Friday, November 6, 2009

Games of the Week - First-round Edition

Lots of intriguing matchups throughout the WPIAL playoffs tonight including Penn Hills at Upper St. Clair, Mt. Lebanon at Shaler, New Castle at Greensburg-Salem and Sto-Rox at Shady Side Academy.

Aliquippa (8-1) at McGuffey (7-2)
The Quips were one of three teams from the always-tough Midwestern Conference to finish 8-1 overall and 7-1 in conference. Center and Beaver Falls were the others. Aliquippa finished third thanks, in part, to its loss to Beaver Falls.

The last time Aliquippa lost in the first round came in 2005, when No. 14 Washington shut out the Quips, 7-0. That team was seeded to high. This version sure looks better than a No. 9 seed in Class AA but that's the only place the WPIAL could put Aliquippa because of the third-place finish.

McGuffey has played sound defense all year, particularly at home. The Highlanders allowed 12 points in five home games, all coming last week versus Washington. They'll need to chew up clock with the wing-T offense and create a couple turnovers in this one.

Trinity (4-5) at Mars (6-3)
A month ago, Trinity was 1-5 following what Hillers coach Ed Dalton called "embarrassing" performances against teams like Belle Vernon and Chartiers Valley. Three consecutive wins got Trinity back into the playoffs and one interesting first-round contest.

Sophomore running back Eric Richards has played well for Trinity and it's helped the passing game. Quarterback Andrew Steratore has two reliable targets in Joe Havrilak and Dusty Avolio. They'll need to make some big plays on the road against a tough Mars team.

The Planets run their own version of the wing-T and they'll challenge a Trinity defense that has played well this year despite the record. That defense will be without Ken Wilkins (mono).

Brentwood (5-4) at Fort Cherry (7-2)
Brentwood's regular season mirrors that of Trinity. It started 0-4 with losses to defending PIAA Class AA champion Wilmington, South Side Beaver, Avonworth and North Catholic. The latter two were the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Brentwood finished third thanks to a five-game win streak.

Of those final five wins, only one (Springdale) came against a team with more than three victories.

Fort Cherry has seven wins after rallying to take three straight following a puzzling loss to Avella. With the exception of a loss to Clairton, Fort Cherry finds ways to make big plays at Jim Garry Stadium, whether it's a long run or kickoff return from Gary Kiefer, a Tanner Garry to Nicholas Hurley touchdown pass or a blocked kick.


prexie said...

wash high had a good year. center was just a better team. they had a well run offense and a swarming d. wash high did better in the second half when they ran from the gun. everyone in the stands was yelling for it in the 1st qrt. they also had wide outs being covered man for man in the second half on 1st and 2nd down and never challenged the d backs.????? not that they would have won but you kind of hope your coaches notice stuff like that.never the less we will come back next year. its off to the weight room.

Anonymous said...

springdale 21, monessen 14.

monessen cant beat anyone outside of the tcs and this point was proved yet again last night. 7-0 against the TCS, 0-3 outside of the conference.

Anonymous said...

Dear FC school board. just punt on the garrys. time to move on.

Brant said...

It's getting to be routine: an almost total first-round wipeout of area teams. Go Beth-Center! Our last hope.

Anonymous said...

Were you at the Monessen game?? It was hard fought and could have went either way.. I find it funny how everyone talks down on the greyhounds..Why are they held on a pedestal over the other valley teams anyway??? Answer me this.. why is it when Belle Vernon or any other valley team makes the playoffs, people are happy with just that and praise them for their effort...While Monessen had won there conference title for millionth time, go in and battle springdale till the last play of the game and just cause they didnt win do people think they are an unworthy football team....I'll tell you why...cause everyone know that they are a much better football team then the score shows.. Everyone knows that the talent of that football team exceeds that combined talent of any other TWO mon-valley teams..possibly 3......So people like to see the greyhounds fall..but I can promise you this..a tweak here..a tweak there...Class A would have a dynasty on its hands once again!! On Another note, Greyhound Basketball 09!!! Jump on the wagon now!! Pre-warned!

Tri County Woes said...

