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This Week on the MSA Sports Network

Now that the fall sports season has finally come to an end, we inch closer to the holidays with an all out blitz of winter high school sports this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have plenty of WPIAL, District 6 and District 9 boys and girls high school basketball along with scholastic wrestling and PIHL high school hockey, plus we have Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle, the PIHL Power Play Show and The WPIAL Roundball Report ALL here at MSAsports.net

Monday, December 15th:

TALK SHOW - Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle at 7:00pm on MSAsports.net

PIHL High School Hockey - Freeport vs Hempfield at 7:15pm on MSAsports.net

Pine-Richland Falls In A Wild Finish in State Quad-A Title Game

In 2003, the Pine-Richland Rams played what has been called the most memorable game in PIAA Championship history, falling to Manheim Central 39-38 in overtime in blizzard conditions. The 2014 Quad A championship game may also go down in the books as one of the best ever, as the Rams rallied from a 21-point, fourth quarter deficit and had a chance to claim the title, before falling to St. Joseph’s Prep 49-41 at Hersheypark Stadium. The Hawks claimed their second consecutive championship with the victory.

South Fayette Runs By Dunmore For Second Straight PIAA AA Crown

One decision can change everything. Just ask Jack Henzes. After electing to go for a touchdown on a 4th and goal at the South Fayette 5-yard line, up 16-14, and failing, Henzes, the long-time Dunmore coach, would see his grip on the PIAA AA Championship slip away.

On the first play after the defensive stand, South Fayette (16-0) tailback Hunter Hayes would burst through a hole and go 95 yards for a go-ahead score, lifting the Lions to a 28-16 win over Dunmore (14-2) at Hersheypark Stadium.

The win is the second in a row in the AA Championship for the Lions, who routed Imhotep Charter 41-0 a year ago. The victory also extended South Fayette’s winning streak to 32-straight games, making them the first AA team to ever repeat as Champions.

Archbishop Wood Bullies Central Valley For Second Straight AAA Crown

For the second year in a row, Archbishop Wood used a bludgeoning rushing attack to run away with the PIAA AAA State Championship.

The Vikings (14-1) rushed for 379 yards, taking down WPIAL Champion Central Valley 33-14 on Friday night at Hersheypark Stadium.

Villanova recruit Jarrett McClenton, who surpassed 2,000 rushing yards on the season on the opening drive, ran for 230 yards and four touchdowns. His lead blocker, fullback Alex Arcangeli, rushed for 132 yards and another score for the Vikings, who have won three AAA titles in four years.

Clairton Falls Inches Short in PIAA Class A Football Championship Game

An old saying is that defense wins championships and that was the case in the PIAA Class A State Championship on Friday afternoon as the Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders shut down the Clairton Bears offense when it counted to claim a 19-18 victory at Hersheypark Stadium. The Bears entered the championship game averaging 62 points per game and had a chance of breaking a national scoring record. The win for Bishop Guilfoyle gives the Marauders a perfect 16-0 season and ended the Bears’ dreams, finishing at 15-1.

2014 MSA SPORTS ELITE ELEVEN

Pine-Richland quarterback Ben DiNucci and South Fayette’s Brett Brumbaugh are prolific passers whose senior seasons have been very much alike in terms of statistics and team success.

DiNucci and Brumbaugh are also alike in the MSA Sports staff eyes. They are both players of the year.

The MSA Sports staff found it impossible to separate the two in terms of accomplishments this season. So, the two have been selected co-Players of the Year.

DiNucci and Brumbaugh also lead the MSA Sports’ Elite 11. The all-star team is made up of the top 11 players in the WPIAL, regardless of position.

Here is a look at the players of the year and the Elite 11.

CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR - BRETT BRUMBAUGH, SOUTH FAYETTE
QB, 6-4, 195, SR.

MSA Sports Top Ten - WPIAL Wrestling

Here are the latest Top 10 rankings in WPIAL Team Wrestling. Every Thursday through January, MSA Sports ranks the top ten teams in both the WPIAL Class AAA and Class AA team wrestling. Don't miss Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle Show every Monday at 7:00pm AND weekly matches broadcast on Wednesday's and select weekends only here on the MSA Sports Network.

Section records in parenthesis.

WPIAL CLASS AAA:

1.    Franklin Regional Panthers  (1-0)
(Last Week *)

2.    Latrobe Wildcats  (1-0)
(Last Week *)

3.    Canon-McMillan Big Macs  (1-0)
(Last Week *)

Big Game Hunting - Week Sixteen

For the first time since 2007 we have all four District Seven Champions to write about on the final week of the Pennsylvania high school football season. Can the WPIAL go 4-0 this weekend? Not sure, but it is going to be so much fun to find out and, the best place to find out --- is right here on the MSA Sports Network. The team will be in Hershey all weekend long bringing you every minute of every game. If during the weekend you can’t find Bobby “O” in the stadium he will be working his second job as the guy who determines what does and does not taste good when coated with chocolate. So far, they haven’t found anything he doesn’t like, but they have vowed to keep trying. Only four games in the state, all featured right here in the final Big Game Hunting of the year.

