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Scholastic Notebook

The WPIAL basketball championships Friday and Saturday are most definitely a story of new and old faces.

All eight title games will be played at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center. All through the boys and girls title games are familiar faces and some you have never seen in the title games for a number of years, and a few never before.

On the boys side, the new are North Allegheny and Indiana. North Allegheny has won numerous WPIAL titles in just about every sport, but the Tigers have never won a WPIAL basketball championship. They have been to the title game only two other times – under coach Mark Jula. The Tigers lost to McKeesport in 1995 and to a great New Castle team in 1999.

WPIAL Class AAA Individual Wrestling - Day One Recap

The biggest news from the first day of the AAA WPIAL individual Championships happened before any wrestlers even touched the mat. That was when news broke that the top seed at 126 pounds, Gus Solomon of Franklin Regional, would scratch from the tournament. Solomon, who was the top ranked wrester in the state at 126 pounds, will be out the remainder of the postseason due to a shoulder injury. The other big scratch came at 106 pounds where Daniel Florentino of Peters Township, who was the number four seed, will not wrestle in the tournament.

WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps for Thursday, February 26th

The first year experiment has come to an end. Instead of playing follow the winner to determine the PIAA qualifiers from District 7, this season marked the first of a three year experiment with play-in games or Consolation contests. Those teams that gained state playoff berths with their play on the court likely give the test a two-thumbs up. Here are recaps from the eight 5th Place games and the three 7th place games on Consolation Thursday.

A special thanks go out to Bob Orkwis, Mark Schaas, Dennis Fischer, Brian Mroziak, Gero Von Dahn, Josh Rowntree, Bob Gregg, Lou Rood and Bob Barrickman for their help on these recaps.

BOYS WPIAL CLASS AAAA Fifth Place Consolation Game:

WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps for Wednesday, February 25th

The heavyweights flexed their respective muscles and earned a spot in the District 7 title games this weekend. North Allegheny boys, Chartiers Valley boys, Aliquippa boys, Seton-LaSalle boys, Blackhawk girls and Vincentian Academy girls were all impressive en-route to double digit victories. South Fayette girls and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic girls were close with cigars as they claimed narrow wins that lift them to their respective title games. Here are recaps from all eight games on Semifinals Wednesday.

A special thanks to Paul Paterra, Steve Nagler, Sean Meyers, Bob Barrickman, Mike Azadian, Randy Gore and Don Rebel for their help on these recaps.

BIYS WPIAL CLASS AAAA Semifinals:

WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps for Tuesday, February 24th

Semifinals Tuesday had to share a crowded stage with Round One Consolations. while many teams were fighting for a second chance and a PIAA berth, 16 teams in Boys AAA, Boys A, Girls AAAA and Girls AA were still following the dreams of district gold. Here are recaps from a busy Tuesday night around District 7.

A special thanks to Jason Kern, Mark Uriah, Jason Tennant, T.J. DiStefano, Bob Barrickman, Steve Nagler, Dennis Fischer, Sam Hall, Terry Neary, Bob Gregg, Lee Mohn, Sean Meyers, Mike Sackley, Randy Gore, Mark Schaas, Lou Rood and Josh Rowntree for their help on these recaps.

BOYS WPIAL CLASS AAA Semifinals:

WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps for Monday, February 23rd

It took an additional 48 hours or so, but the Second Round finally came to an end on another frigid night in Western Pennsylvania. The Final Four is now set in Boys AAAA, Boys AA, Girls AAA and Girls A with plenty of expected teams and some surprises mixed in. Seeds three and four were bounced in Quad-A boys while the second-seed in Double-A boys was knocked out, as was the third-seed in Single-A girls. Here are recaps from the 16 Quarterfinals and 2 Consolation Round One contests played on Monday.

A special thanks to Mike Azadian, Mark Uriah, Brandon Showers, Bob Gregg, Brian Mroziak, Paul Paterra, Bob Orkwis, Steve Nagler, Sam Hall, Terry Neary, Bob Barrickman, Randy Gore and Bobby Fox for their help on these recaps.

