Saturday, May 8, 2021 | 6:18 PM
A local summer basketball league is taking shape, and it will feature some of the top returning WPIAL girls players and teams.
The Greensburg YMCA will host varsity girls and boys leagues beginning June 1.
The girls field includes Connellsville, Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Latrobe, Mt. Pleasant and Southmoreland.
Latrobe (Class 5A) and Southmoreland (4A) were WPIAL semifinalists last year. Latrobe has the standout frontcourt of junior Anna Rafferty and sophomore Emma Blair returning, and the Scotties feature standouts Olivia Cernuto (sophomore guard) and Gracie Spadaro (junior forward).
Boys teams include Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg Salem, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland and Yough.
The evening leagues, to be sponsored by Geico of Greensburg, will use a round-robin with each team playing nine games — the boys on Mondays and Wednesdays and the girls on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“Our focus right now is community,” said Greensburg YMCA Director of Sports and Wellness Shawn Rause. “It is our hope that this league will give our local athletes the opportunity to come together at a convenient location and get their skills ready for the upcoming season.”
Greensburg Salem girls coach Rick Klimchock and Golden Lions athletic director Frank Sundry approached Rause about the leagues.
“It has been great working with like-minded individuals to enhance the local sports in the area,” Rause said.
Klimchock said teams seem excited to play because summer play was wiped out last year by the coronavirus outbreak.
“It brings back the old days of the Paul Sapotichne leagues,” he said. “The teams can’t wait to play. It filled up quick. Our girls (at Greensburg Salem) are going to a team camp and shootouts again, which is nice to see as things start to return to normal.”
While two-, three-, and even four-sport athletes still exist around the WPIAL, one local school has one who plays five.
Greensburg Central Catholic senior Dylan Sebek plays soccer, golf, basketball and baseball and runs track.
Last week, he left a baseball practice to run in a WPIAL playoff track meet at Centurion Stadium.
“It’s a small school so you see a lot of athletes doing multiple sports,” Sebek said. “It can be tough in the same seasons, but you have to make sure your coaches work with you so you can do more than one sport.”
Sebek won a WPIAL championship in soccer, made the WPIAL playoffs in golf, played on a WPIAL runner-up team in basketball and helped track to a section title and a spot in the WPIAL playoffs.
Golf is the newest sport for Sebek, who said baseball is his favorite of the five.
“I started playing last year and really started to like it,” he said.
1 vs. 2
The top two teams in WPIAL Class 3A softball finally will Monday when No. 1 Mt. Pleasant (12-2, 6-1) visits No. 2 Southmoreland (8-1, 3-1) in Section 3. Both teams are averaging more than nine runs.
The game will feature talented players who are boasting impressive numbers.
Vikings senior Haylie Brunson is hitting .627 with 16 doubles, four home runs and 27 RBIs; junior Katie Hutter has a .566 average, six triples and 23 runs; senior Courtney Poulich is hitting .536 with three homers; senior Mary Smithnosky has a .468 average with 17 RBIs and senior Hannah Gnibus bats .417 with 13 driven in and 17 runs.
Smithnosky is 9-0 pitching with a 0.62 ERA and 62 strikeouts.
For Southmoreland, freshman Amarah McCutcheon is hitting .622 with seven homers, 18 RBIs and 20 runs; senior Jess Matheny is hitting .485 with 16 hits, two homers and 18 runs and is 4-1 as the No. 1 pitcher; sophomore Bryn Charnesky has four home runs and 10 RBIs to go with a .438 average; senior Emily Eutsey is hitting .390 with 20 RBIs and freshman Kaylee Dopplehauer has a .387 average with two homers and 11 runs.
Freshman Maddie Brown is 4-0 in the circle.
Mt. Pleasant has 19 home runs, and Southmoreland has 17.
The latest Western PA Volleyball Coaches Association Class AAA Top 10 poll features four Westmoreland boys teams.
Penn-Trafford occupies the No. 3 spot, Hempfield is No. 4, Norwin No. 7 and Latrobe No. 10.
Norwin edged Latrobe, 3-2, last week as JC Govannucci had 15 kills and Ethan Painter added 10.
Frankie Newill and Enzo Rodi paced Latrobe with 18 and 16 kills, and Will Burkhard chipped in 10.
Hempfield then defeated Latrobe, 3-1, as Sean Knight and Sean Gordon both had 11 kills and Chaz Ewer and Owen Kelley added eight apiece.
• Norwin standout senior track and cross country runner Alex Jubert will continue his athletic career at John Carroll, a Division III school in University Heights, Ohio. Jubert will reunite with former Knights teammate Carson Shipley, who is a junior distance runner at John Carroll.
• Cade Yacamelli keeps adding to his list of college football pursuers. The Penn-Trafford standout running back and defensive back last week picked up an offer from New Hampshire. His other offers are from Penn, Harvard, Columbia, Brown, Army, Navy, Lehigh, Air Force, Dartmouth, Youngstown State and Fordham.
• Belle Vernon star football player Devin Whitlock added a Division II offer from Livingston, a private, historically black school in Salisbury, N.C. Livingston plays in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
• Derry football player Cain Latta plans to play at Waynesburg.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .