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Basketball

Evans keeping Yough in limelight as AD

| Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, 12:41 a.m.
Yough High School football standout, senior Shaun Phillips (seated right) signs his letter of commitment to play football for West Virginia Wesleyan College on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. Also present to lend support are his parents, Connie (seated, left) and Tom (standing, far right), along with (from left) Yough guidance counselor Eric Dawson, Yough athletic director Tom Evans and Yough football defensive line coach Tony Luciow.
William S. Zirkle | The Times-Sun
Yough High School football standout, senior Shaun Phillips (seated right) signs his letter of commitment to play football for West Virginia Wesleyan College on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. Also present to lend support are his parents, Connie (seated, left) and Tom (standing, far right), along with (from left) Yough guidance counselor Eric Dawson, Yough athletic director Tom Evans and Yough football defensive line coach Tony Luciow.

Yough Athletic Director Tom Evans learned from one of the best when it comes to being an AD.

Evans watched his good friend Paul Zolak closely during Zolak's lengthy stint as athletic director at Ringgold. Zolak wrote the book — literally — on being a successful AD.

At Yough, Evans has made the school more relevant by attracting playoff games to the district in various sports, although the school isn't located as close to major highways as most schools that are chosen as playoff sites.

While Yough is again hosting basketball playoff games, another school has gotten some attention from the WPIAL.

Charleroi will be hosting games Friday and Saturday, including a 1 p.m. contest Saturday involving Ringgold's girls' team.

Charleroi AD Bill Wiltz said his district, which has hosted wrestling playoffs in the past, has sought to get basketball games in its gymnasium in recent seasons.

“We're glad the WPIAL called us,” Wiltz said. “They called and asked us if we would be interested in hosting Friday and Saturday even if our girls were playing somewhere else Friday night and I said ‘certainly.' We like to show off our facilities.”

It would be nice if the WPIAL gave more consideration to other area schools for basketball, although it should be noted that Ringgold will be hosting wrestling events this weekend.

Head scratching on Class A

Monessen coach Joe Salvino did not complain about his Greyhounds getting the second seed in Class A behind unbeaten Sewickley Academy.

But he definitely could have.

Many observers feel the two best teams in Class A are the Greyhounds (16-6) and Vincentian (14-8), which is seeded third.

The game the two teams played in the WPIAL semifinals a year ago — with Monessen winning a 110-99 decision — was probably one of the more scintillating games of the postseason, and it seems the WPIAL would have wanted a game like that at Pitt's Petersen Events Center rather than in the semifinals.

This year, Vincentian (84) and Monessen (77) are two of the highest scoring teams in the WPIAL.

Vincentian is No. 1 in scoring, while Monessen is fourth behind AAAA's North Allegheny and Chartiers Valley — two teams the Greyhounds played earlier this season.

They have combined for 14 losses, but the nonsection schedules the Greyhounds and Royals played are far more challenging than that of Sewickley Academy.

Deja vu all over again

Belle Vernon Area's girls' basketball team needs to win at least 17 games next season.

In each of the last three seasons, coach Lisa Fairman's Leopards finished the regular season 16-6 and each time they landed in the 8 vs. 9 game with the winner going up against the No. 1 seed in AAA.

“Next year, our first goal has to be to win more than 16 games,” Fairman said, half-joking. “It's the same thing for us every year.”

WPIAL's new format

In past years, the WPIAL used a formula of ranking quarterfinal losers to determine the fifth and/or sixth team to qualify for the state playoffs.

For example, in A and AA, whoever lost to the eventual champion in the quarterfinals got the WPIAL's fifth seed into the state playoffs.

This year, the four quarterfinal losers will play in their own four-team tournament with the winner getting into the states.

Hot hands

Here are the leading scorers from area teams going into the playoffs:

Boys

• Monessen's Lavalle Rush (16.6 ppg), Jaden Altomore (14.5) and Justice Rice (13).

• Charleroi's John Arnold (15) and Sam Miceli (12).

• California's Kass Taylor (16.8) and Trey Matthews (16-7).

• Frazier's LA Ross (16.6) and Josh Cox (13.4).

Girls

• Belle Vernon Area's Kaitlyn Slagus (22.2).

• Ringgold's Bailey Cooper (16) and Ashley Briscoe (14).

• Elizabeth Forward's Abigail Sporio (19), Olivia Barkley (17.8) and Jessica Paladay (15).

• Charleroi's Sierra Short (15.9) and Kaitlyn Riley (14.3).

• California's Lyndsey Huhn (12) and Biley Vig (12).

• Frazier's Cassidy Guiser (13.5).

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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