Franklin Regional basketball teams prepare to tip off
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Franklin Regional girls and boys basketball teams will take to the court for their first games of the season this weekend, with tip-off tournaments likely providing a strong early test for the Panthers.
The girls team will host the Franklin Regional Tip-Off Tournament, featuring Jeannette, Mt. Pleasant and North Hills. The boys will play in the Upper St. Clair Tournament, featuring Monessen, Obama Academy and Upper St. Clair.
Franklin Regional's girls will host Jeannette at 7:30 p.m. Friday. If the Panthers win that matchup, they will face the winner of the Mt. Pleasant-North Hills game. If they lose to the Jayhawks, they will face the loser between Mt. Pleasant and North Hills. Their game Saturday is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Jeannette, a WPIAL Class AA semifinalist in 2012-13, lost all-state guard Ciara Gregory to graduation but returns senior forward Monique Redman, who averaged 12.9 points per game last season.
Mt. Pleasant lost in the preliminary round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs last season but returns junior guard Alexa Szelong, who averaged 11.4 ppg. North Hills finished 7-15 last season but competes in what Franklin Regional coach Rick Klimchock calls one of the most difficult sections in Class AAAA.
“The tournament's been really good the last couple of years,” Klimchock said. “Our goal is to get in the finals and win the darn thing. We won it the first year, and the last two years we lost in the first round and won in the consolation. We're hoping to finish strong (and) have a good showing here. We're excited about really a brand-new team.”
Franklin Regional lost four seniors from last season's team, while current junior Gillian Kane, a top contributor in 2012-13, elected to play volleyball over the winter, Klimchock said.
The boys team, meanwhile, will open its season at 6 p.m. Friday against Obama Academy at Upper St. Clair High School. If the Panthers win, they will face the winner of the Monessen-Upper St. Clair game Saturday. If they lose, they will face the loser of the Monessen-Upper St. Clair matchup.
Obama Academy, of the Pittsburgh City League, finished 16-3 overall and 9-1 in section play last season. The Eagles return senior D.J. Porter, who finished second in the City League in scoring last season with 18.9 ppg and is receiving Division I interest.
Monessen finished 10-14 last season, losing in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals. The Greyhounds return all five starters, including senior Clintell Gillaspie, who averaged 16.3 ppg last season.
Upper St. Clair finished 20-4, losing in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals. The defending Section 4-AAAA champions lost leading scorer Jordan Grabowski to graduation.
Franklin Regional is returning nine seniors, most of whom were heavy contributors in 2012-13, when the Panthers finished tied for fifth place in Section 2-AAAA.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Class AAAA boys basketball preview: After 1st playoff win since 2003, Hempfield boys hope to advance in postseason
- Kittanning boys basketball shoots for 4th straight playoff trip in program’s final season
- Kittanning girls basketball team return its core
- Thomas Jefferson girls bring hard-nosed play, intangibles to the court
- Mt. Pleasant girls basketball coach eager to start season with versatile team
- After struggling in Class AA, Serra boys basketball welcomes move down in classification
- High school notebook: Apollo-Ridge’s Tipton named conference dual-award winner
- Ford City boys basketball coach brings winning personality for final season
- Kiski Area boys ready for encore
- Norwin boys basketball looks to use fast pace, deep bench
- Thomas Jefferson boys basketball team has high expectations