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WPIAL wants Greensburg Central to suspend basketball coach Bisignani

Written by Mike White on .

The WPIAL will keep the Greensburg Central Catholic High School boys basketball team out of the playoffs unless the school suspends coach Greg Bisignani three games for allegedly making contact with an official after a recent game.

The WPIAL Board of Control made its ruling Monday night after a hearing with Bisignani and game officials. The WPIAL informed Greensburg Central Catholic of its ruling this morning. Bisignani allegedly made physical contact with official Mike Tucci after Greensburg Central Catholic lost to McKeesport, 66-63, on Jan. 18. Bisignani was upset with the officiating in the game.

At Monday's hearing, Tucci testified that Bisignani made contact with him. Another official backed Tucci's claims, as did North Catholic athletic director Mike Burrell and Gateway principal Bill Short, who were watching the game in the stands. A third official working the game said he saw no contact and Bisignani denied making contact.

Greensburg Central Catholic is 14-2 and one of the top teams in WPIAL Class AA. It is not the first time Bisignani has been in front of the Board of Control. Over the past few years, a few players who transferred to Greensburg Central had hearings to determine if their transfer was for athletic intent. The league had ruled Billy Hipp ineligible for this year, saying he transferred from Bishop McCort for athletic intent. Hipp had played for an AAU team coached by Bisignani. The PIAA overturned the WPIAL's ruling. 

Besides telling Greensburg Central to suspend Bisignani, the WPIAL also said it wants Greensburg Central to require Bisignani to enroll in a class in American Coaching Effectiveness Program (ACEP). The WPIAL also is putting the Greensburg Central Catholic basketball program on probation until the end of next season.

"We have no jurisdiction over personnel at schools. That's a district issue," said WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley. "But we do have jurisdiction over schools. Greensburg Central can do what they want. But if they choose not to follow our directive, then they will be kept out of the postseason."

The WPIAL also censured Bisignani for inappropriate and unacceptable conduct towards officials and also censured the Greensburg Central Catholic administration. The WPIAL will also require the school to have an administrator at all home and away games through next season and also will require the school to develop a plan to persuade its coaches from acting inappropriately towards officials.

 

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Kittanning's Bowers commits to Pitt ..... State basketball rankings

Written by Mike White on .

Kittanning High School hasn't produced many Division I college football players, but the school has a future Pitt Panther in Nick Bowers.

Bowers, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound junior tight end at Kittanning, made a verbal commitment to Pitt today. He is the second junior to commit to the Panthers and both are from the WPIAL. The other is Canon-McMillan offensive lineman Alex Paulina.

Pitt had shown interest in Bowers all season and Bowers attended two Pitt games. He then attended a practice before Pitt's bowl game and that's when the Panthers offered a scholarship. 

Nick BowersBowers (pictured making a catch last season against Shady Side Academy) made an unofficial visit to Pitt this weekend and committed today. He is at the Duke-Pitt basketball game tonight.

"He went down this weekend with his mother to check out the academics," said Kittanning coach Frank Fabian. "He came in this morning and said he was ready. So he sent them a text message and said he was committed. He didn't want to wait around.

"He's not one of those kids who will pull out five hats and announce. He really wanted to do this and liked Pitt."

Temple also had offered a scholarship, but Boston College, Cincinnati and Purdue were among the schools to show up at Kittanning recently to show interest.

Bowers is a versatile player. He has good size and played everything in Kittanning's spread offense from receiver, slotback, tailback and quarterback 

"We would put him at quarterback in the wildcat formation," Fabian said.

Bowers set a school record with 53 catches for 826 yards. He also ran for 314 yards on 48 carries.

Fabian said one of the reasons Bowers liked Pitt is because it uses tight ends in its offense.

"The schools that use tight ends a lot are disappearing," Fabian said.

Bowers helped Kittanning to one of its best seasons in decades. His father, Brad, is a Kittanning assistant coach.

State basketball rankings

Here are the latest state boys basketball rankings from Pennlive.com and Harrisburg Patriot-News.

