Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

BVA, Hempfield thriller highlights WCCA showcase; Several wrestling teams claim county matches; Panthers hockey splits pair with Armstrong

Mon Dec 20, 2021 - 9:33PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Tue Dec 21, 2021 - 1:30AM

Belle Vernon/Hempfield thriller highlights WCCA Showcase

The annual Westmoreland County Coaches Association (WCCA) Showcase was held on Saturday, with 16 county boys basketball teams participating at two locations. In likely the best game of the day, Belle Vernon Area claimed an 83-77 overtime win against host Hempfield Area. Leopards’ senior star Devin Whitlock scored the tying basket at the end of regulation, and added six more points in overtime to propel BVA to the win. Whitlock finished with a game-high 39 points and teammate Quinton Martin provided 23 points, while Sean Gordon poured in 29 points for the Spartans in the loss. Also at Hempfield on Saturday, Ligonier Valley ousted Greensburg Salem 81-57, Kiski Area bested Southmoreland 58-36, and Monessen knocked off Mount Pleasant Area 58-44. Meanwhile at Jeannette High School, Greensburg Central Catholic defeated Norwin 68-45, Burrell prevailed against Valley 62-37, Yough edged Derry Area 63-59, and the host Jayhawks outlasted Greater Latrobe 66-59.

Spartans, Vikings, Scotties wrestling notch wins in county clashes

The WPIAL wrestling section slate commenced last Wednesday, and Hempfield Area, Mount Pleasant Area, and Southmoreland all claimed convincing victories in Westmoreland County matches. In Class 3A Section 2B, the Spartans made quick work of Greensburg Salem 50-10. Pins for the Spartans included Connor Chillinsky, Ethan Lebin, Eli Carr, and Briar Priest. Mount Pleasant was even more dominant in a 63-12 win against Ligonier Valley in Class 2A Section 3B. Jameson Poklembo, Conor Johnson, Ty Hornick, and Joe Smelka all recorded falls for the Vikings. In the same section, Southmoreland made quick work of Yough 57-9. Notching pins for the Scotties were Landon Delara, Tristan Ice, Anthony Govern, and Mason Neiderheiser.

Panthers hockey splits pair with Armstrong

As a result of a PIHL scheduling quirk, Franklin Regional and Armstrong played head-to-head twice last week, and the Panthers earned three points to inch closer to the first-place Riverhawks. Last Monday at the Palmer Imaging Arena in Delmont, Armstrong secured a 4-3 shootout victory, but Franklin Regional rebounded with a 7-4 road win three days later. In the first of the meetings, the Panthers scored twice in the final seven minutes of regulation, courtesy of Luke Beatty and Luke Lavrich, to force the extra period. Although the Riverhawks prevailed in the shootout, FR earned a point. Beatty and Chase Williams each provided a goal and an assist in the setback. On Thursday at the Belmont Complex, the Panthers used a dominant second period to secure the win. Franklin Regional scored five goals in the middle stanza, including a pair by Zach Abdallah, who finished with three goals and an assist. Zachary Zeto and Max Rutkowski each added a goal and an assist, while Williams posted a pair of assists and Nolan Shilling recorded 30 saves in net to earn the victory. As a result, Franklin Regional is 9-1-1, and with 19 points is just one behind Armstrong, which is 9-1-2.

Franklin Regional’s DiFalco commits to Duquesne

Anthony DiFalco, one of top soccer players in the WPIAL, gave his college commitment last week. DiFalco, a senior at Franklin Regional, signed with Duquesne on Friday. He chose the Dukes over offers from the University of Pittsburgh and Robert Morris University, among others. As a four-year starter for FR, DiFalco scored 118 goals and was a three-time All-State and All-American honoree. DiFalco helped guide the Panthers to back-to-back WPIAL Class 3A Championships in 2018 and 2019. This past fall, Franklin Regional went 17-5, reaching the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals.

UPG women’s basketball scores historic win

The University of Pitt – Greensburg women’s basketball team produced one of the most dominant performances in school history on Saturday, as the Bobcats smashed Pitt – Bradford 105-52. In the process, the Bobcats surpassed 100 points for just the fifth team in school history, while the 53-point margin of victory was the largest for UPG in almost 12 years. Five different players scored in double digits for UPG, including Nadege Durand and Shaquoia McCray, who netted 24 and 23 points, respectively. Pitt-Greensburg, which had not played in two weeks because of COVID postponements, improved to 6-1 overall, and 2-0 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.

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