Westmoreland HS notebook: Local players shine at Roundball Classic games


Saturday May 28, 2022 | 5:26 p.m.

Westmoreland County was well represented in the Roundball Classic senior all-star games last weekend, an event that caps off another season of high school basketball in western Pennsylvania.

Perhaps “most valuable” would be a better way to frame their overall performance at Geneva College.

Ligonier Valley’s Matthew Marinchak was named his team’s MVP after scoring 18 points for Class 3A in a 112-103 loss to Class 2A.

Marinchak is a Pitt-Greensburg commitment.

Hempfield’s Sean Gordon, meanwhile, was Team 6A’s MVP in a 76-70 win over Class 5A. He had nine points in the win.

Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock was co-MVP for Class 4A in a 130-89 win over District 10, and two local girls also earned MVP honors: Anna Rafferty (Latrobe) had 15 points for the class 5A (gold) in a 76-53 loss to Class 6A, and Southmoreland’s Gracie Spadaro had 12 points in the Class 4A side’s 64-61 victory over 3A.

Rafferty and Spadaro are IUP commits.

Caden Smith of Franklin Regional had a strong all-around performance for Class 5A with 14 rebounds and nine assists.

No state

For the first time since the 2014 season, no Westmoreland County baseball team will make the PIAA playoffs.

No home team reached the WPIAL semi-finals in any ranking.

There was no season in 2020 due to the pandemic.

PT game time

Penn-Trafford will face Armstrong in his first appearance at the WPIAL Softball Championship.

The Class 5A game between the Warriors (18-2) and the River Hawks (19-4) will take place Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Lilley Field in Cal, Pennsylvania.

A lot for little

Penn-Trafford softball’s Denny Little will coach his first WPIAL championship on Thursday at Cal. His team’s 3-2 win over Chartiers Valley last Tuesday was quite the week for Little, who is also a part-time batting coach at Seton Hill.

Seton Hill, of course, advanced to play in the NCAA Division II World Series in Denver.

“I haven’t been close enough to Seton Hill this season to claim them as my team,” Little said. “But it’s really cool to see them go, after working with a lot of these girls.

“One of the coolest things this year was seeing Brooke (Cleland) hit that three-run homer against Bloomsburg, only to have Emma (Little) hit a grand slam the next inning. To see (coach) Jess (Strong) and the girls having so much success is just outstanding.

Cleland is a freshman at Seton Hill and a graduate of Penn-Trafford. Emma Little is Denny’s daughter and another former warrior.

Cleland’s father, Mike, is also reveling in the fun of the playoffs. After Tuesday’s WPIAL semi-final, he was off to pack his bags for his trip to Denver.

Training opening

Southmoreland is looking for candidates to fill its Women’s Volleyball Manager position.

Heather Meyer has stepped down after two seasons and two WPIAL playoff appearances.


Duquesne extended football offers for a trio of Penn-Trafford players at juniors Daniel Tarabrella (WR/LB), Joe Enick (C/DL) and Conlan Greene (TE/DE).

Enick has received a number of offers in recent days, from Bucknell, Maine, Lehigh, Monmouth and Eastern Michigan. He has an official visit scheduled for central Michigan in early June.

• Norwin second-year footballer Jackson Pons has announced an offer from Toledo. He said the school liked him as security.

• A pair of football players from Norwin are committed to college. Natalie Barkley will play at Seton Hill, while Molly Hudson will travel to Saint Vincent.

• Isaac Trout, Southmoreland’s top three sports, will play football in Waynesburg.

Trout (5-foot-9, 160 pounds) played wide receiver and defensive back for the Scotties.

He was also a key guard on the basketball team and is a long jumper and triple jumper in track and field.

• Southmoreland senior Elle Pawlikowsky will continue her tennis career at Pitt-Greensburg.

The return of the MVI Summer League

Registration is open for the Mon Valley Independent Summer Basketball League. Secondary school boys and girls can participate.

The league begins play on June 13 with the girls’ division opener, followed by the boys’ division opener on June 14. All games are played at Marx’s Court Time Sports Center in Elizabeth Township.

Registration and important dates can be found at www.mvisbl.com.

Bill Beckner Jr. is an editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Key words: Franklin Regional, Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, Penn-Trafford, Southmoreland

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