CLASS AAAA

 

No.  School                                          Rec    Pvs

1.     Roman Catholic (12)                  14-3        1

2.     New Castle (7)                            17-0        2

3.     Hampton (7)                               17-1        3

4.     Martin Luther King (12)           15-2        4                           

5.     Chester (1)                                 11-3        7

6.     North Allegheny (7)                  14-2        6

7.     Great Valley (1)                         15-2        8

8.     Abington (1)                               15-2        9

9.     Pennsbury (1)                           13-2      10

10.  Obama Academy (8)                  14-0      NR                                    

Others to watch: Bethel Park (7) 12-4, Carlisle (3) 11-6, Cathedral Prep (10) 8-5, Cedar Crest (3) 15-3, Central (12) 18-2, Central York (3) 15-2, Conestoga (1) 15-2, Cumberland Valley (3) 13-4, East Stroudsburg North (11) 13-3, Emmaus (11) 12-4, Fox Chapel (7) 13-4, Franklin Regional (7) 10-6, Gateway (7) 12-6, Harrisburg (3) 13-5, Haverford (1) 12-6, Hazleton (2) 13-2, Hempfield (3) 13-4, Hempfield (7) 14-2, Hershey (3) 12-6, LaSalle College (12) 15-3, Lower Dauphin (3) 12-6, Lower Merion (1) 10-6, McCaskey (3) 12-6, McDowell (10) 15-2, Oxford (1) 15-3, Parkland (11) 14-2, Penn Wood (1) 11-4, Penncrest (1) 14-4, Plum (7) 14-2, Plymouth-Whitemarsh (1) 15-2, Reading (3) 12-6, Red Lion (3) 16-3, Ridley (1) 10-6, Spring-Ford (1) 15-2, St. Joseph’s Prep (12) 13-4, Upper Darby (1) 11-6, Upper St. Clair (7) 11-5, Whitehall (11) 10-6, Wilson (3) 16-2, York (3) 12-5.

CLASS AAA

 

No.  School                                             Rec     Pvs

1.     Archbishop Carroll  (12)              14-2         2

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

3.     Allentown Central Cath (11)        16-0         3

4.     Imhotep Charter (12)                   15-4         4

5.     Berks Catholic (3)                         15-3         5

6.     Bishop McDevitt (3)                      16-0         6

7.     Chartiers Valley (7)                       16-1         8

8.     Abington Heights (2)                     15-1         9

9.     Scranton Prep (2)                          15-1       10

10.   Central Valley (7)                          14-2         7

Others to watch: Ambridge (7) 12-5, Archbishop Wood (12) 9-7, Boys Latin (12) 16-3, Crestwood (2) 12-3, Elizabeth Forward (7) 14-3, Erie East (10) 12-3, Farrell (10) 14-1, GAR Memorial (2) 12-4, General McLane (10) 10-5, Girard (10) 9-5, Hickory (10) 11-3, Holy Ghost Prep (1) 13-4, Honesdale (2) 15-1, Indiana (7) 16-1, Knoch (7) 13-3, Manheim Central (3) 15-2, Mars (7) 10-6, Montour (7) 10-5, Oil City (10) 11-2, Philly Electrical (12) 11-7, Pottsville (11) 16-2, Salisbury (11) 12-5, Shamokin (4) 13-2, South Fayette (7) 9-5, Steel Valley (7) 12-2, Steelton-Highspire (3) 14-4, Strong Vincent (10) 8-4, Susquehanna Twp (3) 9-5, Thomas Jefferson (7) 15-2, Uniontown (7) 15-1, West York (3) 19-1.

CLASS AA

 

No.  School                                                  Rec    Pvs

1.     Constitution (12)                                15-3       1

2.     Loyalsock (4)                                      14-1       3

3.     Lewisburg (4)                                     14-1       4

4.     Seton-La Salle (7)                               17-1       2

5.     Greensburg Central Cath (7)            14-2       5

6.     Quaker Valley (7)                               16-1       6                                       

7.     Mid Valley (2)                                     13-1       7

8.     Beaver Falls (7)                                  14-4       8

9.     Aliquippa (7)                                       12-5     NR

10.   Fairview (10)                                      13-2     NR

Others to watch: Avonworth (7) 13-3, Bishop McCort (6) 10-4, Blairsville (6) 12-1, Calvary Christian (1) 13-2, Camp Hill (3) 11-7, Columbia (3) 13-5, Conemaugh Twp (5) 12-3, Conwell-Egan (12) 13-5, East Juniata (4) 15-0, Elk Lake (2) 14-0, Hanover (3) 14-4, Holy Cross (2) 10-4, Jeannette (7) 9-7, Mercyhurst Prep (10) 12-3, Neshannock (7) 14-4, Penns Valley (6) 13-1, Reynolds (10) 11-4, Richland (6) 13-2, Riverside (2) 12-3, South Allegheny (7) 12-6, South Williamsport (4) 11-4, Towanda (4) 13-2, Tyrone (6) 13-3, Washington (7) 13-4, Wellsboro (4) 12-4, West Middlesex (10) 10-5, Windber (5) 11-3.

