Girls basketball state rankings

Written by Mike White on .

We try to bring you the state rankings for boys basketball on a regular basis. Now here are the girls rankings, compiled by and the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Two WPIAL teams are ranked No. 1 in the state - Seton-LaSalle in Class AA and Vincentian in Class A.


Top 10 plus honorable mention selections. Records through Monday, Jan. 20 with home district in parenthesis …

1. Cumberland Valley (3) — 13-2. Previously: 3

2. Central Bucks West (1) — 13-3. Previously: 4

3. Mount St. Joseph (1) — 13-2. Previously: 1

4. Spring-Ford (1) — 13-3. Previously: 2

5. North Penn (1) — 13-2. Previously: 8

6. Mt. Lebanon (7) — 12-3. Previously: 9

7. North Allegheny (7) — 13-1. Previously: 5

8. Bethel Park (7) — 12-1. Previously: 6

9. Upper Dublin (1) — 13-2. Previously: 7

10. Manheim Township (3) — 15-0. Previously: HM


Bayard Rustin (1) 11-3; Cardinal O’Hara (12) 10-4; Central Bucks South (1) 11-3; Dallastown (3) 12-5; Dover (3) 13-1; Fox Chapel (7) 13-3; Garnet Valley (1) 15-1; Hollidaysburg (6) 10-1; Mechanicsburg (3) 13-2; Nazareth (11) 10-3; Red Lion (3) 12-4; Shaler (7) 12-1; Souderton (1) 11-4; Upper St. Clair (7) 10-4; Wilson-West Lawn (3) 9-7.


1. Archbishop Wood (12) — 12-1. Previously: 2

2. Bethlehem Catholic (11) — 12-1. Previously: 1

3. Bonner-Prendergast (12) — 13-2. Previously: 4

4. Blackhawk (7) — 13-1. Previously 3

5. Scranton Prep (2) — 12-1. Previously: 5

6. Lancaster Catholic (3) — 13-1. Previously: 6

7. Villa Maria (10) — 10-2. Previously: 8

8. Hickory (10) — 14-0. Previously: 9

9. Allentown Central Catholic (11) — 13-1. Previously: 10.

10. Elizabeth Forward (7) — 13-1. Previously: HM


Belle Vernon (7) 10-3; Berks Catholic (3) 14-2; Bradford (9) 12-2; Fleetwood (3) 14-1; Greencastle-Antrim (3) 13-0; Hopewell (7) 13-2; Middletown (3) 14-1; North Pocono (2) 13-1; North Schuylkill (11) 14-2; Northwestern Lehigh (11) 14-1; Palmyra (3) 15-2; Pope John Paul II (1) 11-2; South Park (7) 11-4; Susquehannock (3) 12-3; West Mifflin (7) 11-3; West York (3) 10-4.


1. Seton-LaSalle (7) — 13-3. Previously: 1

2. Neumann-Goretti (12) — 15-0. Previously: 2

3. Burrell (7) — 15-0. Previously: 3

4. Neshannock (7) — 17-0. Previously: 5

5. Bishop Canevin (7) — 13-4. Previously: 6

6. General McLane (10) — 12-1. Previously: 10

7. York Catholic (3) — 12-2. Previously: 7

8. St. Basil Academy (1) — 14-2. Previously: 4

9. Mohawk (7) — 12-2. Previously: 9

10. Blairsville (6) — 12-1. Previously: HM


Bellwood-Antis (6) 11-2; Bishop McCort (6) 10-3; Brentwood (7) 11-4; Carlynton (7) 12-3; Delone Catholic (3) 14-2; Dunmore (2) 12-2; Juniata (6) 10-1; Karns City (6) 12-1; Marion Center (6) 13-3; McGuffey (7) 13-3; Minersville (11) 13-1; Mt. Carmel (2) 10-3; Seneca (10) 8-3; Tussey Mountain (5) 13-1; Tyrone (6) 9-3; Westmont-Hilltop (6) 11-2.


1. Vincentian Academy (7) — 11-2. Previously: 1

2. Serra Catholic (7) — 13-1. Previously: 2

3. Port Allegany (9) — 13-0. Previously: 5

4. Berlin Brothersvalley (5) — 12-1. Previously: 7

5. Old Forge (2) — 11-1. Previously: 9

6. Marian Catholic (11) — 12-1. Previously: 8

7. Bishop Guilfoyle (6) — 9-2. Previously: 4

8. Southern Fulton (5) — 10-2. Previously: 3

9. Kennedy Catholic (10) — 11-2. Previously: 10

10. Portage (6) — 14-1. Previously: HM


Bishop Carroll (6) 8-4; Clarion (9) 9-4; Cochranton (10) 8-3; Conemaugh Township (5) 8-3; Coudersport (9) 12-1; Elk County Catholic (9) 12-2; Halifax (3) 10-5; Phil-Mont Christian (1) 11-2; Pittsburgh Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (7) 10-5; Quigley Catholic (7) 10-5; St. Joseph (7) 9-4; Shade (5) 10-2.

