High school notebook: WPIAL basketball championships moving to Petersen Events Center

Chris Harlan
| Monday, June 16, 2014, 5:06 p.m.

The WPIAL basketball championships are leaving Palumbo Center.

The Board of Control voted Monday to move the boys and girls finals to Pitt's Petersen Events Center for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, ending an extended stay at Duquesne University after next season.

The WPIAL boys finals have been at Palumbo Center every year since 1995.

The decision was made for economic reasons, said WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley.

When Duquesne raised its rental rates, the WPIAL solicited other bids. Three universities, Duquesne, Pitt and Cal (Pa.), submitted offers.

“We thought it was time to see if (Duquesne) was the most economical place to go,” O'Malley said. “Petersen wasn't the cheapest. It wasn't the most expensive. But we feel it's the best venue.”

The WPIAL basketball championships visited Petersen Center once before in 2006. A schedule conflict forced the championships that year to be split between Palumbo and Petersen. Three girls finals and two boys finals were held at Petersen, where empty seats were a concern. Palumbo Center holds 4,400. Petersen Events Center seats 12,500.

The WPIAL girls finals, which relocated more often, have been at Palumbo Center since 2003.

Eligibility decisions

The WPIAL will decide next month whether Central Catholic running back Riley Redman will be eligible for his senior season. The Board of Control decided Monday to hold a hearing for Redman, who'll turn 19 on June 26. PIAA rules dictate that an athlete who turns 19 before July 1 is not eligible.

Redman rushed for 1,192 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, when Central Catholic won the WPIAL Class AAAA title. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Bethel Park native also qualified for the WPIAL diving meet.

• The board denied eligibility to Burrell wrestler Zachary Kelly, who's entering his fifth year of high school, O'Malley said. The senior previously attended Kiski School.


Three WPIAL track and field athletes and one relay team earned All-American status with top six finishes at the New Balance Nationals last weekend in Greensboro, N.C. The individuals were Hempfield senior Max Adams (second, discus), Elizabeth Forward senior Matt Bernadowski (fifth, 110 hurdles) and North Allegheny sophomore Madeleine Davison (third, mile). Also honored was Hempfield's 400-meter relay team of Bridget Guy, Maddie Holmberg, Gabby Holmberg and Jasmine Jones (sixth).

Also finishing in the top eight were Maddie Holmberg, who was eighth in the long jump, and California senior Kailyn Clancy, who was seventh in the shot put.

Bethel Park junior Alexandra Stevenson was second in the discus while competing in the emerging elite division.

Board business

• The WPIAL Board, which oversaw a solid year financially, approved a balanced $1.842-million budget for the 2014-15 school year. That's up slightly from $1.798 million this year.

“Once we're done, we're probably going to bring in more money than we spent this year, albeit minimally,” O'Malley said.

Profits are divided among member schools or used to fund scholarships.

• Holy Family Academy was approved as a senior high school member in the WPIAL and Aquinas Academy of Greensburg was awarded junior high membership. Holy Family in Emsworth will start with only ninth-grade basketball, O'Malley said.

Propel Charter Andrew Street applied for PIAA membership.

Highlands hires AD

Highlands hired Chuck Debor as its new athletic director. Debor, 52, who served the same position from 1992-95, is a former head football coach at Highlands. He replaces Matt Bonislawski, who was not retained.

Paul Schofield and Bill Beckner contributed. Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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