Steelers Plan On Having Ben Roethlisberger Back

February 24, 2021 4:28 pm

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers plan on having quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back for an 18th season. Team president Art Rooney II says he and Roethlisberger have met to figure out a way to ease the financial pressure caused by Roethlisberger’s contract. Roethlisberger’s current deal carries a $41 million salary cap number for 2021. He is due a $15 million roster bonus on March 20 shortly after the new league year begins. Rooney called the meeting with Roethlisberger “productive,” adding that it allowed the two sides to “discuss a lot of things that relate to where we are and where we want to go.”

Hillers Seeded First in WPIAL Hoops Brackets

February 24, 2021 2:22 am

Playoff pairings for the WPIAL basketball tournaments were released Tuesday night.  The Trinity Hillers received the top seed in the 5A girls bracket, the only top four seed among Washington County teams. Preliminary games are scheduled for Saturday and Monday with Sweet 16 match-ups beginning next Tuesday. Prior to the release, it was announced that the Canon-McMillan girls had opted out. Click for Girls Brackets, Boys Brackets. Here’s the preliminary schedule for Washington/Greene County teams.

Preliminaries
Saturday, Feb. 27,
12 noon
Girls 3A #18 South Allegheny at #15 Washington
Girls 2A #19 Frazier at #14 Chartiers-Houston
Boys 6A #17 Canon-McMillan at #16 Greensburg Salem
Boys 5A #20 Kiski Area at #13 Trinity WJPA-AM Listen Here
Boys 5A #19 Ringgold at #14 Shaler
Boys 2A #20 Jeff-Morgan vs. #13 Winchester-Thurston at Peters Township
Boys 2A #21 Riverview at #12 Burgettstown
Boys 2A #15 Carmichaels at #18 Serra Catholic
2:00 pm
Boys 2A #17 California at #16 Chartiers-Houston
Boys 2A #11 Fort Cherry vs. #22 Propel Braddock Hills at Peters Township

Monday, Mar. 1, 6:00 pm
Boys 3A #18 Mohawk at #15 McGuffey WJPA-AM Listen Here
Boys 3A #19 Beth-Center vs. #14 Apollo-Ridge at Charleroi WJPA-FM Listen Here
Boys 3A #13 New Brighton at #20 Waynesburg
8:00 pm
Girls 5A #25 Ringgold at #8 Fox Chapel
Boys 3A #23 Steel Valley at #10 Charleroi WJPA-AM Listen Here

First Round
Tuesday, Mar. 2, 6:00 pm

Girls 2A #9 Fort Cherry at #8 California
Girls 2A Greens. Cent. Cath./Northgate winner at #5 Burgettstown
Boys 6A #11 Peters Township at #6 Pine-Richland
Boys 1A #9 Avella at #8 St. Joseph’s
Boys 1A #15 West Greene at #2 Rochester
Boys 1A #11 Mapletown at #6 Leechburg
8:00 pm
Girls 6A #10 Pine-Richland at #7 Peters Township

Wednesday, Mar. 3, 6:00 pm
Girls 3A #10 Charleroi at #7 Keystone Oaks
Girls 3A #11 East Allegheny at #6 Waynesburg
Girls 3A #13 McGuffey at #4 Laurel

Thursday, Mar. 4, 6:00 pm
Girls 5A Mars/Gateway winner at #1 Trinity WJPA-FM Listen Here
Girls 1A #9 St. Joseph’s at #8 Avella
Girls 1A #13 Jeff-Morgan at #4 Aquinas Academy
Girls 1A #12 Mapletown at #5 Clairton
Boys 3A Laurel/East Allegheny winner at #5 Washington WJPA-AM Listen Here
Girls 1A #2 West Greene bye to quarterfinals, Monday, Mar. 8

Pens Rally To Beat Caps In OT

February 24, 2021 3:54 am

WASHINGTON (AP) – Kasperi Kapanen scored on a one-timer 1:43 into overtime, lifting the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. The Penguins won for the fourth time in five games against the Capitals this season, including two in overtime and one in a shootout. They also won for the eighth time this season after entering the third period tied or trailing. Kapanen and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, and Evgeni Malkin scored his fifth goal of the season. Conor Sheary and Richard Panik scored for Washington, which only led for 22 seconds all night. Vitek Vanecek made 34 saves.

Ke’Bryan Hayes Eager To Prove Himself

February 24, 2021 3:56 am

UNDATED (AP) – Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes is eager to prove his breakout rookie season was no fluke. Hayes hit .376 with five home runs and 17 doubles in 24 games after arriving in the majors last September. The pop Hayes showed at the plate came as a bit of a surprise to everyone but Hayes, who credits a couple of tweaks to his swing for the power surge. Hayes says he knows teams will adjust this season but he’s confident he can handle the roller coaster that lies ahead.

Basketball Bracketology

February 21, 2021 2:57 am

The WPIAL basketball playoffs will be announced Tuesday night. When revealed, the brackets will include 25 Washington County boys & girls teams plus nine more from Greene County. Bentworth boys & girls, Beth-Center girls and Carmichaels girls have opted out of the open tournament. Preliminary games are expected Saturday, Feb. 27 and Monday, March 1 with the Championships Mar. 12-15. Here’s a thumbnail picture of what we expect to hear and see about teams from the two-county area Tuesday night. Over all records listed as of 2/21.

