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A-K Valley notebook: North Catholic’s Myers continues family tradition

March 22, 2018 GMT

Tess Myers hit perhaps the biggest shot of the WPIAL basketball championship weekend Friday when she drove the length of the court and hit a jumper at the buzzer to give Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic a 50-49 win over Beaver in the Class 4A title game.

In so doing, the Lower Burrell native added a top memory to her family’s own championship game history.

Myers’ father, Joey, played for Burrell when the Bucs faced Beaver Falls in the 1979 boys Class AAA title game. Despite Joey’s 22 points, the game ended in heartbreak for Burrell when Beaver Falls rallied from a five-point deficit in the final minute for a 55-54 win.

Tess’ older sister, Natalie, played for Burrell when the Bucs made the Class AA girls championship game in 2014, where they lost to Seton LaSalle.

Only a sophomore, Tess Myers is making her own mark in a strong basketball family. Joey Myers scored more than 1,000 points at Duquesne and was drafted by the Nets in 1983. Natalie Myers reached the 1,000-point mark at Burrell, and she is a sophomore reserve forward at Youngstown State.

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Tess Myers, meanwhile, has been a key part of North Catholic’s back-to-back WPIAL championship teams. She scored a team-high 20 points for North Catholic on Friday as the Trojanettes rallied from a double-digit deficit to defend their title.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” Myers said. “Coach (Molly Rottman) called a time out. She told me to get the ball, go and don’t stop.”

State update

With the WPIAL basketball championships concluded, the opponents are known for the Alle-Kiski Valley’s seven PIAA qualifiers.

Highlands’ Class 5A boys rematch with Section 3-5A rival Franklin Regional headlines the first-round games for local teams. The Panthers beat the Golden Rams, 48-40, in the WPIAL semifinals last week.

Fox Chapel also will get a rematch \in the Class 6A first round Saturday. The Foxes, who lost to Pine-Richland in the WPIAL semifinals, will meet Section 3-6A rival Penn Hills. The teams split their regular-season meetings.

With Quaker Valley’s loss to New Castle in the WPIAL Class 4A championship, that means Valley will play District 10 champion Sharon in the first round Friday.

In Class 2A boys, Leechburg will play District 10 runner-up Cambridge Springs in the first round Saturday. Springdale will play District 10 champion West Middlesex on Saturday.

In Class 2A girls, Leechburg will play the winner of Saturday’s District 10 championship game between West Middlesex and Reynolds on Friday.

Spring into action

Nobody consulted a groundhog, but spring sports is right around the corner.

Monday marks the official opening practice day for WPIAL’s spring sports: baseball, lacrosse, softball, boys tennis, track and field and boys volleyball.

Boys tennis has the first play date, starting March 12. Baseball and softball teams’ opening play day is set for March 23.

Recruiting report

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• Imani Christian junior R.J. Hart, a Plum native, picked up his sixth Division I football offer last month, from Football Championship Subdivision school Eastern Kentucky. Hart, a wide receiver, also has offers from Buffalo, Temple, Toledo, Howard and Robert Morris. He caught 63 passes for 978 yards and 11 touchdowns last season for the WPIAL Class A runner-up Saints.

• Former Freeport hockey player Hunter Kepple, currently playing for the Southern Tier Xpress of the North American Tier III Hockey League, committed to play for NAIA school Concordia University Ann Arbor. Concordia is beginning its program and will join other NAIA schools in a division of the America Collegiate Hockey Association. Kepple, a forward, has 15 goals and 11 assists this season.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @DGulasy_Trib.