News & notes from the WPIAL and City League ...
It was a pretty good inaugural season for Dan Bradley the football coach. Now Dan Bradley the basketball coach has a chance at a history-making season.
Bradley is the only person in the WPIAL who is a head coach of varsity football and basketball teams. This past fall was his first season as Sto-Rox's football coach, and he guided the Vikings to the WPIAL Class A championship game before losing to mighty Clairton.
Bradley is in his fourth season as the Avonworth boys basketball coach and the Antelopes have a chance to do something that hasn't been done at the school since the 1970s. Avonworth has a 7-3 record in WPIAL Class AA Section 6 and the Antelopes are a half-game behind Sto-Rox (7-2). If Avonworth wins its final two section games and Sto-Rox loses one of its final three section games, the two teams would tie for the section title.
It has been 39 years since Avonworth won a section title. The previous one was 1974.
Avonworth had a strong basketball program in the 1950s through the mid 1970s. In a 21-year period from 1954 through 1974, Avonworth won 11 section titles and made it to a WPIAL championship game three times. Avonworth's only WPIAL title came in 1959.
Thorpe sits again
Shaler's Geno Thorpe is one of the WPIAL's top players, but he has had a few problems with "no-shows" this season.
On Tuesday, Thorpe was not in the gym when Shaler played at North Hills. He was late for the team bus and Shaler left without him.
In a game earlier this season, Shaler coach Paul Holzshu disciplined Thorpe, sitting him for the first half because he missed a practice.
"I have no comment on the situation," Holzshu said.
The Monessen boys have clinched a WPIAL playoff spot for a record 32nd consecutive season. Blackhawk has the second-longest playoff streak, clinching a postseason spot for the 30th time in a row.
Uniontown has a chance to win its 46th section title. The Raiders' 45 previous titles are the most in WPIAL history and Washington is second with 43.
On the girls side, North Catholic is in the playoffs for a record 38th consecutive season. Heading into Thursday night's action, Avonworth still hadn't clinched a playoff spot. The Antelopes have qualified 34 years in a row, the second-longest streak in WPIAL history.
Wolosik on a roll
North Catholic senior point guard Lauren Wolosik just might be playing better than any girl in the WPIAL lately.
Over the past 10 games, Wolosik has been on a tear, averaging 31.1 points. She has scored 30 or more in five of the past six games and set a school record with 44 points Monday night.
Wolosik is a Division I college recruit. She signed in November with Central Connecticut State.
It has been a while
If the Mars boys beat Indiana tonight, the Planets will have a two-game lead in WPIAL Class AAA Section 1 and will be on their way to only the second section title in school history. The other came in 1989.
Deer Lakes is in first place in Class AA Section 1 and is trying to win its first section title since 1992. The Lancers haven't won a WPIAL playoff game since 1985.
Here is one opposing coach's thoughts on the Montour boys: "Teams better watch out for them in the playoffs and it's because of [point guard] Devin Wilson. He just controls everything for them and controlling tempo can be really important in the playoffs. They're not as big as they were the last couple of years, but that doesn't matter, at least on the WPIAL level. And don't forget, their coach [Adam Kaufman] has proven he knows how to win in the playoffs."