Three weeks ago, Butler
suffered a heartbreaking one-point loss to unbeaten at the time Shaler Area (Pittsburgh)
Saturday, the Tornadoes, coached by former Major League pitcher Matt Clement, finished the job handing the top-seeded Titans, who are ranked second in Pennsylvania by MaxPreps.com, a 50-47 overtime loss in the WPIAL quarterfinals when Zachary Slater
hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds to go in the extra frame. Bobby Swartwout
had 18 points for Butler.
Shaler must now hope Butler wins the WPIAL title so it can qualify for the PIAA playoffs. If Butler doesn't win the title, then Shaler's season is over as only five WPIAL Class AAAA teams make the PIAA tournament.
UNBEATEN NO MORE: VENANGO CATHOLIC BOYS GO OUT OF POSTSEASONVenango Catholic (Oil City)
was just the fifth District 9 boys basketball team to go unbeaten in the regular season since 1996, but the top-seeded Vikings quickly learned the postseason is a whole different story losing to ninth-seeded North Clarion (Tionesta)
72-70 Saturday afternoon to end their season at 23-1.
had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead North Clarion, which was upset in last year's first round as the No. 2 seed. The Wolves also got a career-high 22 points from sophomore Mitch Obenrader
. Maxx Rynd
led Venango Catholic with 32 points and 10 rebounds but missed two free throws with 12 seconds left that would have given the Vikings the lead when they trailed 71-70.
It's the second straight year that District 9's top-seeded Class A boys team has been upset in the quarterfinals. Last season, Keystone (Knox)
beat A-C Valley.
CLAIRTON CONTINUES TO ROLL, TOPPLES NO. 1 ROCHESTER IN CLASS A
Maybe it was the lag from football season. Maybe it was the football recruiting circus that surrounded Desimon Green. Maybe it was something else.
, which won the PIAA football championship in mid-December, started the year 3-10. Since then, the Bears have been unstoppable.
, the top seed in the WPIAL Class A boys playoffs, found that out the hard way Saturday, as Bryon Clifford hit a jumper with 12.3 seconds left to lift ninth-seeded Clairton to a 56-55 upset win. Clifford had 13 points to lead the Bears. ROCHESTER GIRLS TOPPLE TOP-SEEDED VINCENTIAN ACADEMY
Vincentian Academy had made the past four WPIAL girls basketball semifinals, and the Royals seemed primed for another run in 2011. But Rochester
had other ideas, as the eighth-seeded Rams used a 10-0 fourth-quarter run to upset the No. 1 seed 48-36 Saturday. Ivorie Law
had 17 points for Rochester.
WEST MIDDLESEX UPSETS TOP-SEEDED CONNEAUT VALLEY
Conneaut Valley's Casey Baker
, who entered the postseason averaging more than 29 points per game, had his usual game scoring 32 points, but Matt Dogan of West Middlesex one-upped Baker scoring 34 points, including 19 of 28 from the free-throw line, to lead the eighth-seeded Big Red to a 68-56 upset of top-seeded Conneaut Valley in District 10 Class A boys' quarterfinal action Friday night.
Conneaut Valley led 30-23 at halftime, but West Middlesex roared back in the second half winning the third quarter 20-10 and the fourth 25-16.
NCAA WEST LIBERTY GETS TWO WPIAL COMMITMENTS
Undefeated West Liberty (W. Va.) is the No. 1 ranked team in NCAA Division II, and the school is located just an hour and 20 minutes southwest of Pittsburgh. The Hilltoppers landed two WPIAL seniors this past week as South Fayette's Mike Lamberti
and West Mifflin's C.J. Hester both made verbal commitments to the school.
West Liberty is 25-0 on the season and averaging 116.1 points per game.
JOHN LEONARD NAILS EIGHT 3-POINTERSJohn Leonard
of Connellsville hit eight 3-pointers on his way to 33 points in a 52-50 Falcons win over Pine-Richland in the WPIAL Class AAAA first round Thursday. The eight 3s set the WPIAL Class AAAA record for 3-pointers in a playoff game and are just two shy of the all-WPIAL classifications record of 10 by Neshannock's Kevin Covert set in 1995. Covert's record is the Class A record.
Leonard wasn't able to repeat his performance Saturday, as he was held to 15 points in a 52-40 quarterfinal loss to MaxPreps.com's No. 4 Mt. Lebanon, which got 15 points from Luke Hagy
. DIBBLE RESIGNS ABRUPTLY FROM VILLA MARIA
Dibble, the head coach at two-time defending PIAA Class AA girls
basketball champion Villa Maria Academy, the 17th ranked team in
Pennsylvania by MaxPreps.com, resigned last week.
light of that previously unknown information and other information that
we have since obtained, it soon became clear that Coach Dibble's
employment was no longer consistent with the mission and values of Villa
Maria Academy," the Erie Times-News reported that Villa Maria president
Scott Jabo wrote in a letter Tuesday. "As a result, I and other members
of the administration met with Coach Dibble earlier (Tuesday) and
requested his resignation."
Dibble posted a 267-55 mark at Villa Maria with four PIAA title-game appearances.
assistant coach Doug Chuzie was named the interim head coach and led
the Victors to 73-14 win over Wilmington in the District 10 Class AA
quarterfinals Saturday. They will face Sharpsville in the semifinals
Wednesday at the Hammermill Center in Erie.