) slip past the Wolves (17-6) at North Allegheny. Scott Siddal had 16 points for the Wolves, who missed a potential winning shot at the buzzer.

CLASS AAA GIRLS
**** Ringgold 49, South Fayette 42: Marlena Schmidt scored 13 points and blocked eight shots to lead Ringgold at Chartiers Valley. Bailey Cooper added 11 points for the Rams, while Eleni Radic chipped in 10. Autumn Mozick led South Fayette (12-11) with 14 points, including three 3-point goals.
CLASS AAA
****West Mifflin 76, Freeport 48: Taylor Thomas scored 23 points and cleared 12 rebounds to lead the Titans (16-5) past the Yellowjackets (10-12) at Plum. Ciara Patterson also dished out 11 assists.
****Kittanning 54, Greensburg Salem 38: Tiffany Montgomery, Emily Klingensmith and Emily Knepshield each scored 11 points to lead the Wildcats (15-7) past the Golden Lions (9-14) at Plum. Greensburg Salem's Karly Mellinger led all scorers with 20 points.
****Moon 61, Uniontown 24: Amirah Moore scored 20 points as the Tigers (15-7) vanquished the Red Raiders (8-11) at Peters Township.
****Thomas Jefferson 50, Ambridge 36: Haley Kutscher scored 13 points while Alexis Yanief and Courtney Zoglmann added 12 apiece as the Jaguars (13-9) outscored the Bridgers (13-10).


CLASS A GIRLS
****Carmichaels 41, Monessen 37 (OT): Caroline Cree scored all four of her team's overtime points and 15 overall to lead the Mighty Mikes (8-14) past the Greyhounds (4-17) at Baldwin.
****North Catholic 51, Winchester Thurston 27: Paige Kizir scored 10 points to lead the No. 3 seed Trojanettes (16-7) past the No. 14 Bears (9-13) at North Hills.
****St. Joseph 61, Jefferson-Morgan 14: Mallory Heinle scored 23 points to lead the No. 4 Spartans (19-4) past the No. 13 Rockets (12-11) at Elizabeth Forward.
****Quigley 58, West Greene 17: Kaitlyn Smith scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the second quarter as the No. 5 Spartans (17-5) shut out the No. 12 Pioneers (11-11) in the second quarter at Peters Township.
****California 38, Cornell 25: Jenna Miller scored 9 points, while Kylie Huffman added 8 points and blocked seven shots to lead the No. 6 Trojans (18-3) past the No. 11 Raiders (12-11) at Elizabeth Forward. California converted 10 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter.

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Luthers have chance at 4 for 1,000 ..... WPIAL playoff predictions

Written by Mike White on .

The Bellhy family of Fort Cherry made history. They are believed to be the first family in the WPIAL with four siblings to have 1,000 points. A story in today's Post-Gazette chronicles their family of players.

But there is a chance another family could have four siblings with 1,000 by the end of the season. 

The Luthers of Hampton have three with 1,000 already. Jodie was the first. Then came Bill and Ryan, now a senior, has over 1,000. According to Hampton coach Joe Lafko, Collin Luther, Ryan's twin brother, has 920 points. He needs 80 to reach 1,000.

Now Collin isn't a big scorer, but Hampton should go deep into the WPIAL playoffs and also could make a run in the PIAA playoffs. Luther at least has a chance at 1,000.

Collin LutherIf Collin Luther (pictured against New Castle's Anthony Richards) makes it, that would make four 1,000-point scorers in his immediate family. But if you count his uncles and cousin, his extended family would have seven 1,000-point scorers.

Uncles Brian and Rob Shanahan also scored 1,000 in their careers at Hampton and cousin, Mike Jr., scored more than 1,000 at Norwin. Brian played at Duquesne University and Rob at Pitt-Johnstown. Mike Jr. played football at Pitt. Jerry and Mike Sr., older brothers of Rob and Brian, also were standout players at Hampton. Both were close to 1,000 points also.

Quite a family. Go to a Hampton game, and there is a good chance you will run into at least one of the Shanahans. If as many teams made the playoffs back then as nowadays, who knows. You could have had maybe nine Luthers-Shanahans with 1,000. The Luthers father, Bill, is married to a Shanahan sister, Kate.

