George Guido: 3 boys hoops teams in Westmoreland tourney |

George Guido: 3 boys hoops teams in Westmoreland tourney

Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Kiski Area’s Jack Colecchi high-fives teammates and coaches during a scrimmage Nov. 23, 2018.

Three area boys basketball teams will be part of a Westmoreland County Coaches Association shootout Dec. 15.

Valley, Burrell and Kiski Area will be part of the event where both Hempfield basketball facilities will be utilized.

The coaches association, chaired basketball-wise by Hempfield’s Bill Swan, wanted to get basketball as part of annual activities for county high schools such as wrestling and cross country, staples for many years.

Fourteen Westmoreland teams will participate in seven games starting at noon in each gym. Four games will be at the field house and three at the upper-campus gym.

At the Spartans Fieldhouse will be Burrell against Monessen at 1:45 p.m.

At the original Hempfield gym will be Kiski Area vs. Norwin at 1:45 p.m., and Valley vs. Latrobe at 3:30.

Still at it

On Nov. 17, 1968, Clyde Conti played for Freeport in the second of back-to-back 6-0 losses to Burrell in WPIAL football title games in New Kensington.

Fast forward 50 years to Nov. 17, 2018, and Conti is still involved in football: this time in the coaching end as Slippery Rock eliminated previously undefeated LIU-Post in the opening round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Conti, after a lengthy career of high school coaching at Clarion-Limestone, Slippery Rock Area and Butler, is on the Slippery Rock coaching staff. His primary involvement is monitoring academics.

After being drubbed by West Chester in the PSAC championship game, some doubted if Slippery Rock would be invited to the D-II playoffs.

But The Rock have made the most of it, defeating New Haven last Saturday and advancing to face Notre Dame (Ohio) on Saturday afternoon in a regional final.

At Freeport, the speedy Conti was known as “Clyde the Comet” and was rated one of the state’s top running backs in 1967 and ’68. After graduating from Freeport, he played for legendary coach Al Jacks at Clarion.

Owner of 188 victories on the high school level, Conti is a member of several halls of fame, including the Alle-Kiski Valley, Armstrong County and Pennsylvania State Coaches Association.

‘Tis the season

This is the time of year for state high school football playoffs and holiday preparations to clash.

It’s never been more so for coach Jeff Grubich of Ohio’s Kenston High School.

Not only does Grubich have his team in Ohio’s Division III state title game Saturday at Canton’s Hall of Fame Stadium against Kettering Alter, but Grubich and his wife also have a Christmas tree farm in Chagrin Falls near Cleveland.

The last few days have been hectic, to say the least.

Friday was the opening of Howling Pines Tree Farm, popular with area families because they can come to the farm and chop their own tree. While customers were picking out their favorite firs, Grubich was miles away in New Philadelphia guiding his team to a state semifinal victory.

He’ll miss more time at the tree farm with game preparation and Friday’s state title game. Grubich told the News-Herald from the Cleveland area he’s been busy, but it’s a good problem to have.”

George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.

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