So what you are saying is Monessen plays in a weak conference and underachieved? Well I agree.
Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Ill tell you why people dont hold BVA and others to the same standard...because people from BVA arent on here screaming about how good their team is...especially when that team cant win a game outside of the TCS. Im sorry its a fact...they cant win a game outside of the weakest conference of the weakest class. You beat Serra last year in the playoffs without Heatherington and then what happened the following week? Another beat down by the bears. A tweak here and a tweak there?? Listen, you need more than a little "tweak" to change the fact that you have been outscored by Rochy and Clairton 168-0 the last two years. Those two teams are the "real" dynasties in Class A. Like I said at the beginning of the year, like I said when the playoffs started and like I am going to say now...when you score a single point on either Rochester or Clairton then get back to me about how "good" your hounds are...until then its all hype and it will always be all hype. And you didnt exactly lose to a top Class A team lost to the #12 seed. Oh season is starting soon right??? more hype???

Anonymous said...

wait a minute...did you just say that monessens talent is better than any other two mon valley teams combined? is that what you just said? ha ha ha is a Mon Valley team, technically Thomas Jefferson is a Mon Valley team, McKeesport, Steel Valley, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward (okay ill give you that one)'re telling me Monessen has more talen than Clairton and TJ combined? Is that your statement?

Anonymous said...

I would like to say something about the greyhounds and I would know because I'm a starter on the football team. The only people who hype our team up every year are newspapers and a bunch of adults. As players, we go out and play the game we love. We have a great goup of kids playing that respect one another and get along well on the field and off the field. We can't help what teams we play, we play who they give us. I don't appreciate my team being trashed on. We are not playing for you, we play because we love the game and our teammates. Everyteam that didn't make the playoffs and who lost in the playoffs left that field hurting. We don't need adults to make us feel bad, we feel bad enough. So keep talkig down on us if you must, we will be back again next year, win or lose, because we love the game. You can suppport the kids or hate us, I prefer that people just watch the game, root us on and smile that everyone finished the game healthy.

As for basketball, we went pretty far with a team so young. We are hoping to do better this year and go further and with 4 junior starters this year, I think we will do well. Love or hate us, we play becasue we love the game.

Anonymous said...

For the person talking about Monessen getting crushed by Clairton....I wouldn't go as far as saying monessen can't win a game outside the tcs.. Yes i agree they might not be as good as people make them out but when it comes to clairton, it's a different story..I have been around high school football for nearly 30 years and can honestly say that clairton would dominate in double and triple A as well..yes, I just said it..

Anonymous said...

I disagree that Clairton would be as good in AA or AAA. If they thought they were good enough they would move up. Programs move up in football and basketball all the time. Clairton will stay A because they wouod be sitting in the bleachers this time of year if they moved up.

Anonymous said...

I would have to have to agree. Monessen probably has more talent at the skill positions then anyone around, including clairton and Tj I have seen all three teams this year. Its the line that holds them back

Anonymous said...

WAIT, stop right there...that's ridiculous, I don't care how long you've been around football.

Clairton has had an amazing tradition and won alot of games - but they would never "dominate" very many teams in AAA.

I have no doubt that they would probably win some games...but how are they going to dominate teams like TJ, West Mifflin, EF, BVA, Hopewell, New Castle, West Allegheny...(do I need to go on?)...Franklin Regional, Montour, Chartiers get the picture.

I've been to a few of Clairton's games - and my job puts me at a bunch of AAA games.

I can tell you that each of those AAA teams listed above has more size, depth, and in some cases skill than Clairton has - not to mention coaching staffs that truly know how to negate the speed that Clairton does have.

TJ has beaten a team up in Erie the last two years that has way more speed, size, and skill than Clairton does (Erie Strong Vincent).

To say that Clairton would dominate up in AAA is really over the top - and quite frankly just not realistic.

Anonymous said...

let me clarify...Monessen could obviously beat leechburg, wilkinsburg, avella, bentworth, etc...but when people come on here talking about this monessen "dynasty" or about how good they are or "watch out for monessen" sorry but thats a joke. They were the champions of the TCS, they get into the playoffs and they lose to the #3 team out of the Eastern Conference. And, I hate to keep bringing this up, but they havent scored a point...A SINGLE POINT...against the two Class A powers in the last two years.

Anonymous said...

anon at 7:55 on 11/11...

YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND. are out of your mind. I have seen Monessen play this year as well, you are crazy if you think Monessen has more talent than those teams.

Clairton wouldnt dominate AAA. I think they would win some games but dominate? I dont think. I do think, however, that they would be a playoff contender in AA...but AA had a lot of good schools. The poster was right, too much depth at some of those AAA schools to compete.

I would really like to see clairton play a good AA team, a middle of the road AAA team or a connellsville/Baldwin to see how they stack up against the bigger schools. We just got done with our home and home games with Laurel and Monessen...we need two new non-conference games...i hope they schedule bigger schools next year.