Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Westmoreland basketball playoff field set; Spartans, Bucs lose in PIAA wrestling playoffs; PT rifle teams earns silver

Mon Feb 13, 2023 - 2:22PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Feb 13, 2023 - 7:37PM

Westmoreland basketball playoff field set

The WPIAL basketball playoff field has been finalized, and 22 Westmoreland County teams are moving on to the second season. On the boys side, Norwin qualified in Class 6A, Kiski Area and Penn-Trafford are in from 5A, Belle Vernon Area advanced in 4A, in 3A, Burrell, Derry Area, and Yough clinched, Greensburg Central Catholic and Jeannette punched their tickets in 2A, and Monessen secured a berth in 1A. On the girls side, Norwin is in from Class 6A, in 5A, Kiski Area, Penn-Trafford, and Greater Latrobe qualified, Greensburg Salem and Belle Vernon Area notched a berth in 4A, Mount Pleasant Area, Burrell, and Yough claimed bids in 3A, Greensburg Central Catholic clinched in 2A, and Monessen and Jeannette secured spots in 1A. The postseason brackets were released today for both the boys and girls with playoff games beginning Friday.

Spartans, Bucs bounced from PIAA wrestling tournament

Both the Hempfield Area and Burrell wrestling teams saw their seasons conclude in the state tournament last week, as the Spartans fell in the Class 3A quarterfinals and consolations, while the Buccaneers were bounced in the Class 2A first round consolations. After cruising past Allderdice last Monday in the preliminary round, Hempfield Area edged Pennridge 34-32 on Thursday at the GIANT Center in Hershey. Owen Caracciolo, Ethan Lebin, and Lucas Kapusta earned pins, Nico Kapusta was awarded a win via disqualification, Charlie Mesich secured a major decision, and Eli Carr and Eli Binakonsky garnered decisions. The following day, however, the Spartans came up short against Central Mountain 31-28. Binakonsky, Nico Kapusta, and Ty King garnered falls, Lucas Kapusta scored a major decision, and Caracciolo and Pierce Turner both claimed decisions. Hempfield Area subsequently lost to Chambersburg 32-31 in the consolation. Meanwhile, Burrell came up short against Brookville 32-25 in the first round on Thursday. In that setback for the Bucs, Niko Ferra claimed a fall and Cam Baker won via forfeit, Calio Zanella captured a major decision, and Julian Bertucci, Cooper Hornack, and Isaac Lacinski secured decisions. In the consolation bracket the following day, Burrell edged Canton 33-27, but then came up short against Chestnut Ridge 35-27.

PT rifle team earns silver

The WPIAL crowned its team rifle champions last week, as Penn-Trafford finished in second place at the Dormont-Mount Lebanon Sportsmen’s Club. The Warriors compiled a score of 798.57, which trailed only Butler Area’s 799.48. PT was in pursuit of its first WPIAL team title. Penn-Trafford, which was co-champion of Section III, was paced by Carlee Valenta, who posted the lone perfect score of 100.10. Additionally for the Warriors, Mathew Stewart compiled a total of 100.8, Nessa Wright, Brian Broadwater, and Seth Baughman each scored 100.7, and Ivy Thomas registered 100.6. Subsequently, PT qualified for the state competition.

FR’s Knizner garners PIHL award

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League announced its players of the month for January last week, and Franklin Regional senior Matt Knizner garnered the accolade for Class AA. During the month, Knizner netted six goals and added six assists. The Panthers captain helped propel the Panthers to a mark of 3-2 in January, including triumphs against Butler Area, Penn-Trafford, and Bishop McCort.

SHU’s Haralson garners another PSAC accolade

For the second time this season, Seton Hill University’s Sakeria Haralson has been named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Women’s Basketball Defensive Athlete of the Week. Haralson garnered the award last Monday after she propelled the Griffins to a pair of wins, averaging 11.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks during that stretch. Haralson, a junior forward, also received the recognition in January. Seton Hill currently boasts a record of 17-11, including 10-9 in the PSAC.