High school notebook: Riverview gives up two games
It's a case of calling a foul on yourself before anyone could blow the whistle.
Riverview's girls basketball team removed two nonsection games from its schedule — late-season home contests Wilkinsburg and Serra Catholic — to comply with a PIAA rule that caps teams' maximum number of regular-season games at 22.
Riverview would have had 24 games because its junior varsity team played against the Carrick and Freeport varsity teams in Riverview's holiday tournament after Valley withdrew because of a shortage of players.
No forfeits are necessary, and the games against JV opponents won't count on the records of Carrick or Freeport. Officially, both of those teams received forfeit wins from Valley.
“We just wanted to make sure that we were being fair with Freeport and Carrick by providing them competition in our tournament,” Riverview athletic director Bob Kariotis said. “No rules were broken; we were just following PIAA guidelines.”
A former local quarterback played a key role in getting Burrell senior running back/linebacker Cole Bush to commit to St. Francis (Pa.).
Red Flash assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jake Nulph, a quarterback on successful Apollo-Ridge teams of the early 2000s, was the one who presented Bush with a scholarship offer.
“St. Francis showed that they wanted me more than any other school,” said Bush, who ran for 1,794 yards and scored 33 touchdowns this past season. “They were No. 1 on my list, so when they offered, it didn't take long to decide.”
Bush, an all-state linebacker, had an official visit planned to the Loretto school for Saturday. He plans to sign a letter of intent Feb. 6.
Nulph was in attendance Tuesday night when Bush scored 33 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the Burrell basketball team's 55-33 win over Apollo-Ridge. It was the first time Nulph saw Bush play basketball.
“And he's more than welcome to come to every game from here on out,” Burrell basketball coach Rob Niederberger said.
Much like recent basketball seasons, the area has not been short on individual scoring performances, particularly in the form of 30-plus-point games.
In all, there have been 18 games in which a local player has scored 30 or more.
St. Joseph senior John Arcuri has accomplished the feat four times, with games of 31, 37, 34 and 36 points.
Fox Chapel junior Matt D'Amico and Freeport senior Brendan Lynch have three apiece. D'Amico has gone for 38, 32 and 36 points; Lynch has two 31-point games and another of 33.
Deer Lakes senior Tim Jaczesko has scored 45 and 36.
Kiski Area's Nick Stone (34), Leechburg's Ben Ritchie (33), Burrell's Cole Bush (33), Kittanning's Sterling Henry (30) have one each.
On the girls' side, Freeport's Jess Aulicino scored 34 in a game, and Kiski Area's Maddie Antone had 30.
Kiski Area-Burrell match
The A-K Valley's most-anticipated wrestling match, the nonsection battle between Kiski Area versus Burrell, will be 7 p.m. Friday at Burrell.
Kiski Area won handily last year, 60-14. Cavaliers coach Chuck Tursky became the WPIAL's all-time leader in wins.
Since Tursky began coaching at Kiski Area in 1986, Burrell has defeated the Cavaliers head-to-head twice.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.