The local basketball season ended with Bentworth's loss to Serra Catholic in the PIAA Class A boys quarterfinals Friday night at Chartiers Valley. As schools prepare for spring sports, it's time to hand out a few postseason awards.
Game of the Year
Bentworth 64, DuBois Central Catholic 62
This PIAA Class A boys second-round game had everything needed to be labeled a classic. Jon Kennedy finished with 28 points and nine rbounds but it was Joe Kennedy whose last-second putback put the Bearcats into the quarterfinals for the first time.
South Fayette vs. Jeannette (WPIAL Class AA boys quarterfinals)
Peters Township vs. Mt. Lebanon (WPIAL Class AAAA girls semifinals)
Canon-McMillan vs. Moon (PIAA Class AAAA first round)
Play of the Year
Charles Murphy's buzzer-beater versus Shaler.
Canon-McMillan, desperate to win its first non-preliminary playoff game, trailed Shaler with time ticking away. That's when Charles Murphy took an inbounds pass from Zane Zebrasky and his 38-footer hit net for the dramatic victory.
Joe Kennedy's game-winning putback vs. DuBois Central Catholic
Maura Lacey's coast-to-coast layup vs. Mt. Lebanon
Team of the Year
Several strong candidates but no local team advanced further in the state playoffs than Bentworth, which had its best season in 20 years.
Peters Township girls
South Fayette boys
Newcomer of the Year
Mike Lamberti, South Fayette
Lamberti, a 6-4 freshman, was a key contributor to South Fayette's success. He led the Lions in scoring and was one of the best passers in the area.
Terrance Stepoli, Monessen boys
Emily Matthis, Peters Township girls
Kacey Wargo, Canon-McMillan girls
The What-If Award
The Canon-McMillan girls
The 2007-08 Big Macs were tabbed for great success since the 2004-05 season. Then, senior Cameron Jones, who had several DI offers, elected not to play and talented Brittany Taylor struggled through injuries. C-M played tough but missed the playoffs.
The Burgettstown boys – lost to Bishop Canevin at buzzer in WPIAL prelims. BC went to the WPIAL semis and PIAA playoffs.
The Ringgold girls – The Rams, a PIAA playoff team in 2006-07, were hurt by the transfer of Bethany Warren and did not advance past the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
The So Close Award
(Tie) Washington and Monessen girls
Washington entered the WPIAL Class AA playoffs as the No. 2 seed and with just one loss. Monessen was undefeated and seeded second in the Class A bracket. Neither won a WPIAL championship – Wash High lost in the semis and Monessen lost in the title game – and they combined to go 1-2 in the PIAA playoffs.
Senior of the Year
Boys – (tie) Charles Murphy, C-M; Jon Kennedy, Bentworth
Girls – Christina Chukwuedo, Monessen
Junior of the Year
Boys – (tie) Nick Wilcox, Peters Twp.; Ryne Niemiec, Beth-Center
Girls – Emily Correal, Peters Twp.
Sophomore of the Year
Boys – Chad Hagan, Canon-McMillan
Girls – Alina Selby, Ringgold
Freshman of the Year
Boys – Mike Lamberti, South Fayette
Girls – Not awarded
Most Pleasant Surprise
Team – Burgettstown
Player – Derek Goetz, Burgettstown
Team – Beth-Center
Player – Jocelyn Floyd, Washington