High school roundup: Hempfield boys win Section 1 battle against rival Latrobe
Hempfield's start of each half proved to be the difference Tuesday night in a WPIAL Class AAAA Section 1 battle against rival Latrobe (9-6, 4-2).
The Spartans opened the first half with an 8-0 lead, but a 10-0 run to begin the second half helped them turn a close game into a blowout, en route to a 65-43 victory.
Tony Pilato, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, scored 20 points and had six rebounds, and junior guard Mike Nauman added 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead Hempfield (10-4, 4-2), which led 28-24 at halftime.
“Mike and Tony had tremendous games,” Hempfield coach Jim Nesser said. “We weren't pleased at halftime, but the players stepped it up in the second half.”
Will Wears led Latrobe with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Latrobe coach Brad Wetzel said his team didn't meet the challenge.
“They were the better team,” Wetzel said. “We play them in three weeks, and hopefully we'll be better.”
Hempfield led 20-10 after one quarter and 50-35 after three quarters. Hempfield plays host to Norwin (8-5, 5-1) Friday in a first-place showdown, while Latrobe goes to Kiski Area (10-4, 4-2).
Penn-Trafford 64, Norwin 54 — Corey Stanford scored a game-high 20 points and Andy Abreu added 19 for Penn-Trafford (9-5, 3-3) in Section 1-AAAA. Matt Stewart led Norwin (8-5, 5-1) with 17 points and Curtis Perz had 16.
Indiana 45, Kittanning 44 — Riley Stapleton went 1 for 2 from the free throw line with five seconds left and hustled back on defense to block what could have been the game-winning shot, as Indiana won in Section 1-AAA. Stapleton finished with a team-high 15 points and teammate Blake Shields added 13 for victorious Indiana (11-3, 5-1). Sterling Henry led Kittanning (11-2, 4-2) with a game-high 25.
Derry 47, Greensburg Salem 43 — Andy Panizzi scored 13 points to lead Derry (6-5, 3-3) to a win in Section 3-AAA. Pat Boyer and Max Ponzurick each scored 13 points for Greensburg Salem (2-11, 2-4).
Mt. Pleasant 60, Southmoreland 44 — Marcus Malara scored 15 points and Dante Porter and Luke Liprando scored 12 and 11, respectively, to give Mt. Pleasant (8-5, 4-2) a Section 3-AAA win. Mike Mucha led Southmoreland (0-13, 0-6) with 15 points.
California 55, Charleroi 52 — Tanner Huffman scored a game-high 23 points to lead California (12-1, 7-0) to a win in Section 5-AA. Jim Diaz led Carmichaels (8-4, 6-1) with 19 points and Matt Indorante added 18.
Monessen 69, Carmichaels 35 — Luke Doptis scored 19 points and Clintell Gillaspie had 14 for Monessen (5-8, 4-0) in its Section 3-A win. Justice Rawlins had a triple-double with 10 steals, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Penn-Trafford 62, Norwin 36 — In Section 1-AAAA, Taylor Cortazzo scored 19 points to lead Penn-Trafford (11-2, 6-1) to victory.
Plum 61, Franklin Regional 48 — Plum outscored Franklin Regional by 14 points in the third quarter to take a Section 2-AAAA game from Franklin Regional (7-5, 3-3). Krista Pietropola scored 15 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter for Plum (10-4, 4-2).
Ligonier Valley 45, Purchase Line 23 — Kira Ludwig scored 15 points, as Ligonier Valley (8-3, 5-2) earned a District 6 Heritage Conference victory.
• George Smith appears to be in line to return to his former post as the head football coach at McKeesport. Smith, who spent 28 years coaching the Tigers before suddenly resigning in 2010, is likely to be hired at the school board's Jan. 23 meeting.
School board member Chris Halaszynski posted on his Facebook page Monday: “Restoring Tiger Pride Back to McKeesport High School. Welcome Back Coach Smith!!!”
Smith won 197 games, two WPIAL and two state titles.
• Deer Lakes hired T.J. Wiley as its head football coach Tuesday night. Wiley spent the last two seasons as head coach at Northgate, where the Flames went 10-9. He also was the head coach at Penn-Trafford for one season (2009) before resigning.
• North Allegheny coach Art Walker was named the National High School Football Coach of the Year by National Sports News Service. Walker led the Tigers to a 16-0 record this season, which included WPIAL and PIAA championships in Class AAAA.