But before we get to the playoff predictions, I thought I'd share with you a photo from this morning's paper that went with a story on the Obama boys team trying to go undefeated and win a City League championship. The last team to do that was the great 1976 Fifth Avenue team.

How about this old picture of three stars from that Fifth Ave. team? From left, Warner Macklin, Sam Clancy and David "Puffy" Kennedy. Macklin ended up at Point Park, Clancy did wonderful things for Pitt basketball before playing in the NFL and Kennedy played at Cincinnati. His son is former Schenley star D.J. Kennedy who played at St. John's. Check out the classic:

Fifth Avenue

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS 

Here are picks for games tonight and Saturday. Remember to check @PGVarsityXtra Twitter account for score updates and notes. Send scores and updates to that account and post with #wpial

BOYS

CLASS AAAA

Saturday

Fox Chapel vs. Bethel Park - Matchups of 8-9 seeds are always good ones and this one is one of the best in any classification. Fox Chapel would prefer a faster-paced game. The key to the game is how well Fox Chapel defends. Winner: Fox Chapel.

Gateway vs. Upper St. Clair - Gateway comes from a much stronger section. Section 4 (Upper St. Clair's section) was down this year. But if you go by trends, things would favor Upper St. Clair, despite coming from a weaker section. The Panthers had won six in a row before losing to Chartiers Valley Monday. Gateway has lost five of seven. Upper St. Clair's outside shooting and rebounding will be key. Winner: Upper St. Clair.

Others - Franklin Regional over Seneca Valley; New Castle over Latrobe; Hampton over Peters Township.

CLASS AAA

Friday - Ambridge over Keystone Oaks; Mount Pleasant over Kittanning; South Fayette over Greensburg Salem; West Mifflin over Laurel Highlands; West Allegheny over South Park.

CLASS AA

Saturday - Jeannette over Sto-Rox; Washington over Burrell; Brownsville over Brentwood; Northgate over Shady Side Academy; West Shamokin over Laurel; Apollo-Ridge over California; Charleroi over Chartiers-Houston; South Allegheny over Frazier.

CLASS A

Friday - Lincoln Park over Mapletown; Western Beaver over Carmichaels; Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic over Winchester Thurston; OLSH over St. Joseph; Vincentian over Trinity Christian; Sewickley Academy over Clairton; Monessen over Eden Christian; Wilkinsburg over Union.

CITY LEAGUE

Friday - Allderdice over Brashear.

GIRLS

CLASS AAAA

Friday - North Allegheny over Latrobe; Shaler over Baldwin; Mt. Lebanon over Gateway; Penn-Trafford over Plum.

CLASS AAA

Saturday - Kittanning over Greensburg Salem; Ringgold over South Fayette; West Mifflin over Freeport; Moon over Uniontown; Ambridge over Thomas Jefferson.

CLASS AA

Saturday - Riverview over West Shamokin; OLSH over Apollo-Ridge; Fort Cherry over Avonworth; Washington over Shady Side Academy; Beaver over Jeannette; Charleroi over Shenango; Brentwood over Freedom; Ford City over Laurel; Mohawk over South Side Beaver.

CLASS A

Saturday - Monessen over Carmichaels; St. Joseph over Jefferson-Morgan; Quigley over West Greene; Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic over Winchester Thurston; California over Cornell.

CITY LEAGUE

Monday - Allderdice over Carrick; Westinghouse over Obama.

 

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A look at some WPIAL basketball playoff records

Written by Mike White on .

The WPIAL crowned its first boys basketball champion in 1909. And with another tournament set to begin tomorrow night, we thought it would be a good time to take a stroll down memory lane and look at some WPIAL playoff records - both boys and girls.

BOYS PLAYOFF RECORDS

T.J. HeatheringtonMOST POINTS INDIVIDUAL - 50, by Serra's T.J. Heatherington vs. Neshannock, 2009 -  Heatherington made 18 field goals and 13 of 18 from the free-throw line. He broke the old WPIAL playoff record of 48, set by Marc Marotta of Central catholic in 1980. Serra won the game, 88-74, and Heatherington (pictured against Greensburg Central Catholic) scored 36 points in the second half. Only one of Heatherington's made shots in the game was a 3-pointer.

