Davidson, McMasters top area scoring lists
So, who are the top boys and girls basketball scorers in the area so far this season?
The answers are simple, but both races are really close.
On the boys side, Elizabeth Forward's Jaquan Davidson tops the area with an average of 23.9 ppg. He has scored 383 points in 16 games.
Right behind Davidson is California's Tanner Huffman, who averages 23.2 ppg with 348 points in 15 games.
Rounding out the top five boys scorers are Bentworth's Cody Levine (20.3), California's Brian Fisher (17.9) and Belle Vernon Area's Jason Capco (17.0).
On the girls side, the top spot locally is owned by California's Courtnee McMasters with an average of 20.7 ppg on 311 points in 15 games.
Just behind her is Belle Vernon Area's Jessica Slagus, who averages 19.7 ppg. Slagus, who joined the 1,000-point club in her last game Thursday, has 276 points in 14 games.
Rounding out the top five local leaders are: Monessen's mariah Ward (17.1), Bentworth's Taylor Pompei (15.5) and Charleroi's Mia Woytovich (14.8).
The WPIAL current boys leader is Shaler's Geno Thorpe (26.2 ppg) while the top girls scorer is Jeannette's Ciara Gregory (31.9).
Key loss for Lady Trojans
California (13-4, 4-2) is enjoying a solid season under coach Chris Minerd. The Lady Trojans are currently in third place in Section 3 A behind Avella (10-0) and Carmichaels (5-1).
However, California's push down the stretch run got a little tougher with news that Tristen Conaway is out for the rest of the regular season.
Conaway, who is the team's second-leading scorer with an average of 11.7 ppg, is out with a concussion.
Minerd says she will be out of action for approximately a month.
“There is only two weeks left in the regular season, so she might be done for the year,” Minerd said.
Help on way for Greyhounds
With a 6-9 overall record, the Monessen boys basketball team is not one of the premier teams in its class.
That, alone is news as Monessen has been considered an annual power in boys basketball since Joe Salvino came on the scene over 25 years ago.
However, if the Greyhounds don't make a deep run in the WPIAL Class A playoffs this year, don't look for the program to be making a downward trend.
For starters, Monessen only has one senior on the varsity roster and none among the top eight players.
In addition, the Greyhounds have a solid middle school team that has several promising players, according to middle school coach Jim Stepoli.
“I talked to Joe (Salvino) and told he should stick around for a while because with the underclassmen he has now and the ninth graders he will be getting, the team should be in good shape the next few years,” Stepoli said with a smile.
Update on Sheldon Linneman
Charleroi's Sheldon Linneman, who came down with an undisclosed illness during Tuesday's game against Beth-Center and was flown to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh from the gymnasium, is not expected to return to the team.
Linneman, who was expected to be released from the Pittsburgh hospital either Friday or today, has been the starting point guard for the Cougars (10-5, 8-1) this season.
During his absence, coach Bill Wiltz moved Matt Indorante into the point guard spot and inserted Dakota Moorer into the other guard spot for the Cougars.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.