Leader-Times notebook: Armstrong players make impact
Armstrong hockey’s scoring touch rubbed off on its all-star teammates.
Riverhawks forward Christian Miller was one of six players with goals for the Eastern Conference, which picked up a 7-2 win in the PIHL Class AA All-Star Game, one of four all-star games played Sunday at the Robert Morris Island Sports Center.
Fox Chapel’s Ben Friedland had two goals for the East, which led 4-0 after one period and added a fifth goal before the West got on the board. Latrobe’s Brendan Johns had the lone three-point night of the game with a goal and two assists.
Miller’s goal was the sixth of his career in PIHL all-star competition, which includes appearing in the Class A game for Kittanning before the program’s merger with Ford City. Armstrong’s Josh Oliver and Hunter Grafton both had an assist in the game to put all the Riverhawks in action on the score sheet.
Freeport’s players weren’t as successful in terms of the game result — the Western Conference won the Class A game, 7-3 — but Yellowjackets’ forward Hunter Kepple was able to show off his scoring touch with one of the East’s three goals.
Kepple was the lone Freeport player to score, but goalie Matt Huston got the start for the East and stopped 10 of 11 shots faced to keep the score 1-1 through one period.
The Yellowjackets also were represented in this year’s all-star game by forward Stone Haberstroh and defenseman Ethan Waddell.
There could be as few as two games left in Ford City boys basketball history, but the storied program’s record book is getting some late edits.
Two current Sabers — senior forward Blake Bower and junior forward Brandon Heilman — set career records this season while helping Ford City to its 49th all-time playoff appearance.
Bower will end his career as the Sabers’ all-time leading rebounder. He has 609 rebounds entering Monday’s regular-season finale against Knoch, which surpasses the previous record of 576 set by Jeff Pauline in 1996.
Heilman also broke a record previously held by Pauline when he took the school’s lead in blocks early in the season. Pauline finished his career with 71 blocks, while Heilman currently has 99.
Both players were honored for their achievements before the Sabers’ home game against South Allegheny on Jan. 30, which ended up being the team’s playoff-clinching win.
With the WPIAL playoff field set, the last regular-season drama on the basketball court is coming from the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference.
Redbank Valley (16-5, 8-1) leads the boys’ South Division, but Karns City (11-8, 7-1) split the season series with the Bulldogs. Redbank Valley’s last conference game is with last-place A-C Valley, which means the Gremlins likely are playing for a tie if they can top Moniteau and Union-Rimersburg to close the season.
The Karns City girls (17-3, 7-1) are in a much more commanding position. A win Monday over second-place Moniteau (14-5, 6-1) would leave the Gremlins needing only a win over last-place Union for an outright division title.