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Talented Ellwood City player Aloi transfers to Lincoln Park

Written by Mike White on .

In recent years, Lincoln Park has been the destination of a number of transfer students who happen to be talented basketball players. And it has happened again with a player from Ellwood City.

Nick Aloi, who averaged 15 points a game last season as a freshman, left Ellwood City and enrolled at Lincoln Park Tuesday. Ellwood City principal Kirk Lape confirmed Aloi's transfer.

Aloi is not playing this season as he recovers from a torn ACL injury sustained before the season. He showed plenty of promise as a freshman.

Lape said he had no comment on Aloi's transfer. It's highly likely the WPIAL will eventually have a hearing with the Alois to determine if the transfer was for athletic intent.

Aloi's father, Frank, is a former Ellwood City basketball player and his uncle, Dan, also was a star player at the school in the 1980s. Nick Aloi's grandfather, Frank Sr., is superintendent of Ellwood City schools.

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New WPIAL football conferences for next season

Written by Mike White on .

The new WPIAL football conferences for the 2014 season were approved by the league's Board of Control this afternoon.

The new conferences will be for the 2014 season only. The league will realign again (probably in just Class AA and AAA) for the 2015 season because Ford City and Kittanning are closing after the 2014-15 school year and merging into one school.

Here are the new conferences for the 2014 season:


By Mike White

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The landscape of WPIAL football will look a lot different next season.

The WPIAL realigns its football conferences every two years, and the league released its new conferences earlier today. A total of 26 teams will change either conferences or classifications, starting with the 2014 seasons. Changes in classifications are based on school enrollments.

This alignment is only for one season, though. The league will have to realign next year because Ford City and Kittanning will merge to one high school after the 2013-14 school.

Among the major changes in the realignment are:

*Gateway drops from Class AAAA to AAA and will play in the Greater Allegheny Conference against teams from the eastern and northern suburbs.

*Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic drop from Class AA to A and will play in the Eastern Conference. The WPIAL created an extremely strong conference by also moving Clairton into the Eastern. Monessen will also be in the conference.

*Highlands moves from Class AAA to AA.

*Plum moves from the Southeastern Conference to the Foothills in Class AAAA.

* West Shamokin, which made the WPIAL playoffs last year for the first time in school history, moves up from Class A to AA.

*Summit Academy, which also made the playoffs last year for the first time in school history, stays in Class AA but moves from the Allegheny Conference to the Midwestern.

Here are the new conferences for the next two seasons.


Northern Eight – Butler, Central Catholic, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shaler.

Southeastern – Baldwin, Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan, Mt. Lebanon, Penn Hills, Peters Township, Upper St. Clair, Woodland Hills.

Foothills – Altoona, Connellsville, Hempfield, Kiski Area, Latrobe, McKeesport, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Plum.


 Big Nine – Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, Trinity, Uniontown, West Mifflin.

Parkway – Ambridge, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Chartiers Valley, Hopewell, Montour, Moon, New Castle, West Allegheny.

Greater Allegheny – Franklin Regional, Gateway, Greensburg Salem, Hampton, Hollidaysburg, Indiana, Knoch, Mars, Yough.


Century – Carlynton, East Allegheny, Keystone Oaks, Quaker Valley, Seton-LaSalle, South Allegheny, South Fayette, South Park, Sto-Rox, Steel Valley.

Allegheny – Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Ford City, Freeport, Highlands, Kittanning, Shady Side Academy, Valley, West Shamokin.

Midwestern – Aliquippa, Beaver, Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Freedom, Laurel, Mohawk, New Brighton, Summit Academy.

Interstate – Brownsville, Burgettstown, Charleroi, Derry, McGuffey, Mount Pleasant, Southmoreland, Washington, Waynesburg.


Tri-County South – Avella, Bentworth, Beth-Center, California, Carmichaels, Frazier, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, West Greene.

Eastern – Clairton, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Leechburg, Monessen, Riverview, Serra, Springdale, Wilkinsburg.

Ohio Valley – Avonworth, Bishop Canevin, Brentwood, Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, Northgate, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

Big Seven – Neshannock, Riverside, Rochester, Shenango, South Side Beaver, Union, Vincentian, Western Beaver.


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Beaver Falls' Cottrill might be done for season with knee injury

Written by Mike White on .

The Beaver Falls boys basketball team had a legitimate chance to become the first team in two decades to win three consecutive WPIAL Class AA titles. But Beaver Falls' championship hopes have taken a serious hit because of an injury to the team's top player.