CLASS A

 

No.  School                                                   Rec    Pvs

1.     Lincoln Park (7)                                   16-1       1

2.     Math, Civics & Sciences (12)                 6-10     2

3.     Bishop Carroll (6)                                14-0       3

4.     Vincentian (7)                                      16-1       4

5.     St. John Neumann (4)                          15-0       5

6.     Johnsonburg (9)                                  15-3        6

7.     Elk County Catholic (9)                       14-2        7

8.     Monessen (7)                                       11-4        9                                  

9.     Bishop Guilfoyle (6)                             13-2     10

10.  Mahanoy Area (11)                              16-1        8

Others to watch: Berlin Brothersvalley (5) 12-2, Cameron County (9) 15-1, Carmichaels (7) 12-2, Church Farm (1) 10-4, Clarion-Limestone (9) 15-1, Cochranton (10) 13-3, DuBois Central Catholic (9) 10-4, Greenwood (3) 13-4, Homer-Center (6) 15-1, Juniata Valley (6) 14-3, Lebanon Catholic (3) 11-6, Mansfield (4) 12-5, Mount Calvary (3) 14-2, Muncy (4) 9-5, New Hope Academy (3) 9-7, North Catholic (7) 8-8, Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (11) 12-4, Our Lady of Sacred Heart (7) 13-4, Phil-Mont Christian (1) 13-3, Pius X (11) 9-3, Portage (6) 14-2, Ridgway (9) 13-4, Sewickley Academy (7) 10-5, Shade (5) 12-4, Shanksville-Stonycreek (5) 13-3, Sullivan County (4) 12-4, Western Beaver (7) 11-4.

 

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Rowan already near 1,000 ..... Weekend events feature top games

Written by Mike White on .

Maverick Rowan has a sophomoric attitude towards 1,000 points.

Rowan is a sophomore at Lincoln Park and will get to 1,000 points faster than just about any player in WPIAL history. A 6-foot-6 guard, Rowan enters tonight's game against Cornell with 996 points. Getting to 1,000 points by your sophomore year is pretty impressive.

Rowan's scoring statistics as a freshman and sophomore compare favorably with former Valley star Tom Pipkins, who graduated in 1993 as the WPIAL's all-time leading scorer with 2,838 points. Pipkins scored his 1,000th point in his 42nd career game as a sophomore. It came during an 80-78 victory against North Catholic when Pipkins scored 47 points.

Maverick RowanRowan (No. 24, pictured playing defense against Central Catholic) will get to 1,000 in his 44th game. By the end of his sophomore season, Pipkins had 1,176 points. Lincoln Park should go far into the playoffs this season, so Rowan could have more points after his sophomore year than Pipkins had. It helped Rowan that Lincoln Park played seven postseason games when he was a freshman. Valley did not make the playoffs when Pipkins was a freshman. 

Pipkins went on to play at Duquesne University. Rowan already has committed to Pitt.

Top matchups highlight weekend

There are two basketball events tomorrow and Sunday that feature some top matchups and players.

COACHES VS. CANCER CLASH OF THE TITANS - This six-game event is tomorrow at Geneva College and was put together by Allen Deep, who runs the Roundball Classic. Rowan and his Lincoln Park teammates play Kiski School in one of the interesting games of the event. Kiski School is a prep school in Saltsburg and features 7-footer Satchel Pierce, who already has signed with Marquette.

This event also features Hampton, the No. 2-ranked Class AAAA team, against Central Valley, the No. 2-ranked AAA team. I would imagine Ryan Luther is getting closer to 100 percent healthy. He missed a few games with a sprained ankle. But the question for Hampton coach Joe Lafko is do you use Luther that much in this game that really is meaningless? I'm sure Lafko wants Luther healthy for the playoffs.

The final game of the night is Beaver Falls-New Castle. It is scheduled to start at 9, but with it being the final game of the day, I bet it doesn't get started until 9:30.

Tickets are available at the door.

