Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Latrobe dominates WCCA Tournament; Belle Vernon girls upset Southmoreland; Hempfield defends competitive spirit title

Mon Jan 10, 2022 - 2:27PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Jan 10, 2022 - 2:30PM

Greater Latrobe dominates WCCA Wrestling Tournament

Greater Latrobe turned in a stellar performance at the 69th annual Westmoreland County Coaches Association (WCCA) Wrestling Tournament over the weekend, as the Wildcats convincingly won the team title, and also produced four individual champions. Competing at Kiski Area High School on Friday and Saturday, the Wildcats compiled a team score of 252, far eclipsing second-place Hempfield Area, which posted 188 points, and host Kiski Area, which scored 159.5 to finish third. Individual champs for the Wildcats included Luke Willochell at 106 pounds, Leo Joseph at 113, Vinny Kilkeary at 120, and Jack Pletcher at 152. Greater Latrobe also had a quartet of runners-up. Champions for Hempfield Area included Ethan Lebin (126 pounds), Eli Carr (132), and Briar Priest (138). Other winners consisted of the Franklin Regional duo of Finn Solomon (145) and Juliano Marion (189), Kiski Area’s Enzo Morlacci (160), Logan Hoffman (172) of Belle Vernon Area, Dayton Pitzer (215) of Mount Pleasant Area, and Greensburg Salem heavyweight Billy McChesney.

Belle Vernon Area girls upset Southmoreland

Belle Vernon Area girls basketball scored an eye-opening win against Southmoreland last week, potentially putting the Leopards in the discussion as a top team in Class 4A. Last Monday, Belle Vernon Area notched a 52-40 win at home against the Scotties in Class 4A Section 3 play. Viva Kreis paced BVA with 18 points, while Jenna Dawson scored 10. Southmoreland was led by Oliva Cernuto, who tallied 14 points, while Elle Pawikowsky added 10 points. The Leopards, who subsequently defeated Ligonier Valley 49-41 on Thursday, reside in first place in the section at 4-0. The Scotties, the defending section champions, rebounded with a lopsided win against West Mifflin, and sit in third place at 2-1.

Hempfield Area successfully defends competitive spirit title

For the second year in a row, the Hempfield Area Spartans reign supreme in competitive spirit. Hempfield Area, which hosted the WPIAL championship event on Saturday, secured the 3A title by edging South Fayette by .1 point. The Spartans also were recognized as the Class 3A Large Squad champs. Penn-Trafford joined Hempfield Area as Westmoreland County squads that qualified for the PIAA competition that will be held later this month in Hershey.

Derry Area hires Arone as football coach

Derry Area hired Mike Arone as its football coach last Thursday, filling the void left when previous coach Vince Skillings was dismissed with two games left last season. Arone, who is an assistant principal in the district, served as a special supervisor for the Trojans for those final two games. A 1993 graduate of Homer-Center who had coached at his alma mater for the past 24 years, Arone was also standout quarterback for the Wildcats who went on to play at Gannon University. He began coaching at Homer-Center in 1998, and had been on staff at Homer-Center from that time up until this past season, when he transitioned to a volunteer role with the Wildcats. Arone inherits a Trojans’ team that went 0-9 in the fall, and was outscored 494-69. Allowing nearly 55 points per game, the Trojans had the worst scoring defense in the entire WPIAL. Derry Area is expected to drop down in classification to 2A for the next cycle.

Greensburg Salem hockey scores impressive wins

The Greensburg Salem hockey team started the 2022 portion of its PIHL season in impressive fashion, as the Golden Lions won a pair of games last week. Greensburg Salem recorded a 12-5 road win against Wheeling Park on Tuesday, and followed with a 5-3 win at home against North Catholic two days later. As a result, the Golden Lions increased their point total to 14 with a mark of 7-5-0, and are three points behind second-place Kiski Area in the Class A Southeast Division. In the triumph against Wheeling Park, Colten Humphrey and Chase Kushner each accounted for eight points. Humphrey netted five goals and added three assists, while Kushner scored a pair of goals and contributed six helpers. Hunter Webb added two goals and two assists against the Patriots, as well. Against North Catholic, which leads the Southwest Division, the Golden Lions scored four unanswered goals in the second period. Owen Tutich led the way with two goals and an assist, while Jacob Smith, Landon Morrison, and Kushner each had two-point efforts and Andrew Stead earned the win in net, making 15 saves.

Saint Vincent prohibits spectators for week

With an increase in COVID cases in the area, Saint Vincent College is prohibiting spectators from its home athletic events for this week. The events impacted include the Bearcats men’s and women’s basketball games on Wednesday and Saturday, as well as the men’s and women’s swim meet on Friday. The SVC policy will continually be reevaluated for future events.

UPG’s France reaches milestone, earns honors

University of Pitt – Greensburg men’s basketball player JoJo France enjoyed a special two-week span, as he reached the 1,000-point milestone, and then was named the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Men’s Basketball Player of the Week last Monday. France, a senior, collected his 1,000th point in a Bobcats’ win against Franciscan University on Dec. 20, becoming the 15th player in program history to achieve the accomplishment. As a result of the holiday break, the player of the week honors spanned Dec. 20 through Jan. 2. France leads UPG in scoring this season, averaging 17.9 points.

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