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High school notebook: WPIAL says GCC must suspend coach or miss playoffs; Big 33 roster announced

| Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, 9:09 a.m.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic head coach Greg Bisignani instructs his players during a game against Springale on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 at Greensburg Central Catholic High School. Bisignani marked his 100th win as GCC beat Springdale 85-44.

The Greensburg Central Catholic boys basketball team will be banned from this season's playoffs unless the school suspends coach Greg Bisignani for three regular season games.

That ultimatum was delivered Tuesday by the WPIAL Board of Control, said WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley. The punishment was the outcome of a hearing Monday that examined Bisignani's interaction with an official in the moments after an overtime loss to McKeesport on Jan. 18.

The board believed Bisignani bumped referee Mike Tucci while criticizing him and decided the coach should be disciplined whether the contact was intentional or not, O'Malley said.

The WPIAL does not have the ability to discipline coaches individually but can levy them against schools or teams. The Centurions are 14-2 overall, undefeated in Section 3 and ranked second in Class AA.

Because Greensburg Central Catholic was closed Tuesday, administrators were not able to discuss the WPIAL's decision, athletic director Dan Mahoney said. But the school will make certain the team remains eligible for the playoffs, he said.

Along with a reprimand for the school's athletic department, the WPIAL decision also required Bisignani to attend a coaching seminar, placed the basketball program on probation and insisted a school administrator accompany the team for future games.

Bisignani, an orthopedic surgeon in his fifth season, could not be reached.

Big 33 roster announced

Aliquippa's Dravon Henry and Terry Swanson will again share a backfield.

The two Quips, who were the first WPIAL teammates with more than 4,000 rushing yards each, were among 15 WPIAL players chosen to represent Pennsylvania in the Big 33 Football Classic all-star game at Hersheypark Stadium on June 15.

Also selected from the WPIAL were quarterbacks J.J. Cosentino of Central Catholic and Lenny Williams of Sto-Rox, wideouts Montae Nicholson of Gateway and Troy Apke of Mt. Lebanon, offensive linemen Mike Grimm of Bethel Park, Ben Huss of Upper St. Clair and Cole Costy of Thomas Jefferson, defensive linemen Jawan Hill of McKeesport and Alex Bookser of Mt. Lebanon, linebackers Chase Winovich of Thomas Jefferson and Niko Thorpe of Central Catholic, and defensive backs Tre Tarpley of Central Catholic and Anthony Davis of Gateway.

Ligonier Valley tight end Alec Bloom of District 6 also selected.

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