East notes: Wallace wins more gold medals
Oakland Catholic junior Jordan Wallace must have a sore neck after last weekend.
Following three more gold medals at the PIAA championships she has now won 12 golds the past two seasons in the WPIAL and PIAA meets combined.
Wallace helped Oakland Catholic win its second-consecutive PIAA Class AA team title by winning two individual events and the anchor of a winning relay.
Wallace, who won the 100-yard backstroke last season, broke her own state record on Saturday in 56.01 and then helped win the 400 free relay just two events later as Oakland Catholic cruised to the state title for the second consecutive season by 30 points over Gwynedd Mercy.
Saturday was the culmination of another outstanding season for Wallace after winning the 200 freestyle by more than two seconds on Friday with a time of 1:49.67.
‘Jordan is awesome, what can I say,’ Oakland Catholic coach Alisa Scioscia said.
Joining Wallace in the 400 free relay was Courtney Choura, who finished second in the 200 individual medley and third 100 breaststroke, Carlyn Donley, fifth in the 500 freestyle, and Diana Dietrich.
One of the best female athletes ever to pass through the WPIAL ended her basketball career on Saturday.
Steel Valley senior Jess Strom scored 25 points in a 57-45 loss to Fort LeBoeuf in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs.
Steel Valley had the game in its grasp, but was outscored 25-5 in the pivotal fourth quarter. Strom ends her exceptional basketball career as the WPIAL’s third-leading all-time scorer with 2,840 points, only trailing Monessen’s Gina Naccarato (3,364) and East Allegheny’s Brooke Stewart (3,055).
Strom, who will play basketball at Penn State next season, also is an outstanding soccer player, in finishing her career as the WPIAL’s all-time leading scorer with 205 goals, including 51 in her senior season.
This season looked like it would be a disappointment when Steel Valley appeared to be out of the playoff picture, but a late run helped the Ironmen make the playoffs in Section 4-AAA with a three-way tie with Thomas Jefferson and North Catholic for first place.
Unseeded Steel Valley then knocked off No. 2-seed Hampton in the first round, 58-51 in overtime, and No. 7 seed West Allegheny, 54-56, in the quarterfinals before losing to No. 3 seed Blackhawk, 66-45, in the semifinals.
Plum junior Matt Cassidy placed fourth at 171 pounds at the PIAA Class AAA wrestling championships. Cassidy decisioned Chad Hoare of Dubois, 4-1, in the consolation semifinals before losing to Central Dauphin’s Tyler Shovlin, 8-4.
A GOOD RUN
The Valley girls basketball team lost the program’s first PIAA playoff game on Saturday, a 66-49 loss to District 6 champion Indian Valley. The Vikings downfall was scoring eight points in the second and fourth quarters. The loss doesn’t overshadow a season in which Valley (18-6) won its first section title when it tied Hampton for the Section 1-AAA crown and claimed its first playoff victory, a 58-48 victory over Derry Area.
Next season, the Vikings should be one of the preseason favorites as they return every starter.
The PIHL playoffs are in full swing and the three Trib East teams remaining in the Class AAA bracket play tonight in the quarterfinals.
No. 2 seed Central Catholic (17-5-1) plays seven-seed North Hills (12-8-4) at 7 p.m. at Harmarville.
Third-seeded Allderdice (17-5-2) hosts Gateway (14-7-2) at 7 p.m. at the Ice Castle.