District Notebook: Saint Vincent men, women shine on the court

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The Saint Vincent men's and women's basketball teams are streaking, and as a result, both are at or near the top of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

The Bearcats women, fresh off an 83-45 destruction of Thiel in which they hit 12 3-pointers, have won five in a row, are 15-5 (11-2 PAC) and in second place behind Thomas More. The men's team has won four in a row and seven of eight to get to 15-5 and remain in a first-place tie with Thomas More at 10-1.

Both teams also featured the conference's player of the week. Former OLSH standout Devin McGrath won the women's honor and the men's winner was Isaac Turner.

McGrath led the Bearcats to two wins last week and just missed a triple-double Saturday against Westminster with 10 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocks. Against Washington & Jefferson a few days earlier, she had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

McGrath, who is averaging 15.4 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3 steals per game, also is considered a conference player of the year candidate.

Turner, who is from Winter Park, Fla., averaged 16 points and four rebounds per game in two wins last week.

Both teams have five regular-season games remaining before the playoffs begin.

Lady Redhawks keep rolling

Perhaps the best district basketball team -- with respect to the competition -- is the La Roche women's team, which clinched an AMCC playoff berth with a 74-65 win Wednesday against Mount Aloysius.

The Lady Redhawks (17-2, 12-1), who clinched a playoff berth for the sixth consecutive season, were led Wednesday by former West Mifflin standout Jessica Pitts (16 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists) and Butler's Casie Cygan (26 points).

Pitts, La Roche's second-leading scorer (15.7 ppg) and leading rebounder (11.2 rpg), was named the AMCC player of the week after averaging 20 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals in two wins last week.

Cygan leads the team in scoring (19.2 ppg) and two more former WPIAL players are averaging double figures -- Woodland Hills graduate Amanda Garland (11.8 ppg) and New Castle's LaShauna Brothers (11.7 ppg).

La Roche, which has won five in a row and 16 of 17, is outscoring opponents by an average of 22 points per game.

Johnson continues to thrive

Clarion freshman Aaron Johnson (Moon) is in the discussion for the PSAC all-freshman team, if not PSAC freshman of the year, even though he did not become eligible to play until the second semester.

Johnson has averaged 9 points and 6.6 rebounds in 10 games and this week was named the PSAC West freshman of the year. He also has two double-doubles.

And Johnson had quite an impressive three-game run, as he went nearly 11 days without missing a shot from the field.

He made 13 shots in a row, including seven in a row from 3-point range, before finally missing Saturday night against Lock Haven.

Griffins ranked high

The Seton Hill baseball team is set to have a great season -- if the Griffins live up to what is projected for them in preseason polls, that is.

The Griffins, who are ranked in the top 15 nationally in several preseason polls as well as the top five in Baseball America's small college preview, also were selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2013 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship by conference coaches.

Seton Hill received nine of a possible 15 first-place votes, and if the Griffins win the WVIAC, they would earn the conference's automatic NCAA Division II tournament bid.

Seton Hill also received 13 of 15 first-place votes to defend its WVIAC North Division championship for the fourth year in a row. The Griffins finished 46-11 last season and 30-4 in the WVIAC.

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


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