PIHL Notebook

Welcome to another edition of “PIHL Notebook,” your weekly companion to “The PIHL Power Play” on the MSA Sports Network. First up, “Melting the Ice” provides your weekly thermometer of streaking teams around the league. Meanwhile, this week’s “Scoreboard Watch” includes a playoff clinching in Class A and a setback for a bubble team in Class AAA. Last but not least, we round things out with a four-pack preview of upcoming MSA broadcasts, our final regular season set, all of which feature playoff-bound teams. So, let’s light the lamp on this edition of “PIHL Notebook.”

MELTING THE ICE (Records listed indicate current unbeaten streak):

Class AAA: North Allegheny (7-0-2); Seneca Valley (5-0-0); Peters Township (3-0-1)

This Week on the MSA Sports Network

Another golden weekend is here there and everywhere...wait a second, I'm sorry, the only place to find gold on the courts and on the mats this week is here on the MSA Sports Network. We have Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolations and the Championships EVERY DAY this week from the WPIAL, District 6 and District 9 basketball playoffs.

2015 WPIAL Class AA Individual Wrestling Championship Results

It was a magical weekend for South Fayette and not just because they got the opportunity to host the AA WPIAL individual Championships. It was thanks to their 160 pound senior who made history on Saturday. Jared Walker became the 25th wrestler in WPIAL history to become a four time WPIAL Champion, as he knocked off Jason Stay of Beth Center 3-1. For his achievement, Walker was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. In addition to Walker, South Fayette also had their 138 pounder Mike Carr win his second WPIAL title by defeating Evan Myers of Southmoreland 7-1.

WPIAL Class AAA Individual Wrestling Sectional Results

The field for the 2015 WPIAL Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships is now set following the results from all four Triple-A sections. The top five wrestlers from each section qualify for the district championships next weekend.

WPIAL Swimming Championships - Class AAA Day Two Results

North Allegheny boys and girls swim team came into the day with a commanding lead. That meant that today was all but a formality and PIAA qualifying day. Problem for the field was nobody told the Tigers that. North Allegheny picked up where they left off on the cold snowy day with their senior Morgan Soulia winning the Girls 100 Freestyle with a time of 50.75. 

{Left:  Members of North Allegheny swim team celebrate in the pool after winning another WPIAL crown}

We had Saturday's first WPIAL Record set when in 100 Yard Freestyle North Hills' Senior broke John Nappi of Mt Lebanon's 2011 record by a whole tenth of a second. Lovasik's finishing time was 45.02.

WPIAL Swimming Championships - Class AA Day Two Results

A snow storm hit Western Pennsylvania on Saturday morning but that didn't stop the participants in the Boys and Girls WPIAL AA Swimming Championships  at the University of Pittsburgh. In front of a packed house at Joseph C. Trees Pool the second day of the championships were held.

{Left: Members of Shady Side Academy girls swim team celebrate in pool after claiming their first WPIAL title}

WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps for Friday, February 20th

With a couple of exceptions, the top seeds in each of the eight postseason basketball tournaments cruised through the First Round. That all changed BIG TIME on Friday when three top-seeds were eliminated from the district gold chase. Here are the recaps from the Boys Triple-A, Boys Single-A, Girls Quad-A and Girls Double-A Quarterfinals game from another frigid Friday night.

A special thanks to Lou Rood, Dennis Fischer, Terry Neary, Bob Orkwis, Adam Hoerner, Randy Gore, Brandon Showers, Bob Gregg, Sean Meyers, Sam Hall, Rob Longo, Mike Sackley and Bob Barrickman for their help on these recaps.

WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:

WPIAL AA Wrestling Championships - Day One Highlights

The first day of the AA WPIAL individual championships did not feature many upsets on the day, as the top two seeds in every weight classes advanced to the semi-finals with the exception of one, Nick Candelore of Fort Cherry at 106, who lost 11-1 to Manny Dovshek of Bentworth.

Section Two was dominant in advancing wrestlers into the semi-finals, as they claimed over 50% of the spots with 29 of 56 wrestlers still alive in the winners bracket.

WPIAL Swimming Championships - Class AAA Day One Results

The North Allegheny Tigers picked up where they left off in their dominance over the last several years as the Lady Tigers commanded a huge lead after day one of the WPIAL AAA Swimming Championships.  The North Allegheny boys don’t have nearly the dominant lead but still have the advantage going into day two.  The Upper St. Clair boys team, however, seem to possibly have the more elite level swimmers on the boys side as they swept the two team events and, in doing so, set two WPIAL records in the process.  On the afternoon, there were several WPIAL records that fell.

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