A few nights later in the championship game, Heatherington, who played at Point Park, and Sewickley Academy's Tom Droney, who is a senior at Davidson, had a shootout at Duquesne's Palumbo Center in the title game. Droney scored 40 and Heatherington 37 in a Sewickley win.

MOST 3-POINT FIELD GOALS INDIVIDUAL - 10 by Neshannock's Kevin Covert vs. Clairton in 1995 - Covert scored over 2,000 points in his career and was terrific from the outside in this game 19 years ago. Neshannock won and Covert, who later played at Robert Morris, finished with 46 points. He made 15 of 29 shots from the field and 10 of 17 from 3-point range. That same year, Quigley's Greg Cercone made nine in a playoff game.

MOST FREE THROWS MADE INDIVIDUAL - 23 by Bishop Boyle's Shawn McCallister vs. Monessen in 1983 - This game was played at Steel Valley - and how's this for coincidental? McCallister is now the coach of Steel Valley. McCallister made 23 of 27 free throws in an 87-77 win and also scored 37 points.

By the way, this nugget: The kid tied for fifth in made free throws in a playoff game and tied for the most in Class AAA is Sean Miller, who made 17 in a 1987 game against Greensburg Central Catholic. Miller was 17 of 21. He also made 11 of 17 shots from the field in that game and finished with 39 points. But only 17 of 21 from the line? What gives? Only 81 percent?

MOST POINTS SCORED ONE TEAM - 109 by Brentwood vs. Elderton in 1989 - Dave Mislan had 29 points, eight assists and four steals in a 109-66 victory. William Griffin added 14.

MOST 3-POINTERS TEAM - 15 by Chartiers Valley vs. North Allegheny in 2005 - Chartiers Valley had only eight two-pointers in the game, but 15 treys in a 73-52 win. Steve Profeta had six 3-pointers, Matt Hindt and Mike Sherry three each.

HIGHEST SCORE BOTH TEAMS 188 by Union and St. Joseph in 1979 - Union won the game, 99-89.

GIRLS PLAYOFF RECORDS

Brooke StewartMOST POINTS INDIVIDUAL - 56 by Brooke Stewart of East Allegheny vs. Geibel in 1997 - It was a monumental performance by Stewart (pictured) who eventually played at Pitt. But East Allegheny lost the game, 82-79, in double overtime. Stewart went on to score more than 2,000 points in her career. Stewart's eight 3-pointers in that game also ties for the second-most in WPIAL playoff history.

MOST POINTS INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - 51 by Tanisha Wright of West Mifflin vs. Blackhawk in 2000 - It was a performance for the ages as Wright was unstoppable in a game West Mifflin eventually lost in triple overtime, 81-78. Wright, who also had 16 rebounds in the game, made 17 of 28 two-point shots, 4 of 10 3-pointers and 5 of 6 free throws.

The photo is one of Wright and other Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 selections in 2000. The others are, from left, Oakland Catholic's Katie Bulger, Steel Valley's Jess Strom, Mt. Lebanon's Ashlee Kelly and North Allegheny's Jessica Brungo. All five had stellar careers after high school and Wright and Brungo played in the WNBA. Bulger played at WVU while Strom, Wright and Brungo played at Penn State. Kelly, whose brother, Don, plays with the MLB's Detroit Tigers, was the Northeast Conference Player of the Year when she played at Quinnipiac.

MOST 3-POINTERS INDIVIDUAL - (tie) 9 by Carlynton's Kristen Bonner in 2000 and by Bethel Park's Katie Kendall in 2006 - Bonner first set the record against Ford City and Kendall tied it in 2006 against Woodland Hills.

MOST FREE THROWS INDIVIDUAL - 18 by Serra's Kim Litzinger vs. Geibel in 1993 

MOST POINTS TEAM - 100 by North Catholic vs. Ellwood City in 1988 - The Trojanettes destroyed Ellwood City, 100-49, in a first-round game. Molly Larkin scored 19 points for NC. Coincidentally, Larkin is now Molly Rottmann and is now North Catholic's coach.

