Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Belle Vernon, GCC football win conference crowns; PT field hockey wins another WPIAL title; Local teams reach soccer semis

Mon Oct 31, 2022 - 9:52PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Tue Nov 01, 2022 - 1:38AM

Belle Vernon Area, GCC football win conference crowns

A pair of Westmoreland County football teams clinched conference titles in the final week of the regular season, as Belle Vernon Area and Greensburg Central Catholic won decisively in their matchups. The Leopards overwhelmed previously-unbeaten Elizabeth Forward 48-14 to capture first in the Class 3A Interstate Conference. For the visiting Leopards, Quinton Martin scored five TDs, rushing nine times for 174 yards, and adding two receptions for 63 yards, while QB Brayden Laux amassed 104 yards passing and three TDs in the victory. As a result, BVA earned the top seed in the Class 3A bracket. Similarly, Greensburg Central Catholic scored a convincing win against Leechburg, as the homestanding Centurions prevailed 48-21 to secure sole possession of the Class 1A Eastern Conference title. Da’sjon Craggette posted 15 carries for 157 yards and two scores, while Amari Mack contributed 112 yard and two scores on just three carries for GCC. Centurions signalcaller Tyree Turner was 5-of-7 for 124 yards and two scores. As a result, Greensburg Central Catholic garnered the No. 3 seed in the Class 1A playoff field. Additionally, Franklin Regional had previously secured at least a share of the Class 5A Big East Conference title, and despite a 28-21 overtime loss to Penn-Trafford on Friday, the Panthers won the head-to-head tiebreaker against Gateway for conference supremacy. The Panthers were seeded third in the Class 5A field.

Greater Latrobe, Mount Pleasant, GCC girls reach soccer semis

A trio of Westmoreland County girls soccer teams have kept their WPIAL championship hopes alive, as Greater Latrobe, Mount Pleasant Area, and Greensburg Central Catholic have all reached the semifinals in their respective classifications. In Class 3A, the fifth-seeded Wildcats bested No. 4 Thomas Jefferson 3-0 in the quarterfinals last Thursday. The Wildcats received goals from Regan Reilly, Robin Reilly, and Annalyse Bauer, while Sofia DeCerb recorded the clean sheet for Greater Latrobe. The Wildcats advance to face top-seeded Mars Area on Tuesday. In 2A, the second-seeded Vikings rolled to a 4-0 triumph against No. 7 Freeport Area on Saturday. Marissa Garn paced Mount Pleasant Area with two goals and an assist, Morgan and Riley Gesinski each tallied a goal, and Laurel Rummel posted the shutout in net. As a result, the Vikings will face No. 3 South Park on Tuesday. Lastly, the fifth seed Centurions posted a dominant victory against No. 4 Chartiers-Houston 6-1 in the WPIAL Class 1A quarterfinals last Wednesday. Riley Kerr was the catalyst for Greensburg Central Catholic, as she tallied four goals, while Alexia Graham and Sara Felder also ripped the twine. GCC will battle top-seeded Freedom Area tonight.

PT field hockey captures another WPIAL title

The Penn-Trafford field hockey dynasty continued on Saturday, as the Warriors defeated Greater Latrobe 4-1 to secure the WPIAL Class AA title, their seventh championship in a row. Playing at Washington & Jefferson College, the top-seeded Warriors received goals from Madison Keenan, Ella Morocco, Gracie Eshelman, and Ava Hershberger. Penn-Trafford, which cruised past Oakland Catholic 7-0 in the semifinals on Thursday, improved to 16-4 overall, and secured a berth in the PIAA Class AA bracket. Emma Cowan provided the lone tally for Greater Latrobe, which edged Fox Chapel Area 2-1 in overtime in the semifinals.

Greensburg Salem hockey ousts Norwin to remain perfect

Greensburg Salem scored the first three goals and never relinquished the lead in a 7-4 win against Norwin in a battle of unblemished teams last Tuesday at the Palmer Imaging Arena in Delmont. With the victory, Greensburg Salem improved to 4-0-0, while Norwin dropped to 3-1-1. The Golden Lions struck first in the opening period, courtesy of Owen Tutich. Luke Dieter added another goal less than two minutes later, and Tutich then notched his second tally to stake GS to a 3-0 lead in the first. The Knights battled back within striking distance, as Alex Thomas scored to put Norwin on the board late in the first. Less than three minutes into the second period, Joe Vecchio netted his 10th goal to pull the Knights within a goal. Dieter scored his second goal near the midway point of the second period, and after Dom Cerilli notched a powerplay goal to bring the Knights back within one, Dieter completed the hat trick with a powerplay marker to put GS ahead 5-3 after two periods. The Golden Lions added two insurance goals in the third, as Sam Spigarelli and Carter Cherok found the back of the net. Mario Cavallaro scored in the final minute for Norwin to account for the final margin. In addition to Dieter’s three goals, Tutich posted two goals and an assist, while Hunter Webb, Colten Humphrey, and Chase Kushner each contributed two assists. Tristan Gonzales earned the win between the pipes, making 13 saves. In the setback, Thomas and Cerilli each had a goal and an assist for the Knights, while Sean Hanley dished out two assists. Owen Burmeister took the loss, making 30 stops in net.

SHU football earns first W

Winless through the first eight games, Seton Hill University football snapped its skid in a big way on Saturday, as the Griffins outmatched host Edinboro 45-14. The second half proved the difference, as SHU outscored the Fighting Scots 31-0 after the intermission. Ky’Ron Craggette led the way for Seton Hill, as he rushed 27 times for 94 yards and a pair of TDs. Taz Morris provided a spark on the ground, too, as he posted 98 yards rushing and a touchdown on 10 carries. Defensively, Damonte Pratt led the way with an interception return score that spanned 35 yards. Seton Hill finishes the regular season with a pair of home contests, including a matchup against Mercyhurst University on Saturday at 2 p.m.

UPG MSOC scores rare playoff win

The University of Pitt-Greensburg men’s soccer team captured a playoff win for the first time in nearly a decade, as the Bobcats defeated Penn State Altoona 2-0 on Saturday. Hosting at Ridilla Field, No. 4 seed UPG scored a pair of second-half goals to bounce the fifth-seeded Lions. Caleb Yuricha gave the Bobcats the lead in the 69th minute on a penalty kick, while Jason Argueta added an insurance marker less than three minutes later, assisted by Ross Hartley. The Bobcats were stifling defensively, holding Penn State Altoona without a shot on goal. With the win, the first postseason victory since 2014, Pitt-Greensburg advances to the semifinals to face top seed Penn State Behrend on Wednesday at noon.