Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Local hoops teams reach semis; Derry, Burrell wrestlers win WPIAL titles; GS hockey clinches playoff spot

Mon Feb 26, 2024 - 6:31PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Feb 26, 2024 - 6:32PM

Panthers, Bucs, Centurions boys reach semis

A trio of Westmoreland County boys basketball teams still have WPIAL title aspirations, as Franklin Regional, Burrell, and Greensburg Central Catholic have all reached the semifinals. In Class 5A, the Panthers rolled past Gateway 53-35 in the quarterfinals last Thursday at Norwin High School. Cam Rowell netted a game-high 21 points and Cooper Rankin added 19 points, helping the second-seeded Panthers pull away from the No. 7 Gators after the game was tied at the half. As a result, FR will face No. 3 Shaler Area in the semifinals tonight at Mount Lebanon High School. Also on Thursday, Burrell upset Shady Side Academy in the 3A bracket, as the Buccaneers edged the No. 3 Bulldogs 48-44 at Fox Chapel Area High School. Macky Bennis netted 23 points for the No. 11 Buccaneers, including 6-for-6 at the foul line in the second half. Burrell will battle second seed Mohawk tonight at North Allegheny High School. On Friday, Greensburg Central Catholic cruised to a 69-41 victory against No. 10 Eden Christian Academy at Fox Chapel. The No. 2 Centurions received 20 points from Tyree Turner, while Liam Gallagher netted 14 points in the mercy-rule triumph. GCC will square off against third-seeded Northgate Tuesday at Gateway High School.

Trojans, Buccaneers claim multiple wrestling crowns

Three wrestlers from Derry Area and two more from Burrell captured WPIAL Class 2A Individual Championships on Saturday at Chartiers Valley High School. Junior Anthony Mucci and freshmen Mason Horwat and Brady Brown claimed gold for the Trojans, while the Buccaneers duo of senior Cooper Hornack and sophomore Cam Baker also stood atop the podium. Baker won the 107-pound bracket, defeating Quaker Valley’s Bruce Anderchak by a 4-2 decision. Mucci followed at 114 with a 3-2 decision against Jorden Williams of Chartiers-Houston. Hornack needed extra time, but outlasted Burgettstown’s Gaven Suica 3-1 via sudden victory at 139 pounds. In the 145 bracket, Horwat notched a 5-1 decision against Rook Smith of Montour. Brown pinned Bentworth’s Vitali Daniels 3:07 into the match to take gold at 189. Belle Vernon Area’s Elijah Brown also took first, as he prevailed in the 172-pound bracket by edging Fort Cherry’s Braedon Welsh 1-0. Additionally, Mount Pleasant Area’s Dylan Pitzer finished as runner up at 285 pounds, as he fell to Brenan Morgan of Central Valley in the title bout.

Greensburg Salem hockey clinches playoff spot

With their playoff fate still undecided in the final full week of the PIHL regular season, the Greensburg Salem hockey team won a pair of games last week to secure a postseason berth. Last Monday, the Golden Lions notched a 5-2 win on the road against Quaker Valley, and followed with a 7-2 win at Indiana three days later. Against the Quakers at the Baierl Ice Complex, GS scored three unanswered goals over the final 10 minutes for the win. Chase Kushner recorded a hat trick, while Carter Cherok added a goal and an assist. Against the Little Indians at S&T Bank Arena on Thursday, Cherok and Hunter Webb each posted two goals and one assist, while Noah Outly had a goal and two assists, and Kushner dished out three helpers. As a result, Greensburg Salem finished the regular season at 13-5-2, and with 28 points, tied for fifth in the Class A Gold Division. The Golden Lions garnered the No. 5 seed from their division, and will play against homestanding Plum, the fourth seed from the Blue Division, at 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Pittsburgh Ice Arena in New Kensington.

Westmoreland gridiron standouts litter all-star rosters

While the high school football season wrapped up months ago, a bevy of Westmoreland County gridiron stars will compete one last time as part of a trio of upcoming all-star games. Penn-Trafford offensive lineman Zach Tomosovich was selected to play in the 67th-annual Big 33 Football Classic. Tomosovich, an Army signee, will suit up for Team Pennsylvania on May 26 at Cumberland Valley High School. That same venue will host a pair of East-West games organized by the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association the week prior. Westmoreland County players who will represent the West in the large-school contest includes Norwin safety Luke Denny and Hempfield Area kicker Josh Reilly, while Greater Latrobe head coach Ron Prady will serve as an assistant. In the small-school matchup, the Belle Vernon Area trio of defensive end Braden Laux, tight end Aiden Johnson, and offensive lineman Dane Levi, and Southmoreland running back Da’sjon Craggette will suit up for the West, while Ligonier Valley’s Roger Beitel will be the head coach, and Thomas Paulone of Jeannette will be among the assistants.

Bearcats MBB falters in title game

Saint Vincent College men’s basketball reached the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) championship game over the weekend, but the Bearcats ultimately came up short of capturing the title. Saint Vincent dropped an 83-63 outcome to host Geneva College in a matchup of the top two seeds in the PAC on Saturday. The top-seeded Golden Tornadoes jumped out to a 41-30 lead at the half, and the No. 2 Bearcats never trimmed their deficit to less than eight points in the second half. SVC, which made its first conference title game since 2017, was led by Dev Ostrowski, who scored a game-high 21 points, along with nine rebounds. Tayler McNeal and Osyon Jones contributed 13 points apiece for the Bearcats. Saint Vincent, which went 17-3 in PAC, dropped to 23-4 overall.