Westmoreland girls basketball notebook: Yough makes great strides


Wednesday 19 January 2022 | 21:19

Scores can be an indication of how far struggling programs have come – a measure of improvement.

Three results stand out in the planning for Yough.

The Cougars (3-9, 1-3 en route to Wednesday night’s game against No. 4 Southmoreland) won none of the three – they were not favorites – but they closed the gap considerably and let their opponents work.

The Cougars lost only to Class 4A No. 2 Belle Vernon, 43-34.

Talented Elizabeth Forward had to beat the Cougars before settling for a 53-41 win.

And Class 5A Plum certainly didn’t come out of the blue when it played against Yough and took a 44-36 win.

The word around Section 3-4A says the Cougars are a tough road. Don’t take them lightly and be ready to play physically.

Youth coach Mike Gerdich sees a gradual development of his team. After all, this is a program that broke a 99-game streak last season.

“Our young ladies are constantly competing, and as a result we hang out and are still in a lot of the games in the fourth quarter,” Gerdich said. “The biggest difference is that, for the most part, this team doesn’t allow for pressure exerted by other teams to disturb them. In the past, a team would push us and get up quickly at 8pm, but this team has found a way to deal with pressure and they understand their individual roles and understand what needs to be done both in practice and in preparing for the match for our opponents. ”

Yough allowed the third fewest points in the section at 43.3. But the Cougars only scored 35.8 per game.

“The coaching staff thinks the program has taken huge steps in the right direction,” Gerdich said. “Our young ladies have immersed themselves in team basketball and believed in each other.”

Yough is not yet a WPIAL title contender. baby steps.

“Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a few games this year where we didn’t show up to play,” Gerdich said. “Overall, though, the games were exciting and competitive.” One player who has helped with Yough’s promotion is Autumn Matthews, a center that also plays volleyball.

The team’s only sophomore, Matthews had 20 points in a win over Ligonier Valley.

“Autumn Matthews is a very important part of our team,” said Gerdich. “She has played well and made consistent positive contributions every night, both on offense and on defense.”

Charitable Cougars

Yough recently put together a “Hoopin for a Cure Night” to raise money for Mike Pils, a former Yough student who died in 2019 after battling brain cancer.

Through concessions, 50/50 raffles and the sale of “6th Man” T-shirts, Yough has raised $221 to donate to the Michael Pils Foundation to aid in childhood cancer research.

“Michael knew a lot of the Young students and he had a passion for basketball,” Gerdich said.


It was a mind-bending score to say the least as Norwin received Penn-Trafford in Section 1-6A on Tuesday night.

Neither team achieved double digits in each quarter. Each team made six two-pointers, but Norwin hit four three-pointers while the Warriors went 0 for 8 from a three-point range.

Final Score: Norwin 29, Penn-Trafford 14. (adjusts eyes).

“If you’d told me before the game that Norwin would only score 29 points, I’d say I’d like to have our chances,” said Penn-Trafford coach John Giannikas. “I think both teams defended each other really well, but also lacked some looks that they would like to have back. Their length in defense was definitely hard for us to deal with. It’s very hard to do that in practice I’ve never coached a match like this I couldn’t be more proud of our defensive effort.

“I have to do my best to get the players to score in different places on the field.”

Norwin coach Brian Brozeski called the game “One of a kind”.

“These kinds of games happen when you play against your rival, you just never know how either team will react,” he said. “We have to learn from the experience and find a way to normalize situations. Sometimes it seems like we’re trying too hard to make a game or make a difference, instead of making the simple game that naturally occurs in the game.”

makeup games

Sunday and Monday’s snowstorm forced some girls’ basketball to postpone their play on Monday night.

Latrobe in Greensburg Salem, a game of Section 4-5A, will now be played next Friday-evening.

A match-up of the top two teams in Section 3-4A will now be played on Saturday as Belle Vernon will visit Elizabeth Forward at 12:30pm

Another intriguing makeup contest is Saturday at 1pm, when Southmoreland hosts Mount Pleasant in Section 3-4A.

Morocco reaches milestone

Derry senior guard Tiana Moracco not only overshadowed her career 1,000 points in Tuesday’s 44-37 loss against Mount Pleasant, but she also came closer to the school’s scoring record.

She only needs 23 points to break Lindsay Dixon’s 1047 points.

flying solo

Watch a Derry game and coach Gene Brisbane sometimes looks like he’s alone on an island.

That’s because he has no assistant coaches. Brisbane, in his third year as the Trojans’ coach, coaches alone.

Brisbane said he had two assistants but they left the district for work reasons.

“I wanted to do it,” he said of solo coaching. “We’re working on it.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill via email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Keywords: Derry area, Greensburg Salem, Latrobe, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Southmoreland, Yough


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.