Girls 6A–15 teams, no preliminary games
Peters Township (6-5) will be a middle-of-the-pack seed while Canon-McMillan (1-11) will be a bottom three seed.

Girls 5A–26 teams, 10 preliminary games
Trinity (15-1) will be the #1 seed, owning wins against Chartiers Valley and North Allegheny, defending WPIAL champions. Ringgold (2-10) will likely play McKeesport in one of the 10 prelim games.

Girls 3A–18 teams, 2 preliminary games
Waynesburg (11-4) will be a top seven seed. Charleroi (7-7) and McGuffey (5-6) should not be listed in the bottom four, keeping them out of the preliminary rounds. Wash High (5-8) will likely be in that bottom four grouping.

Girls 2A–21 teams, 5 preliminary games
Look for Burgettstown (13-2) to be seeded in the top six.  Fort Cherry (10-6) and California (7-3) should be into the Sweet 16 without a preliminary assignment.  Chartiers-Houston (7-6) could host a preliminary round game, possibly against South Side Beaver.

Girls 1A–13 teams, no preliminary games
West Greene (13-2) will be a top four seed. Avella (9-7) will be in the 8-10 range with Mapletown (4-5) and Jeff-Morgan (3-10) facing teams in the top four.

Boys 6A–17 teams, 1 preliminary game
Peters Township (5-6) will likely be a double-digit seed while Canon-McMillan (0-12) is destined for a match-up with winless Greensburg Salem.

Boys 5A–23 teams, 7 preliminary games
Trinity (8-7) and Ringgold (4-8) will both have to win preliminary games to reach the Sweet 16. The Hillers would likely host their opener while the Rams would play on the road.

Boys 3A–23 teams, 7 preliminary games
Washington (10-4) will be seeded 4th-6th. Charleroi (10-5) appears to be a 10 seed. McGuffey (8-6), Beth-Center (4-8) and Waynesburg (2-13) will all be in preliminary games with the Highlanders likely to host.

Boys 2A–23 teams, 7 preliminary games
California (4-3) missed an opportunity for a share of the section title, losing to Frazier Thursday night. That loss could put the Trojans into the preliminary rounds along with Fort Cherry (10-6), Burgettstown (6-11), Chartiers-Houston (6-11), Carmichaels (8-4) and Jeff-Morgan (5-9). The four Washington County teams could all host along with Carmichaels, though California and Fort Cherry have indicated that Gov. Wolf’s attendance limits make it unlikely that they’ll play at home.

Boys 1A–15 teams, no preliminary games
Avella (6-10), Mapletown (4-6) and West Greene (1-11) are likely to play on the road in the first round.

Frazier Focusing On Present With Pirates

February 23, 2021 3:47 am

UNDATED (AP) – Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier says he’s focusing on the present and not the future. Frazier was the subject of trade talk during a busy offseason that saw longtime teammates like Josh Bell and Jameson Taillon get flipped for prospects. Frazier is still around, saying he’s committed to helping the Pirates rebound after finishing with the worst record in the majors last year. Frazier was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020 but struggled at the play. His .230 batting average was nearly 50 points below his career average.

Padres Tatis Jr. Signs 14-Year Contract

February 23, 2021 3:51 am

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Fernando Tatis Jr.’s $340 million, 14-year contract has been finalized by the San Diego Padres, the longest deal in baseball history. Tatis had been eligible for salary arbitration after this season and for free agency after the 2024 season. The length of his contract exceeds the $325 million, 13-year agreement between Miami and Giancarlo Stanton and the $330 million, 13-year contract between Bruce Harper and Philadelphia.  A son of former big league infielder Fernando Tatis, he has played in only 143 games during two seasons, including the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, yet has quickly become one of the faces of baseball.

Pageau Lifts Islanders Over Sabres

February 23, 2021 3:48 am

UNDATED (AP) – Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period and Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves, leading the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the last-place Buffalo Sabres. Pageau got his seventh goal at 15:08 when he banged in a rebound on the backhand after Oliver Wahlstrom’s initial shot was stopped by Buffalo goaltender Linus Ullmark. The Islanders beat the Sabres for the third straight time this season after two victories in Buffalo last week. The Islanders also moved to 5-0-1 at Nassau Coliseum.

Penn St Falls To Iowa

February 22, 2021 3:49 am

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Luka Garza scored 23 points to become Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, and the 11th-ranked Hawkeyes beat Penn State 74-68. Garza has 2,126 points for Iowa, breaking the record of 2,116 points set by Roy Marble from 1985-89. Garza also had 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. It was the fourth consecutive win for Iowa. Izaiah Brockington and Myreon Jones each had 11 points to lead Penn State. CJ Fredrick added 18 points for the Hawkeyes, who took control with a 13-2 second-half run.

NHL; Caps Down Devils

February 22, 2021 3:50 am

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Washington Capitals avoided losing for the sixth time in their last eight games. Alex Ovechkin’s power-play goal with 4:04 remaining lifted the Caps past the Devils, 4-3. Ovechkin’s tally gave Washington a 4-2 lead, but New Jersey got within a goal when Nikita Gusev beat Craig Anderson with 11.9 seconds left.  T.J. Oshie scored twice to end his nine-game goal drought and help Anderson pick up his first start and first victory since March.