Vincentian-North Catholic game one for the 90s

Written by Mike White on .

There is "That 70s Show." Vincentian and Cardinal Wuerl Catholic put on a version of "That 90s Show" on Saturday.

It's not often you see college games where both teams score in the 90s. It is even more unusual to see a high school game with both teams in the 90s. But that's what happened when Vincentian beat Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, 95-92.

It had to be a treat to watch.

"It was exciting," said Vincentian coach George Yokitis. "A lot of people were telling me it was the best five dollars they ever spent."

The score was 52-51 at halftime. To put that in perspective, there were 17 games in the WPIAL and City League played Friday night where both teams didn't score 103 points THE ENTIRE GAME.

I'm sitting here trying to think of any WPIAL games I saw that didn't go to overtime and both teams scored more than 90 points. No one has records on such a thing. But it just doesn't happen often. One of the most memorable games I remember for scoring came in the 1982 PIAA semifinals (I know, I'm showing my age) when New Castle beat Penn Hills, 101-95. (If you have memories of a high school game with both teams in the 90s, let us know in the comments section below)

It wasn't surprising for Vincentian to score 90 points. The Royals came in averaging 92.9. They press full court, play at a fast pace, spread the floor on offense, try to drive it and also shoot a lot of 3-pointers because they don't have a starter taller than 6 feet 1.

But North Catholic came in averaging 59.4 points. The Trojans apparently were happy to play Vincentian's style.

"They shot it very well," Yokitis said. "They made a lot of 3-pointers and I didn't really anticipate that kind of shooting. Give them credit.

"It was truly and up and down game, but there were a lot of fouls. We fouled out a couple people. I think they fouled out three. The most exciting part was you would see runs by both teams."

Eight players scored in double figures in the game. Ryan Wolf scored 28 for Vincentian, Jamison Nee 20, Jim Kenna 19 and Jay Cortese 14. For North Catholic, Jon Savulchak had 27, Dom Robb 21, Ryan Kirby 20 and Chris Goetz 10.

"I knew they could play up and down because they have good athletes there," Yokitis said. "But would they try to play that way? You never know."

What if?

Vincentian's Ryan Wolf is one of the leading scorers in the WPIAL at 27 points a game. A colleague posed a question to me the other day which was interesting to ponder.

Vincentian is a private school and Wolf, a  lives in Hampton. The question was what would happen if Wolf attended Hampton and played for the Talbots? What would he do?

My answer was it would be questionable if he would start. Even if he did, I'd say he might average 8-10 points a game at the most.

Now this is no knock against Wolf, who is an excellent player. It was just an interesting question to think about. The thing is that the make-up of Hampton's team and their talent would make it hard for the 5-foot-9 Wolf to be a major - at least this season.

For starters, Hampton has the Luther twins (Ryan and Collin) at 6-8 and 6-6. He obviously wouldn't play in front of them. Then there's 6-3 junior forward David Huber, who also is a talented player and has been starting since his freshman year. Wolf isn't playing in front of him. And Wolf certainly isn't playing in front of Joe Lafko, the coach's son.

At the other guard spot, Jack Obringer and a few others are very solid players for Hampton and do good things.

Again, it's no knock on Wolf, who is having a tremendous career at Vincentian. And it's no knock on Vincentian, who can compete with some Class AAAA teams. Basketball is a lot different than football. Good Class A or AA teams can compete - and even sometimes beat - decent Class AAAA teams.

It's just that the Wolf "what if" scenario goes to show that players roles can differ significantly, depending on the team and the classification.

Scoring milestones

***Beaver Falls' Elijah Cottrill is eight points away from scoring 1,000 for his career. He would be the sixth 1,000-point scorer under coach Doug Biega. Two of his players - Todd Thomas and Lance Jeter - scored 2,000.

***Fox Chapel's Matt D'Amico is geteting close to becoming Fox Chapel's leading scorer. He has 1,228 points and the school record is 1,312 by Dave Ostrosky. D'Amico would break a record that has stood for 25 years. Ostrosky was a 1989 Fox Chapel graduate who went on to play at the University of Vermont.


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Putting Vincentian's scoring in perspective - and remembering Blackhawk of 1992

Written by Mike White on .

So, Post-Gazette colleague Terry Shields and myself are gabbing to each other yesterday about Vincentian's scoring. It's 92 points per game. I know, Vincentian plays in a small gym and plays Class A, but it's still 92 points a game, for goodness sake.

Anyway, the math whiz that he thinks he is, Mr. Shields decided to put Vincentian's scoring into perspective. He jotted down some math formula that I could never figure out and then Mr. Shields came up with these interesting stats:

If you converted Vincentian's scoring pace from a 32-minute high school game to a 40-minute college game, the Royals would average 115 points a game. Wow. And if you converted it to a 48-minute NBA game, Vincentian would average 138 points a game. Wow again.

