Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Burrell's Hornack captures WPIAL gold; Norwin girls, GCC boys reach basketball semis; Polosky, Hauser among top county divers

Mon Feb 27, 2023 - 12:31AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Feb 27, 2023 - 2:04AM

Burrell’s Hornack captures WPIAL wrestling gold

Burrell was well represented in the WPIAL Class AA individual championships on Saturday at Chartiers Valley, as four Buccaneers reached the title bouts. From that group, junior Cooper Hornack captured gold, as he scored a 5-1 decision against Bentworth’s Chris Vargo in the 127-pound bracket. Hornack also won a WPIAL individual title as a freshman in 2021 at 106 pounds. At 107 pounds, Burrell’s Cam Baker lost via pinfall to Antonio Boni of Central Valley. Niko Ferra came up short at 139 pounds, as he lost a 10-4 decision to Burgettstown’s Joey Sentipal. Lastly, Isaac Lacinski fell to Braedon Walsh of Fort Cherry via a 5-0 decision at 172 pounds. Other Westmoreland grapplers who reached the finals included Mount Pleasant Area’s Jamison Poklembo and Belle Vernon Area’s Kole Doppelheuer. Poklembo lost 3-1 in sudden victory to Montour’s Peter Chacon at 133 pounds, while Doppelheuer tasted defeat with a 5-3 decision to Beth-Center’s Tyler Debnar at 145. The aforementioned group is among the qualifiers who advance to the Class AA Southwest Regional in Altoona on Friday and Saturday.

Norwin girls, GCC boys reach basketball semis

After two rounds of the WPIAL boys and girls basketball playoffs, a pair of Westmoreland County squads remain in contention for district titles. The Norwin girls have reached the Class 6A semifinals, while the Greensburg Central Catholic boys have advanced to the same stage in 2A. The host Knights were stout defensively last Thursday, as they cruised past Baldwin 57-26. Offensively, Kendall Berger paced the No. 3 Knights, as she poured in 21 points, while Lauren Palangio and Ava Kobus each posted eight points. Norwin will battle No. 2 seed North Allegheny tonight at Fox Chapel Area High School. Meanwhile, after a slow start, the Centurions exploded offensively, defeating Eden Christian Academy 73-54 in the WPIAL Class 2A quarterfinals at Fox Chapel Area High School on Friday. Franco Alvarez produced 33 points in the triumph for the No. 4 Centurions, who used a 15-0 run in the first half to create separation. GCC also received an 18-point effort from Tyree Turner, while Jaydin Canady and Ryan Kimmel posted eight points apiece. As a result, Greensburg Central Catholic will play top-seeded Aliquippa on Tuesday at West Allegheny High School.

Polosky, Hauser among top county divers

The WPIAL girls and boys diving championships were held over the weekend at North Allegheny High School, and three Westmoreland County performers earned their way to the podium. On Friday in the Class 2A boys competition, Derry Area sophomore Jacob Hauser placed third with a score of 426.55, while Abby Cook, a junior from Greater Latrobe, took seventh, compiling a score of 287.40. Cook secured the final qualifying bid to the PIAA Class 2A Championship, which will be held at Bucknell University. In the Class 3A girls event, Greater Latrobe senior Hannah Polosky finished in second place, compiling a score of 532.30. Polosky, who punched her ticket to the state meet, finished behind North Allegheny’s Christina Shi, who scored 540.75. Other Westmoreland competitors in the field included Hempfield Area’s Kayce Tomasic, Kate Livingston, and Abbey Podlucky, Rachel Limani and Quinlin Mulroy of Greater Latrobe, and Franklin Regional’s Kate Lowe. In the Class 2A girls competition, Derry Area sophomore Chaeli Keenan was the top finisher, as she placed ninth with a score of 359.85, narrowly missing the qualifying cutoff. Other competitors included fellow Trojans Emily Patrick and Ella Sylvis, Paige Richter and Rayna Wisneski of Mount Pleasant Area, and Lacey Ray of Kiski Area. No local competitors qualified for the state event from Class 3A boys, either, as the field consisted of Franklin Regional’s Gino Piraino and Mac Miller, and Hempfield Area’s Tanner Collins.

Norwin hockey scores OT win

Alex Thomas factored in every goal, including scoring the winner in overtime, to lead Norwin to a 6-5 road win against Shaler Area at the Alpha Ice Complex last Monday. Thomas compiled three goals and three assists, as the Knights won their regular-season finale, improving to 15-4-1. Norwin also received offensive contributions from Cade Zeravica, who posted a goal and two assists, while Logan Robb tallied two assists. The Knights outshot the Titans 60-30, but Shaler goaltender Shane Ciganik notched 54 saves. Meanwhile, Owen Burmeister earned the W in net for Norwin, making 25 stops. As a result of the win, the Knights finished with 31 points, third place in the PIHL Class A Blue Division. The Knights open the postseason tonight with a play-in matchup at home at the Palmer Imaging Arena against West Allegheny, which placed sixth in the Gold Division.

Alum Fiore hired to lead Kiski Area boys soccer

Ben Fiore, a 2015 Kiski Area graduate, was hired last week as the head coach for the Cavaliers boys soccer team. Fiore guided Ambridge Area for the previous two seasons, helping the Bridgers go 15-8-1 in 2022, including reaching the WPIAL Class 3A Championship game and the PIAA quarterfinals. He replaces Sean Arnold, who stepped down after nine seasons at the helm of the Cavs, amassing a mark of 97-65-12. In the fall, Kiski Area went 16-4-0, reaching the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals.

Bearcats win PAC WBB crown

Keyed by a dominant second half, the second-seeded Saint Vincent College women’s basketball team captured the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday. Playing at home, the Bearcats ousted No. 4 Chatham University 68-52 to win the third PAC title in program history, previously taking gold in 2021 and 2019. Trailing by seven points at the half, SVC outscored the Cougars 21-12 in the third quarter, and sealed the victory by outpacing Chatham 24-10 in the fourth. Emily Cavacini, who was named the PAC Championship Tournament MVP, paced the Bearcats with 22 points, while Ella Marconi, Lizzie Bender, and Madison Weber also scored in double figures. With a mark of 22-4, the Bearcats will begin NCAA Division III National Tournament play on Friday.