Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Four area hockey teams qualify for playoffs; Two local girls win WPIAL wrestling titles; FR boys capture bowling championship

Mon Feb 19, 2024 - 2:56PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Feb 19, 2024 - 3:00PM

GCC girls dominate in playoff opener

Greensburg Central Catholic girls basketball produced a dominant performance in the WPIAL Class 2A first round on Friday, as the top-seeded Centurions blasted Northgate 77-10. Host GCC outpaced the No. 16 Flames 59-5 in the first half, enacting the running clock for the second half. Mya Morgan led four Centurions in double-figures, as she compiled 20 points. Cara Dupilka added 16 points in her return to the lineup, while Avery Davis netted 15 points, and Erica Gribble scored a dozen for GCC. Greensburg Central Catholic moves on to the 2A quarterfinals against No. 9 seed Rochester on Wednesday at Chartiers Valley High School.

Four Westmoreland hockey teams qualify for playoffs

With less than two weeks remaining in the PIHL regular season, the playoff picture has begun to take shape. Among the eight Westmoreland County teams, four have already clinched postseason spots, while three others are still in the thick of the race. In Class AA, Greater Latrobe, Franklin Regional, and Norwin have all qualified. The Wildcats reside in third place in the standings with 26 points, while the Panthers and Knights are fourth and fifth, with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Penn-Trafford and Hempfield Area are also in contention for playoff bids, as the Warriors are in seventh with 18 points, while the Spartans currently hold the eighth and final postseason spot with 15 points. In Class A, Greensburg Salem is still in contention from the Gold Division, as the Golden Lions reside in the sixth and final playoff spot with 24 points. In Division 2, Burrell has secured a playoff spot from the Gold Division, as the Buccaneers are in second place with 28 points.

Knights, Cavaliers girls win individual wrestling titles

At the inaugural WPIAL girls wrestling championships on Saturday at North Allegheny High School, three Westmoreland County grapplers claimed gold. Norwin teammates Josephine Dollman and Octavia Walker each took first at the event, while Kiski Area’s Ava Golding also stood atop the podium. Dollman, a sophomore, won the 142-pound bracket, pinning Grace O’Korn of Peters Township in the title bout. Walker, meanwhile, took first at 170, as the freshman scored a fall against Canon-McMillan’s Audrey Calgaro. Furthermore, Kiski Area sophomore Ava Golding reigned supreme at 136 pounds. Other county qualifiers for the PIAA Western Regional included Abigail Hewitt, Karsyn Champion, and Addison Elyes of Norwin, Greater Latrobe’s quartet of Meryn Zangaro, Miranda Kantoris, Rowen Lewis, and Elizabeth Kantoris, as well as Southmoreland’s Zoey Murphy.

Franklin Regional boys capture bowling title

Franklin Regional boys bowling claimed the 2024 WPIBL team championship last Wednesday, edging Hempfield Area in a best-of-three series. Competing at the AMF Belle Vernon Lanes, the Panthers rallied in the final two games after the No. 2 seed Spartans took the opening game, 194-150. Top-seeded Franklin Regional rebounded, however, winning the second game 220-165, and taking the decisive game 188-181. The Panthers earned the top seed and a bye to the final courtesy of their team score of 2,785, while the Spartans had to outlast Shaler Area in the best-of-three semifinals. Furthermore, a pair of Westmoreland County bowlers garnered recognition on the All-Tournament Team, as Burrell’s Jacob Terranova bowled a 662 series, while Dylan Megliorino of Greensburg Salem compiled a 642 series.

Bearcats win PAC wrestling title

Competing in college wrestling for the first time since 1975, the Saint Vincent College Bearcats captured the Presidents’ Athletic Conference team championship on Friday. The Bearcats cruised to the crown, compiling a team score of 103.5 points, which easily surpassed runner up Washington & Jefferson College, which scored 81 points. The Bearcats were boosted by three individual champions, as freshman Sean Cain took gold at 125 pounds, freshman Charlie Mesich prevailed at 157, and freshman Chase Brandebura won the 165-pound bracket. Additionally, the Bearcats had a quartet of runners-up (Kyle McCollum, Tyler Debnar, Logan Bechtold, and Jake Beistel). Brandebura was also recognized as the PAC Newcomer of the Year, while SVC’s Dominick Nania was honored as the PAC Coach of the Year. The Bearcats subsequently advance to the NCAA Division III Southwest Regional Championships at Lycoming College on March 2.

SHU baseball opens season at Francis Marion

Seton Hill University baseball opened its 2024 campaign over the weekend, as the Griffins won one game in a three-game set at Francis Marion University. The Griffins were swept in a doubleheader on Saturday, 3-0 and 5-1, but rebounded with a 13-8 victory on Sunday. In the season opener, Aidan Layton worked five scoreless frames, allowing just three hits, while Jack Oberdorf had a pair of hits offensively. In the nightcap, Aidan Shephard provided the lone RBI. On Sunday, however, the Griffins rallied to score 11 runs over the final four innings to prevail. Jared Dowey and Jakob Haynes each provided three RBIs, while Oberdorf and Owen Sabol each had a pair of runs batted in. Michael Marinchak earned the win in relief, working 2.2 scoreless innings. The Griffins open their home slate this Saturday, hosting Walsh for a doubleheader.