Now I don't know if Vincentian can average 90 points for an entire season, including playoffs. There are no records to prove how many WPIAL teams have averaged 90. But I can guarantee you not many. The only one I know of and we have proof is Blackhawk in 1992. That still has to be one of the best teams in the WPIAL in the past 30-40 years. They averaged 91 points a game and scored 100 or more 11 times. ELEVEN!!!!


The team shot 53 percent from the field for the season and had 234 3-pointers. Dante Calabria, who went on to play at North Carolina, had 66, Hal Koenemund 63 and Andy Gray 61. The team made 18 of 24 3-pointers in one game. (the picture above is of Calabria, left, Gray and Koenemund accepting the trophy after winning the WPIAL title at Duquesne's Palumbo Center).

The Cougars, coached by John Miller, finished 32-1 and won WPIAL and state championships. The only loss was to Dunbar in the season opener. Dunbar was the No. 1-ranked team in the country at that time. 


That Blackhawk team won their 32 games by an average of 35 points.

It definitely was a team for the ages. 

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Nick Miller, Kiana Law leading scorers in WPIAL

Written by Mike White on .

Tomorrow, the Post-Gazette will publish the leading scorers in WPIAL boys and girls basketball for the first time this season.

Here is a sneak peak at the top five (stats are heading into this week):


Nick Miller, Western Beaver (31.0)

Dane Jackson, Cornell (29.9)

Cameron Johnson, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (28.0)

Ryan Wolf, Vincentian (27.9)

Brandon Lawless, Carmichaels (26.8)


Kiana Law, Central Valley (26.3)

Chassidy Omogrosso, Blackhawk (25.5)

Kaitlyn Slagus, Belle Vernon (25.0)

Mallory Heinle, St. Joseph (24.9)

Seairra Barrett, Central Valley (24.5)

More state rankings

If you want to know who might be the top boys team in the state, regardless of class, check out the rankings.

Jerry Shenk has been doing the rankings for decades. There are a few WPIAL teams in the rankings. One of them is Lincoln Park, even though the team is Class A.

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Hopewell's Walker-Kimbrough wins ACC award again ...... Droney stands out

Written by Mike White on .

A few updates on what former WPIAL players are doing.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough continues to impress as a freshman on one of the top women's college basketball teams in the country.

Walker-Kimbrough, a former Hopewell High School star who now plays at the University of Maryland, was selected the ACC rookie of the week for the second consecutive week. (picture courtesy of the University of Maryland).

Walker-Kimbrough came off the bench and scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a 79-70 victory against North Carolina Sunday. North Carolina was ranked No. 10 in the country at the time. Maryland moved up to No. 6 in the latest AP rankings.

For the season, Walker-Kimbrough is second on the team in points (11.4 a game), rebounds (3.4) and steals (18). Maybe the most impressive part of her season so far has been her shooting. She is shooting an impressive 53 percent from 3-point range (15 of 28).

Walker-Kimbrough is a two-time Post-Gazette player of the year and high school female athlete of the year.


Tom Droney***** Davidson senior Tom Droney, a graduate of Sewickley Academy, had a big game Saturday as the Wildcats defeated Wofford, 78-63. Droney (pictured) scored 18 points. He is now averaging 12.4.

***** Remember Zeke Marshall, the 7-footer from McKeesport? He is now playing for the Maine Red Claws in the NBA DLeague. He is playing only 13 minutes a game and is averaging 2 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block a game.

***** Temple's Devontae Watson, a 6-10 sophomore from Lincoln Park, is playing 10 minutes a game and averaging 1.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. He had four blocks and five rebounds in a game against Rutgers Jan. 1.

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State basketball rankings: Three WPIAL teams ranked No. 2

Written by Mike White on .

The latest state boys basketball rankings are out and three WPIAL teams sit at No. 2 in their respective classifications.

In Class AAAA, Hampton is No. 2 followed by New Castle. Seton-LaSalle is No. 2 in Class AA and Lincoln Park No. 2 in Class A.

Here are this week's rankings:



No.  School                                          Rec    Pvs

1.     Roman Catholic (12)                    6-2        1

2.     Hampton (7)                               11-0        2

3.     New Castle (7)                              9-0        3

4.     Chester (1)                                    6-1        4

5.     Great Valley (1)                            8-0        5

6.     Martin Luther King (12)              8-0        6                           

7.     North Allegheny (7)                   10-0        7

8.     Pennsbury (1)                               7-1        8

9.     Fox Chapel (7)                             10-1      10                                    

10.   St. Joseph’s Prep (12)                   9-1        9

Others to watch: Abington (1) 7-2, Academy Park (1) 7-1, Bethlehem Liberty (11) 6-3, Cathedral Prep (10) 6-3, Cedar Crest (3) 9-2, Central York (3) 8-2, Conestoga (1) 7-2, Cumberland Valley (3) 9-1, East Stroudsburg North (11) 6-2, Franklin Regional (7) 6-4, Gateway (7) 8-3, Harrisburg (3) 8-2, Haverford (1) 8-3, Hazleton (2) 6-2, Hempfield (3) 7-2, Hempfield (7) 8-1, LaSalle College (12) 9-1, McCaskey (3) 5-4, McDowell (10) 10-1, Obama Academy (8) 8-0, Parkland (11) 5-1, Penn Wood (1) 6-1, Penncrest (1) 8-2, Plum (7) 9-1, Reading (3) 6-4, Ridley (1) 7-2, Seneca Valley (7) 6-4, Spring-Ford (1) 9-1, Upper Darby (1) 9-0, Upper St. Clair (7) 7-3, Whitehall (11) 7-2, Wilson (3) 10-0, York (3) 6-3.




No.  School                                             Rec     Pvs

1.     Archbishop Carroll  (12)                7-1         1

2.     Neumann-Goretti (12)                    6-2         2

3.     Imhotep Charter (12)                     7-3         3

4.     Allentown Central Cath (11)          8-0         4

5.     Berks Catholic (3)                           5-3          5

6.     Bishop McDevitt (3)                      10-0         6

7.     Abington Heights (2)                       8-0         7

8.     Scranton Prep (2)                            9-1      NR

9.     Central Valley (7)                             9-1         9

10.   Chartiers Valley (7)                         8-1       10

Others to watch: Ambridge (7) 7-3, Archbishop Wood (12) 3-5, Crestwood (2) 7-2, Elizabeth Forward (7) 9-1, Farrell (10) 9-0, General McLane (10) 6-2, Girard (10) 6-2, Glen Mills (1) 5-3, Holy Ghost Prep (1) 6-3, Honesdale (2) 8-1, Indiana (7) 9-1, Knoch (7) 9-1, Mars (7) 6-4, Montour (7) 5-3, Philly Electrical (12) 8-2, Pottsville (11) 9-1, Sharon (10) 5-3, Steel Valley (7) 7-1, Steelton-Highspire (3) 8-3, Susquehanna Twp (3) 4-4, Thomas Jefferson (7) 8-2, Uniontown (7) 9-1, West York (3) 11-0.




No.  School                                                  Rec    Pvs

1.     Constitution (12)                                  8-2       1

2.     Seton-La Salle (7)                                 9-0       2

3.     Greensburg Central Cath (7)              9-1       3

4.     Loyalsock (4)                                        7-1       4

5.     Beaver Falls (7)                                    8-2       5

6.     Lewisburg (4)                                       8-0       6

7.     Quaker Valley (7)                               10-1       7                                       

8.     Holy Cross (2)                                       6-2       9

9.     Aliquippa (7)                                         6-3    NR

10.   West Middlesex (10)                            5-4     10

Others to watch: Avonworth (7) 7-3, Blairsville (6) 7-1, Conemaugh Twp (5) 8-2, Conwell-Egan (12) 10-0, Elk Lake (2) 9-0, Fairview (10) 7-2, Jeannette (7) 7-3, Mercyhurst Prep (10) 8-2, Mid Valley (2) 8-0, Neshannock (7) 8-2, Reynolds (10) 8-1, Richland (6) 7-1, Riverside (2) 9-1, Tyrone (6) 7-2, Washington (7) 9-2, Wellsboro (4) 5-3, Windber (5) 6-2.




No.  School                                                   Rec    Pvs

1.     Math, Civics & Sciences (12)                4-5         1

2.     Lincoln Park (7)                                    8-1         2

3.     Bishop Carroll (6)                                 8-0         3

4.     Vincentian (7)                                     10-0         4

5.     Johnsonburg (9)                                 10-1         5

6.     St. John Neumann (4)                           8-0         6

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

8.     Lebanon Catholic (3)                            8-1         8

9.     Mahanoy Area (11)                              9-0         9

10.   New Hope Academy (3)                      5-3       10                                   

Others to watch: Bishop Guilfoyle (6) 5-1, Cameron County (9) 8-0, Carmichaels (7) 9-0, Church Farm (1) 3-4, Clarion-Limestone (9) 8-1, Cochranton (10) 8-2, Cornell (7) 7-3, DuBois Central Catholic (9) 6-3, Erie First (10) 4-5, Greenwood (3) 6-3, Homer-Center (6) 9-1, Juniata Valley (6) 7-2, Kennedy Catholic (10) 3-3, Monessen (7) 6-4, Mount Calvary (3) 8-1, North Catholic (7) 4-5, Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (11) 8-2, Old Forge (2) 4-4, Our Lady of Sacred Heart (7) 7-3, Phil-Mont Christian (1) 7-2, Pius X (11) 4-3, Portage (6) 8-0, Ridgway (9) 8-2, Shade (5) 7-3, Shanksville-Stonycreek (5) 5-2, Sullivan County (4) 7-2, Western Beaver (7) 8-1.

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