Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Sidun captures wrestling gold; FR, GCC rebound in states; Area teams earn upsets in PIHL playoffs

Mon Mar 11, 2024 - 12:15AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Mar 11, 2024 - 12:16AM

Norwin’s Sidun claims PIAA wrestling gold

A few weeks after he was upset in the WPIAL Class 3A championship bout, Norwin’s Landon Sidun finished his freshman season atop the podium, as he captured the PIAA individual title at 114 pounds on Saturday in Hershey at the GIANT Center. Sidun, who improved to 42-2, notched a 6-3 decision against Curtis Nelson of Ridley in the championship. As a result, he extended Westmoreland County’s streak of 30 consecutive years with a state champion. Franklin Regional senior Tyler Kapusta earned silver in 3A, as he fell 3-1 in sudden victory to Bethlehem Catholic’s Keanu Dillard at 121 pounds. Other Westmoreland placewinners in 3A included Greater Latrobe’s Luke Willochell, Leo Joseph, and Hunter Snyder, Hempfield Area’s Eli Carr, Hayden Coy of Penn-Trafford, Kiski Area’s Cooper Roscosky, Nathan Campbell of Norwin, and Franklin Regional’s Juliano Marion. In Class 2A, placewinners consisted of Burrell’s Cam Baker and Cooper Hornack, Dylan Pitzer of Mount Pleasant Area, and Derry Area’s Mason Horwat.

Panthers, Centurions boys rebound in states

After finishing the WPIAL playoffs with silver medals, the Franklin Regional and Greensburg Central Catholic boys basketball teams responded with victories in the opening round of the PIAA postseason over the weekend. On Friday night, the host Panthers bested Warwick 68-53 in the Class 5A bracket. In the win, Fin Hutchison scored 16 points, including 13 in the final quarter, matching Cooper Rankin for team-high honors. Additionally, Connor Crossey and Colin Masten added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for FR, which outscored the Warriors 25-13 in the fourth. The Panthers will face District 4 Champion Selinsgrove on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Altoona Area High School. On Saturday, homestanding Greensburg Central Catholic cruised past Windber 57-42 in the 2A state playoffs. Tyree Turner poured in 25 points for GCC, which held a 25-13 halftime lead, while Franco Alvarez added 14 points. Consequently, the Centurions will battle rival Jeannette Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Norwin High School, as the Jayhawks advanced courtesy of their 58-32 win at Iroquois. The other WPIAL boys basketball runner up from Westmoreland County, Burrell, lost in the first round of the 3A bracket, a 62-51 defeat against Bishop Guilfoyle.

Warriors, Golden Lions hockey upset top seeds

A pair of Westmoreland County hockey teams pulled off stunners last Monday in the quarterfinals, as both Penn-Trafford and Greensburg Salem upset the top seeds in their respective classifications. The Warriors defeated South Fayette 4-3 in the PIHL Class AA quarterfinals at the Mount Lebanon Ice Center. Eighth-seeded Penn-Trafford took a 3-2 lead in the second period on a power play marker by Gavin Patterson. That advantage stood until the final minute of regulation, as Robert Thatcher scored an empty-net goal to put the Warriors ahead by two goals. In addition to Patterson and Thatcher, Ben Zierski and Cam Kiste also found the back of the net for Penn-Trafford, while Tyler Funk made 31 saves to earn the victory. As a result, PT advances to the semifinals and will face No. 4 Norwin Tuesday. In Class A, the Golden Lions clamped down defensively, and goalie Tristan Gonzales recorded a shutout in Greensburg Salem’s 2-0 win against Quaker Valley at the RMU Island Sports Center. The Golden Lions, the No. 5 Gold seed, gained the lead less than seven minutes into the contest, courtesy of Luke Dieter. That lead stood until the final seconds of the contest, as Hunter Webb scored on an empty net to seal the outcome. Webb registered two points, while Gonzales made 27 saves to blank the No. 1 Gold seed Quakers. Consequently, GS advances to the semifinals, and will square off against No. 3 Gold Shaler Area Wednesday. All semifinals games will take place at the RMU Island Sports Center.

BVA’s Rodriguez among Mon-Valley HOF inductees

Legendary Belle Vernon Area softball coach Tom Rodriguez is among the Class of 2024 for the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame. Rodriguez has guided the Leopards since 2002, winning more than 300 games and five WPIAL Championships. The other Westmoreland County honorees are Belle Vernon Area administrator Steve Russell and former Monessen football player Joe Como. The induction ceremony will take place on June 21 at St. Spyridon’s Hellenic Center in Monessen. The first HOF Class, in 1951, included Stan Musial.

SHU baseball outlasts top-ranked Tampa

The Seton Hill University baseball team notched an eye-opening victory last Monday, as the Griffins knocked off No. 1 ranked University of Tampa 6-5 in 11 innings. In the process, the Griffins handed host Tampa its first loss. After Tampa scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings, the Griffins plated a run in the top of the 11th inning, as Aidan Shephard scored on a double play. Christian Zilli then threw a perfect inning to seal the victory and earn the save. Max Mandler went 3-for-5 in the victory, adding a pair of RBIs and a run scored, while Jakob Haynes notched two hits and a run batted in. Brandon Bergert was strong on the mound, allowing two runs on four hits over six innings, walking three but striking out seven. The Griffins, who are 9-5 overall after their Florida trip, return to action at home this weekend against Grand Valley State.