MOST POINTS TWO TEAMS - 162 - Greensburg Central Catholic over Hampton, 87-75, in 1987 

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It's time for WPIAL basketball bracketology

Written by Mike White on .

The WPIAL basketball steering committee is meeting today to determine seedings and playoff pairings. Matchups will be announced tomorrow night at a meeting in Green Tree.

But let's have a little bracketology class today.

CLASS AAAA

I think three teams from Section 3 deserve the top three seeds. Based on what they did this year, and also what happened last year. A year ago, four teams from Section 3 made the semifinals. That's the first time four teams from once section made the semifinals. Last year shouldn't have much to do with this year, but last year proved the strength of Section 3 and it is strong again this year

North Allegheny and Hampton tied for second in the section. It's hard to differentiate between the two because they split two meetings. So let's put them 2-3. (Pictured is North Allegheny senior guard David Haus).

What makes the seedings for this class a little difficult is what to do with the three teams from Section 2 - Franklin Regional, Fox Chapel and Gateway. They should all be seeded somewhere 7 through 12, but it's a little hard because you have to keep them away from playing each other in the first round.

So let's go with this: 1. New Castle vs. 16. Latrobe; 2. Hampton vs. 15. Peters Township; 3. North Allegheny vs. 14. Norwin; 4. Hempfield vs. 13. Mt. Lebanon; 5. Plum vs. 12. Seneca Valley; 6. Upper St. Clair vs. 11 Gateway; 7. Franklin Regional vs. 10. Kiski Area; 8. Bethel Park vs. 9. Fox Chapel.

I thought of moving things around a little to have USC play Kiski Area, but you would also have to make some other changes. That is a possibility. But should Kiski Area, a second-place team from Section 1, drop all the way to a No. 11 seed, even though Section 1 hasn't done well in the playoffs lately?

CLASS AAA

What "Valley" team should get the No. 1 seed - Central Valley or Chartiers Valley? Chartiers Valley has one loss (to Ambridge) and Central Valley two (Obama and Hampton). Chartiers Valley lost to Ambridge and Central Valley beat Ambridge twice. But Chartiers Valley didn't have standout guard Matty McConnell (pictured) against Ambridge.

So who should it be? Well, the coin is in the air and ...

Chartiers Valley is No. 1.

There are 21 teams in this bracket, so there will have to be some preliminary-round games. So I will just give you my top 12 seeds because the preliminary-round games could go so many different ways.

1. Chartiers Valley. 2. Central Valley. 3. Uniontown. 4. Thomas Jefferson. 5. Elizabeth Forward. 6. Indiana. 7. Mars. 8. Knoch. 9. Montour. 10. Steel Valley. 11. Blackhawk. 12. Ambridge.

Does Uniontown deserve the No. 3 seed over Thomas Jefferson? Tough question. Uniontown has only one loss, but troubles in early-round games the past few years make you wonder just how good this Uniontown team is. We'll give them the benefit of the doubt one more year. It's also tough to decide where to put Indiana, Mars and Knoch, who all tied for the Section 1 championship. We decided the best thing is to put them right next to each other in 6 through 8.

CLASS AAMike Mastroianni

Two questions with this class are about Quaker Valley and Beaver Falls. Quaker Valley had only two losses - both to Avonworth - so where should the Quakers be seeded? They have a terrific record, but can't be ahead of Avonworth. (Pictured is Quaker Valley coach Mike Mastroianni). By the way, a shoutout to Avonworth, which won a section title for the first time in 40 years.

And where should two-time defending champ Beaver Falls go? Should an injury affect a team's seeding? Beaver Falls is without standout point guard Elijah Cottrill because of a knee injury. There is no way the Tigers are the same team without him.

Like Class AAA, I am only seeding the top 12. There are 24 teams in these playoffs and those preliminary-round games could go a lot of different ways.

Here goes ...

