Westmoreland County High School Basketball Notebook: Some classic round-ball games to be televised

Westmoreland County High School Basketball Notebook: Some classic round-ball games to be televised


Friday, March 15, 2024 | 11:01 am

High school basketball will suddenly be part of Memorial Day weekend. And fans will be able to sit on the couch to watch the best players in the district play on television.

The plan is for KDKA to televise some of the Roundball Classic all-star basketball games set for May 22-26 at North Allegheny.

This year there will be underclassmen games as well as the usual exhibition games featuring the top senior players from the WPIAL, City League, District 9 and District 10.

KDKA will broadcast two underclassmen games May 23-24 – the Rising Star Invitational, as it’s called – said Alan Deep, who has coached Roundball for 20 years. Select games will also be televised on May 25-26, possibly the top games in larger classifications.

This year’s Roundball was originally scheduled to be played May 9-12, but organizers did not want to compete with the live NCAA rookie period during that time.

For the better part of 20 years, round ball was played at Geneva College.

The full schedule and rosters will be posted later.

There is no TO for Oleski

Tom Olesky has watched dozens of basketball games during the season. This season in particular, he follows a talented group of girls he has coached in AAU.

Olesky brought the team back to the PA Swoosh about six years ago, and his players have developed into college-level talent. They include Lauren Palangio, Ava Kobus, Kendall Williams and Bailey Snowberger of Norwin; Olivia Pepple of Penn-Trafford; Abby Johns of the Kiski area; Rachel Manfredo of McKeesport; and Sophia Reitz of Franklin Regional.

The Norwin and McKeesport girls were still alive in the PIAA quarterfinals on Friday.

Palangio (Holy Family), Kobus (Allegheny), Williams (Wilkes), Pepple (Gannon), Johns (Shippensburg) and Manfredo (Edinboro) will continue their college careers.

Snowberger will play Division I softball at Holy Cross.

An eighth-grade boys coach at Franklin Regional, Oleski was an assistant to Rick Klimchok with the Jeannette boys and Franklin Regional girls.

The PA Swoosh team also included Olivia Waters of North Hills.

Olesky said there’s more to the girls than their fondness for Rita’s Italian Ice.

“They all excel in the classroom and on the court,” Oleski said. “They all became unselfish teammates who play in the Big 56 (Conference) and have only played for one AAU team.

“As a coach, parent or fan, it’s certainly exciting to see kids play and succeed in such meaningful games. On the other hand, I’m really proud of my players who have been very successful but haven’t had long playoff runs.”

GCC fails

Greensburg Catholic boys coach Christian Hyland referred to the past about his team’s potential path to Hershey. GCC was upset by Jeannette in the second round, but the Centurions were hoping for a similar story to the one the team wrote in 2011.

That season, when Hyland was a freshman – and Franklin Regional coach Jesse Reed was a senior – in the GCC, the Centurions lost by 20 (64-43) to Monessen in the WPIAL final. Four wins later in the PIAA playoffs, GCC was playing for a state title. The Centurions lost to Imhotep Charter, 67-34, at Penn State. This year’s team reached the WPIAL final and suffered a lopsided loss to Aliquippa, 69-32.

GCC is still looking for its first WPIAL and state titles in boys basketball.

Cager bound

Three Franklin Regional players were selected to play in the 27th set of the Cager Classic on April 6 at Highlands High School.

Cooper Rankin and Cam Rowell will suit up for the East boys team, while Angelina Brush will play for the East girls.

The girls game tips off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 8.

The games will feature senior players from both sides of the Allegheny River. Schools represented are Apollo-Ridge, Armstrong, Burrell, Butler, Cheswick Christian Academy, Deer Lakes, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional, Freeport, Hampton, Highlands, Kiski Area, Knoch, Leechburg, Mars, Plum, Riverview, Springdale, St. Joseph and the valley.

Making his points

The dynamic duo of Tyree Turner and Franco Alvarez are done playing basketball at Greensburg Central Catholic after quite a run together.

They combined for 2,530 points. Turner had 1,445 and Alvarez 1,085. With the pair in the lineup, the Centurions went 61-16 with a 32-2 mark in the section, reached the WPIAL semifinals three times and finished as the runner-up this year. The pair made three PIAA playoff appearances together.

Turner also reached the WPIAL finals as a freshman.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at [email protected].

Labels: Franklin Regional, Greensburg CC, Norwin

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