Former WPIAL girls basketball stars thrive for Seton Hill

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Former Seton-LaSalle standout Katie Gattuso is having quite a season for Seton Hill, and it certainly hasn't gone without notice.

Gattuso, a 6-foot junior forward, is averaging 16.9 points and 12 rebounds per game for the Griffins, and this past week became the first player since the 2004-05 season to be named the WVIAC women's basketball player of the week three consecutive times. She has been named player of the week four times this season and is on the short list for player of the year.

The Griffins (10-5, 7-2) are third in the WVIAC and Gattuso is the conference's sixth-leading scorer and leading rebounder. She also ranks ninth in blocked shots (1.07 per game) and fifth in offensive rebounds (3.47).

This past week, Gattuso, who has recorded seven double-doubles in a row, led the Griffins to a 2-1 record and averaged 22 points and 14 rebounds in the three games.

Gattuso is joined in the frontcourt by 5-foot-10 senior forward Clare Berenato, whose mother, Agnus, is the women's basketball coach at Pitt. Berenato, who played at Oakland Catholic, has started 13 games and averages 4.7 points and 4.7 rebounds.

Looking at the roster, Seton Hill is like a local all-star team, as the five starters and seven leading scorers all played in the WPIAL -- Gattuso, Paige Alviani (Hopewell), Tiarra Stossel (Indiana), Meghan Mastroianni (Montour), Berenato, Kelly Brennan (North Allegheny) and Mallory Sanner (Uniontown).

Westminster swims on

One of the best swim teams in the area is Westminster, and last weekend in a tri-meet with Chatham and West Virginia Wesleyan, both the Titans men's and women's teams won.

The Westminster men (7-0) won six events and had several swimmers from the WPIAL figure prominently in the win.

Sophomore Jake Pletz (Peters Township) won the 100-yard freestyle and sophomore Nicholas Smith (Indiana) won the 1,000-yard freestyle. The 200-medley relay team featuring three former WPIAL swimmers -- Matt Baurle (Penn Trafford), Alan Nedley (Connellsville) and Dan Gutmann (Seneca Valley) -- won first place, as well.

The Westminster women (7-1) won seven events, including the 200-yard medley relay, which featured former North Allegheny swimmer Marina Rozick, and sophomore Ashley Wyland (Allderdice) won the 200-yard freestyle.

Glass cleaning

Former Moon standout Aaron Johnson certainly made his presence felt on the glass for Clarion in a win against Central Penn last week, grabbing 15 rebounds.

That might not sound like an overwhelming amount, but consider this -- it is the most rebounds in a game by a Clarion freshman since at least 1979, and likely is the most by a Clarion freshman since 1974.

Johnson (6-4), who is a transfer from Princeton but did not play basketball at the school, is starting and averaging 9.2 points and 8 rebounds. He was named the PSAC West freshman of the week for his efforts.

Brother act

The stat line for Washington & Jefferson's "Bellhy" was impressive Wednesday in a win against Geneva, as Bellhy scored 38 points and had 20 rebounds.

Of course, that line was divided between two players -- senior guard Zach Bellhy and sophomore forward Nate Bellhy, the Presidents' talented brother combination from Fort Cherry.

Zach Bellhy scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Nate Bellhy had 17 points and nine rebounds.

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Paul Zeise: pzeise@post-gazette.com and Twitter: @paulzeise.


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