Senior point guard Elijah Cottrill, a member of the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 a year ago, sustained a left knee injury in last Tuesday's game against Aliquippa, the same night he scored his 1,00th career point. Cottrill's status won't be known until later in the week but Beaver Falls coach Doug Biega said it's likely that Cottrill is done for the season.

Elijah CottrillCottrill (pictured in last year's state championship game) injured the same knee that he had surgery on this summer for a meniscus tear. He missed most of the football season after the surgery.

"He did it in the first quarter of the Aliquippa game," Biega said. "Our trainer thought it just might have been some scar tissue so he taped it up and played the rest of the game, although he definitely labored. The next day, he was saying how much it hurt."

Cottrill did not play the next two games against Shenango or Hopewell.

"Most likely, he's done for the year," Biega said.

Beaver Falls defeated Shenango, 69-43, and Hopewell, 72-48, without Cottrill. They are somewhat used to playing without him. Cottrill missed six games earlier this year when he was suspended from school for an incident in the school cafeteria.

Beaver Falls is 12-3 and in first place in Class AA Section 2 with a 7-1 record.

"We're not in the NFL where that slogan 'next man up' works. That works for professionals," Biega said. "This is definitely a hit to us. But we'll play out the season.

"We're not as good without him. I'd be foolish to say we are. But that doesn't mean we won't compete at a really high level without him."

Cottrill's status after high school also is up in the air. In the summer, he made a verbal commitment to Akron for football, although he said he would still wait to see what would happen in basketball recruiting. Creighton had offered him a scholarship last spring for basketball and a few other Division I colleges were showing interest.

But Biega said Cottrill has backed out of the verbal commitment to Akron for football. Cottrill likely will attend a prep school or a junior college.



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Leechburg girls lose, 56-0; Coach says opponent "wanted" shutout

Written by Mike White on .

In tomorrow's paper, the Post-Gazette will run leading scorers from both teams for every WPIAL basketball game played tonight.

But next to the Leechburg girls will be white space.

Final score from tonight: Ford City 56, Leechburg 0.

Seriously. A shutout in basketball.

Really? Yes. Has it ever happened before in the WPIAL? Yes, at least once in boys basketball. Wilkinsburg beat Kiski Area, 8-0, in 1978. Yes, the game was a slowdown.

And technically, there was a shutout earlier this year in girls basketball. Serra was leading Wilkinsburg, 28-0, after the first quarter earlier when Wilkinsburg left because of a snowstorm. The official score is 28-0.

But a girls game ends in a shutout after four quarters? When there wasn't a slowdown? Yes, incredible. But Leechburg is bad - with a 1-12 record. And the team had scored only 4, 5 and 9 points in three of its past four games.

Still, it makes you wonder what Ford City did? Should Ford City have done something to let Leechburg score?

Well, we don't know yet what Ford City coach Al Davis has to say about the game. Someone at his home said earlier tonight that he wasn't feeling well and was already asleep.

Leechburg coach Joel Ceraso wasn't feeling very well, either, but only because of what happened tonight at Ford City. He did not have a lot of good to say about Davis and his team.

"The bottom line is we really have only one girl who can play [Missy Jones] and she didn't play because of a concussion," Ceraso said. "She's about the only one who can dribble. The other ones really couldn't handle the pressure.

"But honestly, [Davis] put it to us and kept the accelerator on into the fourth quarter. I really think he wanted the shutout and he got it."

Ford City led by 16-0 after the first quarter, 32-0 at halftime and by 46-0 after the third quarter. When asked if Ford City pressed much, Ceraso said, "They pressed the whole first quarter. Then he played half court man-to-man the rest of the way, but it was with a lot of pressure on the ball out high. And he let his starters in pretty much until well into the fourth quarter."

When asked if he was bitter, Ceraso said, "I'm not really bitter. Just a little disappointed. But it is what it is. Some people are like that. But there is a life lesson to be learned here."

And what would that lesson be?

"It would be that sometimes nobody will cut you a break," Ceraso said. "Life is tough sometimes and no matter how hard it is going to be, people won't cut you a break."

Maybe Ford City could not have guarded Leechburg sometimes. In other words, just let them dribble up the court to the basket and let them shoot. Ceraso didn't necessarily want that.

"I'm not a big guy for participation trophies and I'm not big on just letting someone do something," Ceraso said. "But I would've liked to see them maybe play a little more zone. Maybe we would've had a chance at a shot or two. But he didn't play hardly any zone.

"But I believe in karma, too. Everything goes around, comes around."

By the way, Leechburg is 1-12 and the only win was over Wilkinsburg. The score was 44-17. It makes you wonder what is Wilkinsburg like.


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