Saturday, December 22, 2007

Things to watch - 2008

Hard to believe another calendar year is rapidly approaching. The 2007-08 winter sports season is in full bloom and several intriguing story lines are taking shape and worth following.

1. Will C-M senior Colin Johnston rebound from last year's disappointment at the PIAA championships to win another state title?
2. Can the Wash High girls, already 9-0, complete the regular season undefeated? The guess here is no, it's simply too difficult, but the Prexies are legit WPIAL Class AA championship contenders.
3. Will the Peters Township and Canon-McMillan boys basketball teams remain in playoff contention as the Section 4-AAAA season heats up? Yes, but I don't see both teams making the playoffs. Right now, I'd say PT has a slight edge of C-M but the Big Macs are playing well since a winless trip to Florida.
4. The Washington boys basketball team will win another Section 5-AA title. The question is can the Prexies find a consistent, reliable, go-to scorer that playoff teams need?
5. Will local teams return to the championship podium at the end of the WPIAL team wrestling playoffs?
6. Can the Ringgold girls compete for the WPIAL Class AAA title without Bethany Warren? It appears the Rams can. Emily Schartner is the area's second-best player (Peters Township's Emily Correal tops the list) and Alina Selby dominates at times in the post. Plus, head coach Joe Ravasio knows the game like few others. The guy deserves more credit.
7. Time for the least bold prediction of the winter sports season - the Trinity rifle team will win the WPIAL championship.
8. If the Bentworth boys basketball team beats Serra Catholic on Jan. 2, the Bearcats have to be considered the team to beat in Section 3-A. Jon and Joe Kennedy are proven scorers and Bentworth will be a major factor this postseason.
9. So will the California boys.
10. On Jan. 19, the Wash High boys play at South Fayette. These two used to play for the Section 5-AA title, now they get together once per year in a great non-section contest. SF coach Rich Bonnaure consistently wins and he's 7-1 this year with two freshmen starters.


Anonymous said...

I think your probably correct on most of your picks, Mike. CM sure does have an excellent chance at advancing. I would like to see CM play McKeesport next week at Trinity. I have never seen a 7ft. high school player and Charles Murphy sure has great ability. Although, PT has nice height.

mike_kovak said...

Has the WPIAL ever had a seven-footer? I can't think of one.

The second PT-CM game will be critical for both. And, by the way, PT's Nick Wilcox and CM's Charles Murphy are the early frontrunners for boys player of the year.

Anonymous said...

Don't hand that section crown to Wash High so fast. The Little Prexies are the favorites. But the gap between them and Monessen isn't as wide as last year and the Greyhounds have a point guard who can score and control tempo, something WHS continues to search for.

mike_kovak said...

Gosh, you're right on anon.

Monessen is on a major roll - 8 straight wins at the time I'm typing this - and Washington just lost its second-straight 20-point game.

Too bad Monessen is probably dropping back to Class A after this year. It's been nice to see a team push Washington in Section 5. Fort Cherry did so when Dan Davis played there and South Fayette used to back in the day.