Westmoreland campus clippings: Tyler Balega transferring to IUP
Former all-state football player Tyler Balega (Derry) is leaving Seton Hill for IUP.
Balega, a standout running back, said the move is academically motivated. But he played sparingly last season at Seton Hill, catching three passes out of the backfield and also seeing time on special teams.
He said he will work out with IUP in the spring and was told he has a spot on the team.
It will be quite a paradox of programs for Balega: Seton Hill went 0-11 last season and allowed 54.3 points per game. IUP finished 13-1, won the PSAC and reached the NCAA Division II semifinals.
The move will be a new start and an opportunity to play at a nationally ranked program.
“Yes, a little of both. I'm excited,” Balega said. “For now, I'd just like to break into the rotation at running back and make some noise. Then we'll see what happens.”
Balega ran for 1,726 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior at Derry.
Long Island Brooklyn
Sophomore guard Julian Batts (Jeannette) scored a career-high 27 points and missed a school record by one 3-pointer in the Blackbirds' 84-71 win over Bryant. Batts made 7 of 13 from 3-point range (9 of 16 shots for the game) and also pulled down nine rebounds and added two steals.
Washington & Jefferson
Sophomore Sean Stinelli (Penn-Trafford) scored 11 points and made three 3-pointers, his eighth game this season with three or more 3s.
Sophomore guard Alayna Gribble (Norwin) scored a team-high 13 points and hit three 3-pointers to pace Pitt in a 66-59 loss to Florida State.
Freshman Michelle Burns (Hempfield) shined on senior day, scoring 25 points to pace the Pioneers to a 78-47 win over Ohio Christian. Senior Baylee Buleca (Franklin Regional) chipped in seven points and six rebounds. Burns hit four 3-pointers and shot 9 for 18 from the field.
Grad student Mara Benvenuti finished off a three-point play with 2.3 seconds remaining to give the Bearcats a 70-67 win over Grove City. Jenna Lafko scored a career-high 17 points, and Babette Sanmartin added 14 points and 11 rebounds. SVC (14-7, 11-3) has won five in a row.
Washington & Jefferson
Senior guard Taley Dunaway (Latrobe) scored 10 of her career-high 16 points during a 22-0, third-quarter run as the Presidents downed Chatham, 84-49. Dunaway was 6 of 9 from the field and made four 3-pointers. W&J is 18-3 (12-2 PAC) and is 30-0 all-time against Chatham.
Senior 141-pounder Tyler Smith (Franklin Regional) picked up his 100th career victory when he blanked Jack Mutchnik of American, 4-0, on Sunday. Smith is ranked No. 15 in his weight class. He is the 10th wrestler in program history to reach the 100-win milestone.
Freshman Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional), ranked No. 3 in the country at 125 pounds, scored a technical fall (16-0) over Minnesota's Ethan Lizik, who came in ranked No. 6.
Sophomore 157-pounder Michael Kemerer (Franklin Regional) picked up a major decision against Minnesota. Kemerer is ranked No. 2 in his weight class.
Sophomore Luke Pletcher (Latrobe) remained unbeaten, but the No. 1 Buckeyes were clipped by No. 2 Penn State, 19-18, in a much-anticipated Big Ten clash Saturday night that drew a season-high 6,699 to Penn State's Rec Hall. Pletcher moved to 22-0 with a 5-4 win over Corey Keener at 133 pounds.
The Griffins broke a school record with their 13th dual-match win Sunday, 29-12, over West Liberty.