Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

PT, Kiski Area clinch berths; FR, Burrell wrestling compete in PIAA tournament; Valenta wins rifle crown

Mon Feb 12, 2024 - 2:02PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Feb 12, 2024 - 2:02PM

Penn-Trafford, Kiski Area boys clinch playoff berths

Two more Westmoreland County boys teams punched their WPIAL playoff tickets last week, as Penn-Trafford and Kiski Area qualified from Class 5A Section 3. Both the Warriors and Cavaliers secured their spots in the postseason with wins last Tuesday, as PT bested Greater Latrobe 71-61, while Kiski Area downed McKeesport Area 62-41. For the Warriors, Tyler Freas scored a team-best 14 points, while Zach Feldman added a dozen points and Ian Temple and Keith Otto scored 10 apiece. Meanwhile, Isaiah Gonzalez and Noah Thimons each contributed 14 points in the Cavaliers’ road win. Last Friday, homestanding Kiski Area bested PT 62-37, deadlocking the teams for third place in the section at 5-5 each. Thus, the boys basketball playoff field is set from Westmoreland County, with 11 teams making the cut.

Panthers, Bucs wrestling falter in state tourney

The Franklin Regional and Burrell wrestling teams both saw their PIAA run end in the state consolation round over the weekend in Hershey. In Class 3A, Franklin Regional, which finished in third place from the WPIAL, was eliminated by Central Dauphin 29-26 in the third round of the consolation bracket on Saturday. Prior to that, the Panthers commenced the PIAA bracket with a 69-6 victory against Obama Academy in the preliminary round last Monday. In the first round on Thursday in Hershey, the Panthers lost to District 1 Champion Council Rock South 37-24. Scoring wins for FR in the match were Tyler Kapusta, Ethan Cartwright, Troy McClelland, Juliano Marion, and Titus Colangelo. Bounced to the consolation bracket on Friday, FR notched a pair of wins against District 3 teams - 35-23 against Boiling Springs and 29-22 against Wilson. Kapusta, Cartwright, McClelland, Marion, Colangelo, and Chase Smith all notched a pair of victories. In Class 2A, Burrell smashed District 2 Champion Honesdale 55-8 in the PIAA first round on Thursday. Scoring wins for the WPIAL champs were Ayden Kun, Cam Baker, Carter Thomas, Luca Rosa, Julian Bertucci, Jacob Stewart, Cooper Hornack, Calio Zanella, Ben Catullo, Isaac Lacinski, and Luke Boylan. The next day, however, the Buccaneers tumbled against District 6 Champion Bishop McCort 51-15 and then fell to District 10 Champion Reynolds 39-24 in the second round of the consolation bracket. Cam Baker and Luke Boylan notched wins in both matches.

Golden Lions hockey notches third consecutive win

The Greensburg Salem hockey team stayed hot last Thursday, as the Golden Lions outclassed McDowell 5-1 at the Kirk Nevin Arena in Greensburg. With their third straight win, the Golden Lions improved to 11-5-2, and with 24 points, they are sixth in the PIHL Class A Gold Division. Greensburg Salem controlled the play against the Trojans, scoring in every period and outshooting McDowell 32-12. Hunter Webb paced the offense with a goal and two assists, while Mikey Kingerski and Luke Dieter each tallied a goal and a helper. Ethan Patrick made 11 saves between the pipes in the win for GS.

PT’s Valenta wins rifle individual crown

Penn-Trafford senior Carlee Valenta was a sharpshooter last week, as she claimed the WPIAL Rifle Individual Championship. On Thursday at the Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsmen’s Club in Canonsburg, Valenta fired a score of 200-19x to take gold. In the process, she became the first WPIAL rifle winner in PT program history. Valenta edged Hempfield Area’s Brooke Fanala, who also scored 200-19x. The tiebreaker of center targets went to Valenta 9-4. Furthermore, Penn-Trafford’s Emily Valenta placed fourth. The top 16 finishers all advance to the PIAA competition.

Griffins MLAX rallies in season-opening thriller

Seton Hill University men’s lacrosse opened the 2024 campaign in dramatic fashion over the weekend, as the Griffins’ Peyton Gensler scored twice in the final minute to claim an 11-10 win at Molloy. Gensler and Kaden Granberg each notched a hat trick for SHU, while Nate Herbster posted two goals and three assists. Will Cody registered six saves for the Griffins.