Top five games

Throughout a school year spent covering high school sports, games can tend to blend together.

These, though, did not.

Here’s my collection of the best games that I covered from the 2012-13 season.

Keep in mind that I only covered one wrestling match – you don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, and you don’t mess around with Joe Tuscano covering wrestling.

In no particular order:

Heavy workload

Washington-South Fayette football. WPIAL Class AA semifinals. Probably the defining moment of Shai McKenzie’s career thus far.

The Wash High back carried 42 times – a career-high – for 293 yards and four touchdowns during a 26-14 win at Chartiers Valley.

The Prexies piled up 454 rushing yards and became pretty much the only team all season to disrupt South Fayette’s silky-smooth passing game.

Canon-Mac wins it in 12

Probably the best high school sporting event I ever covered in terms of on-field drama.

Alayna Astuto 18 strikeouts, a no-hitter through nine. Linda Rush a two-run homer in the top of the 12th.

Final out was a popout to Maddie Engel at first base, and the Big Macs went bonkers.

I’ve never tweeted so much at a high school sporting event – and probably could’ve done twice as much.

Bitter rivals

Brownsville at California, Friday, Jan. 30. Boys hoops. Gym’s packed, two neighboring towns going nuts.

For the junior varsity game.

I thought I had seen a wild high school atmosphere. I hadn’t.

Tanner Huffman and Brian Fisher combined for 53 points during the Trojans’ 76-72 victory that clinched the Section 5-AA title.

As a good friend of mine, Craig Rechichar – a proud Brownsville graduate – texted me that night: “Two towns that do not like each other.”


Indians win nail-biter

WPIAL Class AAA final for girls soccer. All the late-game drama you’d want. Plus a killer spread at Elizabeth Forward.

Veronica Latsko headed in a corner kick from Rachel Troscinski with 8 seconds remaining in the second overtime to secure the victory for the Indians.

It’s their second WPIAL title in the past three years and a fine prelude to yet another PIAA Class AAA championship.

EQT drama

Wash High’s Josh Wise circles the basketball court at Canon-McMillan, left to right, stopping at the right wing. Pass from Darius Spinks. Wise drains a 3-pointer with eight-tenths of a second left. Washington 46, Canon-McMillan 43.

Tournament MVP and rightfully so.

Wise would go on to average 21.9 points per game, reach 1,000 for his career and earn Observer-Reporter All-District Player of the Year honors.


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