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Alle-Kiski notebook: Local basketball standouts land coaching gigs

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel's Colin Martin crosses the finish line to win the WPIAL Class AAA boys cross country championship Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at Cooper's Lake in Butler County.

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Highlands gymnast picks West Virginia

Highlands' Jordan Gillette said Sunday night that she will continue her education and gymnastics career at West Virginia University.

The senior also received attention from Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Penn State, North Carolina State and Pitt.

“This is something I have waited for my whole life,” Gillette said. “I have given up everything for this. And competing at (Division I) has been my dream.”

She also was offered a spot on the Eastern Michigan team for beam and floor.

Most recently, Gillette was a Region 7 national qualifier. She placed second in the 2012 state championship. She is a three-time Junior Olympic qualifier and competes with X-Cel Gymnastics in Cranberry.

— Bill Beckner Jr.

Top high school sports
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 10:42 p.m.

A couple of former local basketball standouts have taken to the coaching ranks at schools on the fringe of the A-K Valley.

Former Knoch guard Cliff Foster is the girls head coach at Pine-Richland, while Kiski Area Hall of Famer Adam Petrosky has taken over the boys job at Summit Academy.

Foster, a 2000 Knoch grad who was inducted into the La Roche College Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, was thrust into the coaching ranks after the sudden resignation of Molly Copples.

Petrosky played on the Cavaliers' state runner-up team in 1986, the year he graduated. He later played on a national championship team at the University of Rochester.

Petrosky took over for Art McCray, who left to become the men's basketball coach at Penn State New Kensington.

Pine-Richland is 2-0 after winning the Ambridge Tournament. Summit Academy is 1-1.

Quick turnaround

St. Joseph opened boys basketball season with a win, but needed a furious fourth-quarter rally, the likes of which coach Kelly Robinson never has seen, to edge Ford City, 48-45.

The Spartans scored just 10 points in a 14-minute span in the second half and fell behind by nine with two minutes to play. But the Spartans went to an attacking press and produced 13 points in two minutes — including seven in 17 seconds.

“Never won a game like that, ever, in my coaching career,” Robinson said.

Martin on the run

Fox Chapel cross country runner Colin Martin, the WPIAL Class AAA champion, placed 12th out of 172 runners at the Foot Locker Indoor National Northeast Regional Cross Country Meet on Nov. 30 at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City. He finished with a time of 15 minutes, 58.2 seconds, and narrowly missed qualifying for the national championship meet in December.

Kiski Area's Brent Kennedy ran in the same meet last year.

Fisher connection

Penn State assistant football coach Charlie Fisher resigned from Bill O'Brien's staff last week, and in the process, broke a connection to the area. Fisher was responsible for scouting talent in the A-K Valley. Up until his departure, he was in contact with several local athletes and coaches, including Apollo-Ridge's Tre Tipton and Highlands' Allan Cratsenberg.

There isn't exactly a pipeline to Penn State here, but the program a few years ago did get Fox Chapel lineman Miles Dieffenbach, who was a starter this season as a redshirt junior. Dieffenbach was recruited by Tom Bradley.

State finalists

The local contingent of players on the Central Catholic and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic football teams will get to play for state championships in Hershey after winning WPIAL titles last month.

Senior quarterback J.J. Cosentino, a Kiski Area transfer, and junior wide receiver Johnny Petrishen, who is from the Burrell area, are key players for Central Catholic (15-0), which will face District 12 champion St. Joseph's Prep (12-3) for the Class AAAA championship at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium.

Players from the Deer Lakes School District playing for North Catholic are senior linebacker Jarred Fragapane, senior tight end Ronnie Meder, senior lineman Mike Blackwell, freshman running back Mario Latronica and freshman receiver Mario Fragapane. The Trojans (15-0) will play Old Forge (14-1) for the Class A title at 1 p.m. Friday.

Queen of Diamonds

Deer Lakes softball players Rachel Tanilli, a sophomore outfielder, and Tiffany Edwards, a junior pitcher, have been selected to compete in the 19th annual Queen of Diamonds North showcase Jan. 4-5 at Kent State.

Edwards was picked for a third time.

Riverview volleyball opening

Riverview is seeking a girls head volleyball coach after the resignation of Lauren Hametz. Hametz has a busy schedule as a marketing manager with the Pittsburgh Power arena league football team.

Another Morgan?

It remains to be seen how good Plum sophomore lineman Jake Tecak can become, but he's got the size that his coach, Matt Morgan, had when he played for the Mustangs.

Tecak, who recently was named to the All-Quad Central first team, is 6-foot-5 and 345 pounds.

Morgan, a Plum Hall of Famer, was 6-7, 280 as a senior. He went on to play at Pitt before a stint in the NFL.

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