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Westmoreland high school notebook: Scorpion gets 'dream job' at Franklin Regional

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Friday, June 23, 2017, 5:24 p.m.
Norwin quarterback Brock Dieter  passes as Hempfield defender Braden Bubarth give chase in their WPIAL Class 6A Southeastern Conference game Friday, Oct 28, 2016, in North Huntingdon. Hempfield beat Norwin, 29-22.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Norwin quarterback Brock Dieter passes as Hempfield defender Braden Bubarth give chase in their WPIAL Class 6A Southeastern Conference game Friday, Oct 28, 2016, in North Huntingdon. Hempfield beat Norwin, 29-22.

While he still is young, Steve Scorpion's basketball coaching career has come full circle.

Nearly a decade after taking his first coaching job at Franklin Regional, his alma mater and the place where he still has the record for career 3-pointers made, Scorpion is back in Murrysville to take the reins of the Panthers' program.

He was hired Monday as coach, replacing Brad Midgley, who resigned after eight seasons and left things in a good state.

Scorpion, 34, who is third all-time in scoring at Franklin Regional behind Nick Novak and Aaron Lovelace, called his homecoming a “dream job” and said he wants to build on Midgley's foundation.

His coaching stops and mentors have prepared him to be a head coach in the WPIAL, he said.

“I have been very fortunate to work under some great coaches,” said Scorpion, who left Pitt-Johnstown as the program's all-time leader in 3-point makes. “I learned a ton from Dan DeRose last year (at Penn Hills). I am the type of coach who loves to listen and learn. I have taken something from each coach I have been around or coached against.”

Scorpion's coaching stops also include The Kiski School, where he spent four years, two as head coach; Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., where he coached former Pitt standout and Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams; and Polk State in Lakeland, Fla., where he coached former Beaver Falls and Nebraska player Lance Jeter.

Franklin Regional went 84-97 under Midgley and made the WPIAL playoffs four times. Last season, the Panthers picked up their first PIAA playoff win since 1997.

Seven up

Norwin football is off to a strong start in summer workouts. The Knights won the Washington & Jefferson Camp seven-on-seven passing tournament. Norwin finished 5-1, defeating Plum, McGuffey, Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park and Trinity.

Quarterback Brock Dieter threw 13 scoring passes, including eight to Zach Begg. Tevin Washington had three interceptions for the Knights.

Making waves

Recent graduate Mikayla Bisignani had a brilliant multisport career at Greensburg Central Catholic, competing in swimming, volleyball and track and field. But she recently was recruited for a sport she never even tried.

Eastern Michigan offered her a rowing scholarship. Bisignani is committed to swim at Johns Hopkins.

“The rowing coach told her they recruit girls who swim and are over 6-foot (tall),” said her father, Greg Bisignani.

Dukes still like Stone

Former Southmoreland standout Brandon Stone, a 6-foot-11 swingman, was offered a scholarship from Duquesne — again. He was offered by the school under previous coach Jim Ferry, but Ferry was fired after five seasons.

Stone transferred to The Christ School in Arden, N.C., where he will reclassify and repeat his junior year. He averaged 25.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks last season at Southmoreland.

Nedley drawing attention

Penn-Trafford softball player Emma Nedley had a strong junior season, and colleges are beginning to take notice. Warriors coach Denny Little said Pitt, Marist and Manhattan have shown interest in Nedley, a speedy right fielder who will be a key leader next season.

Nedley hit .509 this season for an offensively loaded group. She had seven doubles, three triples, three home runs and 21 RBIs.

Loaded Vikes

Mt. Pleasant looks like it could be the team to beat in WPIAL Class 4A softball next season. The Vikings rallied after a district semifinal loss to Belle Vernon to win the school's first PIAA championship last week at Penn State.

Consider: The Vikings (17-3) will return eight starters and will lose only one senior in first baseman Nikki Klejka. Returnees will include both pitchers, Caroline Alincic (sophomore) and Meadow Uncapher (junior), as well as junior outfielder Ava Gnibus (.489, 17 RBIs), junior third baseman Chloe Polich (.372), junior outfielder Addy Kubasky (.351, 13 RBIs) and freshman Autumn Shogun (.346, 13 RBIs).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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