PITTSBURGH CLASSIC - This is a six-game event at the new Montour gym. It starts at 11 a.m. and the final game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

The 2 p.m. game is a battle of unbeatens - Vincentian vs. Obama, the No. 1 team in the City League. This could be a fun game to watch. Vincentian averages over 90 points a game. Obama also likes a fast style and averages over 70.

Another interesting matchup is Lincoln Park vs. Hempfield. It will be the third game in three days for Lincoln Park, the No. 1-ranked team in the state. Hempfield is the Post-Gazette's No. 4 Class AAAA team. Both teams have talented individual players.

Tickets are available at the gate.

So, if you are a high school fan at all and would like to see some top teams and players, head to Geneva or Montour this weekend.

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Valley hires Colosimo as football coach

Written by Mike White on .

Muzzy is back in WPIAL football coaching.

Muzzy Colosimo, who won 143 games and a WPIAL title when he was Greensburg Central Catholic's coach, was named tonight the new coach at Valley High School.

Muzzy Colosimo"I'm very excited," Colosimo said. "I did a background check, looking to see the last time that district won a WPIAL championship. It was 1946 and '47. That's going to be one of the main goals."

New Kensington won WPIAL titles in '46 and '47. It eventually merged with Arnold to form Valley. Valley has never won a WPIAL title.

"As many athletes as they have up there, I couldn't believe it was that long," Colosimo said. "I'm looking forward to working with the kids up there. I'm looking forward to becoming part of their community."

Colosimo, 63, lives in Irwin, about a 35-minute drive from Valley High School. Colosimo has actually coached at Valley before. He was an assistant under Ray "Whizzer" White in 1994 before becoming Greensburg C.C.'s coach.

Colosimo and Greensburg Central parted ways in August of 2012, shortly before the season. Colosimo coached at Seton Hill University for one year and then was the head coach for one season at Renaissance Christian Academy in the East Hills of Pittsburgh. Renaissance has folded. Colosimo also was an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Passion for two seasons after leaving Greensburg C.C.

 

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Hooker scores 36 with Meyer watching

Written by Mike White on .

Some items that fell off my laptop.

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer stopped at New Castle High School two nights ago to see one of his recruits. He should have bought some popcorn, a soda and enjoyed the basketball show that Malik Hooker put on for his future coach.

Malik HookerHooker, who made a verbal commitment to Ohio State last summer, tied a career-high with 36 points in a 93-61 victory against Pine-Richland. Hooker made 14 of 16 shots from the field and also pulled down 10 rebounds.

Hooker (pictured) is now averaging 23.2 points. There is no doubt in my mind some mid-major colleges would have been interested in Hooker for basketball if he hadn't already decided on football. But he would not have been as heavily recruited as he was in football.

As for Meyer, while in the area, he reportedly stopped at Central Valley High School. Ohio State is one of the many colleges that have already offered Central Valley defensive back Jordan Whitehead.

Only at New Castle

The New Castle boys basketball team has quite the fan following the past few seasons. It's great to see.

How big is the following? Well, how many schools do you think there are in Western Pa. that request 300 tickets presale for a road game about an hour away against a 9-8 team?

But that's exactly what happened for the New Castle at North Hills game tomorrow night. New Castle asked North Hills athletic director Kevin Deitrick for 300 tickets ahead of time.

About Aloi's transfer

Ellwood City basketball coach Anthony Ovial had no comment on the transfer of Nick Aloi to Lincoln Park.

Aloi averaged 15 points a game as a freshman and showed plenty of promise. He hasn't played this season because of a torn ACL. Then Tuesday, he enrolled at Lincoln Park, a charter school in Midland that has the No. 1-ranked Class A basketball team in the state.

Ellwood City principal Kirk Lape also had no comment about the case. Is it a blow to Ellwood City? Well, consider that Aloi's grandfather, Frank Aloi Sr., is superintendent of Ellwood City schools. Nick Aloi's father, Frank Jr. and Dan, played for some strong Ellwood City teams in the mid 1980s..

Nola to return

Tom Nola has decided to return for another year as Clairton's football coach.

Like the past few offseasons, Nola was seriously contemplating retirement. But he said today that he is coming back.

Making the same points

What are the chances that two players from the same team would play 16 games, and their point totals would be only one point apart?

Ambridge's Stephon McGinnis has 309 points in 16 games, a 19.31 average. Teammate Dayton Carter has 308 points in 16 games, a 19.25 average.

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