1. Seton-LaSalle. 2. Greensburg Central Catholic. 3. Aliquippa. 4. Avonworth. 5. Summit Academy. 6. Quaker Valley. 7. Beaver Falls. 8. Washington. 9. Neshannock. 10. Brownsville. 11. Apollo-Ridge. 12. South Allegheny.

CLASS A

The top is easy to do in this class. The bottom is a little hard to do because there are four teams with records below .500 and trying to differentiate between them is difficult. Also, where should Section 4 champion Wilkinsburg go? Should the Tigers get a top five seed because of a section championship or go below Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic and Sewickley Academy, who tied for second in Section 2? North Catholic played a very good non-section schedule.

Here goes ...

1. Lincoln Park vs. 16. St. Joseph. 2. Vincentian vs. 15. Mapletown. 3. Monessen vs. 14. Trinity Christian. 4. OLSH vs. 13. Eden Christian. 5. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic vs. 12. Winchester Thurston. 6. Sewickley Academy vs. 11. Clairton. 7. Wilkinsburg vs. 10. Union. 8. Western Beaver vs. 9. Carmichaels.

 

 

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Beaver Falls basketball going for another section title

Written by Mike White on .

The winner of tonight's boys basketball game between Beaver Falls and Aliquippa wins the WPIAL Class AA Section 2 title. For Beaver Falls, a win keeps alive an impressive streak.

Beaver Falls has won six section titles in a row under coach Doug Biega. It is the longest active streak in the WPIAL and a win against Aliquippa would give the Tigers seven in a row and put them closer to the top six section title streaks all time in the WPIAL.

Here are the longest section championship streaks.

1. Blackhawk 14 (1990-2003)

2. Ford City 12 (1928-39)

2. (tie) Wampum 12 (1950-1961)

4. Uniontown 11 (1956-66)

4. (tie) Aliquippa 11 (1997-2007)

6. Washington 10 (1950-59)

It is a little coincidental that Beaver Falls is playing Aliquippa. Aliquippa had won 11 section titles in a row from 1997 through 2007 until Beaver Falls stopped the streak in 2008.

Tonight's game figures to be close. First-year Aliquippa coach Nick Lackovich has done a good job in bringing Aliquippa basketball back to prominence in Beaver County. The Quips are 15-5 after finishing below .500 the past three years.

What's also interesting is that Lackovich spent the past few years as an assistant at Beaver Falls under Biega. The picture below is from last year of Biega coaching Beaver Falls, with Lackovich on the bench nearby.

This might be the year to get Beaver Falls. The Tigers lost a few starters from last years state championship team and standout point guard Elijah Cottrill is done for the season with a knee injury. He is supposed to have surgery today.

But Beaver Falls might be very good again in the future. Biega is playing a few talented, good-sized freshmen, including Donovan Jeter, younger brother of former Beaver Falls star Sheldon Jeter. But this is Beaver Falls' final year in Class AA. The Tigers are moving up to AAA next year. The school's enrollment still is Class AA, but the Tigers have chosen to play up. They will likely play in the same section as Central Valley, Blackhawk and probably New Castle, which is moving down from Class AAAA to AAA.

Jimmy WheelerWheeler still undecided

All but one of the seniors on the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 all-star football team signed with a college Wednesday, the first day high school seniors could sign a binding letter of intent with a school. The only one who didn't was West Mifflin running back Jimmy Wheeler (pictured).

Wheeler said last night he is still deciding between California University of Pa. and Slippery Rock.

Wheeler led the WPIAL in rushing this season.

Just one, please

The most bizarre recruiting story this year had to be a high school player from Florida signing three letters of intent Wednesday with three different colleges.

That's right. D.J. Law of Haines City, Fla., signed with Mississippi Wednesday morning and then Utah in the afternoon. Both of those schools had him on their recruiting lists. But it didn't end there. Law also signed with East Missippi Junior College.

Crazy and idiotic? For sure. Apparently, Law's mother signed his letter of intent with Ole Miss and his father the one with Utah. But the ordeal seems to be over. On Thursday, Mississippi released him from his letter of intent and Law can go to Utah. He signed with East Mississippi just in case he didn't qualify academically.

So Law will be a Ute - apparently.

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