Hoop action to heat up with rivalry games Jan. 14
Despite the frigid temperatures outside, expect things to heat up inside the gymnasiums across the South Hills in the upcoming days as teams prepare for key section clashes in both boys’ and girls’ basketball.
Seton-La Salle will be the place to be Jan. 14 as the Rebels host Bishop Canevin. Action begins at 6 p.m. with the girls’ game followed by the boys’ battle at 7:30 p.m. The doubleheader will mark the first time the ladies have met since the Crusaders dethroned SLS as WPIAL and PIAA state champions. Despite missing key ingredients from its 2013 championship club, Canevin was off to a 9-3 start overall and a 3-0 showing in Section 4-AA before Monday’s weather postponement against Brentwood. The Lady Crusaders are to host Fort Cherry Jan. 9 and face Shaler at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 11 in the Gateway Tournament as their final tune-up before the fray with SLS.
Senior Johnie Olkosky remains one of SLS’s chief concerns. The sharpshooter, particularly from 3-point range, fired in 15 points in a non-section win over Franklin, 60-40, over the weekend. Sophomores Becca Turney (19) and Gina Vallecorsa (17) joined Olkosky in double digits.
Meanwhile, SLS is undefeated as well in the section and 7-3 overall. The Rebels have already competed in showcase tournaments in Fairfax, Va., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. They will also participate in the Play-By-Play Classic at Philadelphia University later this month to prepare for another deep playoff run.
The Lady Rebels, who topped Vincentian Academy, 65-50, recently, boasts Pitt recruits Yancine Diop, Naje Gibson and Cassidy Walsh, who is just a junior. Gibson (18), Diop (14) and junior Nicolete Newman (11) led the way against the Royals.
At the start of the week, the SLS men were undefeated at 9-0 before their battle last night against Washington, with whom they shared the Section 3 lead. Meanwhile the Crusaders were headed in the opposite direction, 3-7 overall and winless in the division.
During the Cancer Research Classic held at Wheeling Jesuit in Wheeling, Dale Clancy garnered MVP honors. In a 62-58 win over Wheeling Park, he fired in 16 points. Ryan Norkus topped out with 17 tallies while Malik White provided 14 markers.
In Section 4-AAAA, Jan. 14 will pit rivals Mt. Lebanon against Upper St. Clair in the Panthers’ lair. By slipping past Baldwin, 48-46, USC remained atop the league standings with a 3-0 slate. The Panthers are 7-3 overall heading into their visit with Moon. The Tigers toppled Lebo, 53-48, and dropped the Blue Devils to 3-7 overall.
In USC’s win over the Highlanders, Thomas Steve exploded for 17 points. J.J. Conn and Nick Staley added 14 and 10 tallies.
In Lebo’s loss, Jonny David managed 18 markers.
With a 54-51 win over Peters Township, Bethel Park eased into second place in Section 4 with a 3-1 mark. The Hawks are 8-2 overall. PT slipped into a three-way tie for fourth place with Moon and Lebo. All are 2-2 in the section.
Joe Mascaro paced BP with 21 markers. Jake Murphy and R.J. Pfeuffer pitched in 10 tallies each. Connor Freely and J.C. Brush paced the Indians with 17 and 15 points.
Canon-McMillan raised its record to 2-1 in the division with a 64-56 win over Trinity and to 6-4 overall with a 62-43 win against Hopewell in the Chuckie Mahoney Classic.
Sam Bohn fired in 23 points against the Hillers. He pitched in 13 as did Costa Karanikos against the Vikings. Malik Brown led with 16 points against Hopewell.
Chartiers Valley and South Fayette continue on their collision course. The undefeated teams in Section 5-AAA meet Jan. 14 at South Fayette.
The Lions regarded recent wins against Waynesburg, 63-24, and South Park, 52-36, while the Colts toppled Montour, 74-59.
Jack Relihan (19) and Justin Watson (13) led the way for SF against the Red Raiders while Brett Brumbaugh (16) and Nick McKee (14) were tops against the Eagles.
Matt McConnell’s 32 points paced the Colts. Haedyn Herzer followed with 15 markers.
NOTE: The Bethel Park at Mt. Lebanon girls’ game, which was postponed last week because of the weather, has been rescheduled for 2:30 p.m. Feb. 1.