MSA Sports Frozen Fab Five - PIHL Hockey

Here are the latest MSA Sports Sports Frozen Fab Five rankings of PIHL hockey teams in each of the five classifications for the 2014-2015 high school hockey season. Don't miss the latest PIHL rankings every Wednesday during the regular season, plus it's the PIHL Notebook every Monday on our website and the weekly PIHL Power Play Show every Wednesday night at 8:00pm here on the home of the best audio and video high school hockey coverage, the MSA Sports Network at www.MSAsports.net

PIHL CLASS AAA:

1)   NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS  (8-1-2)
(Last Week #1)

2)   PETERS TOWNSHIP INDIANS  (9-1-1)
(Last Week #2)

The Win Streak is No More for New Castle

It was going to happen at some time this season that the New Castle Red Hurricanes boys basketball team would taste defeat. New Castle had an amazing run over the last three years, claiming consecutive WPIAL championships and finishing the run with a 31-0 season and a state title in March. 

The winning streak of 33 in a row came to an end Tuesday night at the hands of the Hampton Talbots, a 87-67 victory for Hampton at the Ne-Ca-Hi Field House in front of a full house. Senior guard Joey Lafko led the way for the Talbots with 37 points as the Talbots led by nine at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. David Huber tossed in 13 as Hampton beat New Castle for the first time in ten tries, including the last three WPIAL championship games. 

MSA Sports Top Ten - WPIAL Boys Basketball

Here are the latest MSA Sports Top Ten WPIAL Boys Basketball rankings for the 2014-2015 season. Check out the weekly boys rankings every Monday, along with boys hoops talk during The WPIAL Roundball Report every Wednesday night at 6:00pm and boys basketball broadcasts throughout the regular season and exclusive coverage of every boys WPIAL playoff game in February all here on the MSA Sports Network.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA Boys Basketball Top Ten:

1.     CHARTIERS VALLEY COLTS  (3-0)
(Last Week #1)

2.     HEMPFIELD SPARTANS  (2-0)
(Last Week #2)

3.     NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS  (2-0)
(Last Week #5)

MSA Sports Top Ten - WPIAL Girls Basketball

Here are the latest MSA Sports Top Ten WPIAL Girls Basketball rankings for the 2014-2015 season. Check out the weekly girls rankings every Monday, along with girls hoops talk during The WPIAL Roundball Report every Wednesday night at 6:00pm, with girls basketball broadcasts throughout the regular season and exclusive coverage of every girls WPIAL playoff game in February sponsored by Carlow University all here on the MSA Sports Network.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA Girls Basketball Top Ten:

1.     PENN-TRAFFORD WARRIORS  (1-1)
(Last Week #1)

2.     HEMPFIELD SPARTANS  (1-1)
(Last Week #2)

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 surprising tie in Class AAA and one team picking up its first victory of the season in Class A. Last but not least, we round things out with a preview of upcoming MSA broadcasts, including a classic match-up in Class A. 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 (5-0-2); Butler (2-0-1); Canon-McMillan (2-0-1); Peters Township (2-0-1); Upper St. Clair (2-0-1)

This Week on the MSA Sports Network

The Road to Hershey concludes with a District 7 party in chocolatetown this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have ALL four PIAA football state championship games as the WPIAL goes for a first ever sweep of golden footballs in Hershey. We also get hot and heavy into the winter sports season with section play starting in boys and girls basketball and scholastic wrestling, plus we have PIHL high school hockey, men's college basketball, Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle, the PIHL Power Play Show and the debut of the WPIAL Roundball Report ALL here at MSAsports.net

Monday, December 8th:

TALK SHOW - Inside the WPIAL Wrestling Circle at 7:00pm on MSAsports.net

All Four PIAA Semifinals Weekend Game Recaps

Four WPIAL teams have improved to 15-0 and now have their ticket punched for Hershey and the PIAA football championships, the first time since 2007 that the WPIAL is sending all four of its champions to the state finals. On Friday, Central Valley won a back-and-forth Class AAA thriller while after a tight opening quarter, Clairton cruised in Class A. Then on Saturday, Pine-Richland had to come from behind to pull out the victory while South Fayette was impressive throughout. Here are recaps from the Rams, the Warriors, the Lions and the Bears PIAA Semifinals victory on a wet and cold weekend.

Thanks to Josh Rowntree, Bob Gregg, Sean Meyers and Don Rebel for their help on these recaps.

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