Best in Sport: A list of all the winners for 2016-17. By Bill Allmann Times Sports Correspondent; 2 min ago; 0. Blackhawk's Michael Turconi. Buy Photo. Blackhawk's Michael Turconi had three hits against Ringgold during their Class 4A quarterfinal game ...
Blackhawk’s Michael Turconi led the Cougars to a school-record 23 wins and the WPIAL title and the state semifinals as a middle infielder and the closer. He led the Cougars in most statistical categories: hits (45), batting average (.523) runs scored (31), doubles (13), home runs (five), RBIs (42) and saves (eight). He didn’t allow an earned run.
Moon’s Jarrod Simmons was the key factor in the Tigers ending five years of losing records with a WPIAL Class 5A title. Moving back to his home school from a prep school in New England, he averaged 19.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, 3.8 blocks and 3.4 assists per game.
Daeja Quick led Cornell – one of the smallest schools in the WPIAL – to the WPIAL 1A championship game and a school-record 21 wins. She averaged 22.9 points and earned all-state first team honors, proving that the 20-plus scoring average she had as a junior was no fluke after moving mid-season from Moon to Cornell.
Moon’s Jon Kleer captured the state bowling championship this spring and did it with ease. In the championship match, the senior rolled a 279 game to win by 68 pins.
Moon’s Angelique Aban first earned recognition as a commended student in the National Merit Scholarship Program, then ended her senior year as the leader of Moon’s bowling team.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Quaker Valley’s Zach Skolnekovich won his third straight WPIAL cross country championship and then finished second at the PIAA meet. Also a standout in track, Skolnekovich will compete at the Division I level next year at William & Mary.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
New Brighton’s Alyssa Campbell picked the best times of her career to run her best times, beating her personal best by 20 seconds to finish third at the PIAA championships. She had earlier finished third at the WPIAL championships with, at that point, another personal best.
Sewickley Academy’s Chandler White was the senior goalie for the Panthers as Sewickley reached the playoffs this season after going winless in 2013. A co-captain this year, she provided a very effective last line of defense for the Panthers.
Beaver’s Darius Wise did it all for the 7-2 Bobcats. He rushed for 1,506 yards, averaged 9.8 yards per carry and scored 24 touchdowns. He completed 56.9 percent of his passes (45 of 79) for 856 yards, 10 TDs and only two interceptions. Bound for Colorado State in the fall, he ran for five touchdowns of 60 yards or more.
West Allegheny’s Kayla Wade won the WPIAL all-around championship with a solid effort in every event, not winning any but proving the value of consistent, sold effort. In one of the closest championships of the season, the senior won her gold medal by tiebreaker.
Quaker Valley’s Chris Tanabe won the PIAA championship in his senior year after finishing second as a junior. He won the two-day event by playing the last 27 holes at par. He had earlier finished fourth at the WPIAL championships.
Central Valley’s Kiaria Porter won the WPIAL championship by two strokes then finished fifth in the state championships as a sophomore. She was also a key member of the Warriors golf team that won its fourth state title in five years.
Central Valley’s Cameron Drake finished second in PIHL Division II scoring with 32 goals and a league-high 35 assists. Central Valley finished 12-7-1, third in its division, and Drake figured in on nearly half its goals.
Quaker Valley’s Connor Mangan entered the season as The Times’best and did nothing to change that as he led the Quakers to the WPIAL championship game and the state playoffs.
Quaker Valley’s Rachel Bould led Quaker Valley to the WPIAL semifinals for the fourth straight year, this time in Class 2A after realignment. She will play at Central Michigan next year.
Central Valley’s Jack Shearer scored 36 goals in his senior season and finished his career with 94. More importantly, though, he recorded 30 assists this past season as he learned to take advantage of the defensive attention he got and made his team better. Not coincidentally, Central Valley won its first playoff game this year.
Moon’s Delaney Snyder broke the Moon scoring record with 38 goals in leading the Tigers to the WPIAL and PIAA championships. She also took advantage of the coverage she received to set teammates up for 29 assists as the Tigers finished with a 23-1 record.
Ellwood City’s Ariana Garroway led the WPIAL champions in runs scored as she pulled off the rare combination of playing catcher and leading off. She batted .464 and got on base at a .589 clip. She struck out just twice and threw out three runners trying to steal.
Quaker Valley’s Harry Harkins captured a pair of gold medals at the WPIAL championships in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and he and his teammates captured the team championship. He then carried that individual and team success to the PIAA as he finished in the top 10 in both those events and as the anchor leg of the 200 freestyle relay team.
Taylor Petrak has won 14 WPIAL and PIAA medals in swimming despite Ellwood City not having a swim team. Competing as an individual, the Ohio State recruit capped her senior year with gold medals in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle at both the WPIAL and PIAA meets.
Sewickley Academy’s Luke Ross became the first player to repeat as a PIAA tennis champion in 54 years. Along the way to that historical feat, Ross also won his third WPIAL singles title and the Panthers won both the WPIAL and PIAA titles.
OLSH’s Katherine Marks won the WPIAL singles title, even though the school doesn’t have a tennis team. Competing as an individual, Marks swept through the WPIAL field, not losing a set and dropping only six of 40 games despite suffering a concussion in an auto accident in July. She also reached the PIAA semifinals, finishing third.
New Brighton’s Anthony Milliner successfully defended his WPIAL and PIAA titles in the triple jump, setting records regularly throughout the season. It was his third straight WPIAL title. He also won MVP honors at the MAC and Beaver County meets and excelled in the high jump, long jump and 200 meters.
West Allegheny’s Maddie Salek won the gold medal in the 800 meters in Class 3A at the WPIAL championships in just her second year of running the event. She followed up with a fifth-place medal at the PIAA meet.
BCCS’s Daniel Townsend was named the most valuable player in the WPIAL as the Eagles won their second straight WPIAL title, sweeping Deer Lakes 3-0. BCCS reached the PIAA title game before falling to Northeastern.
Beaver’s Macy McElhaney, just a junior, has been named to the all-WPIAL team for two straight years and led the Bobcats to the WPIAL championship game this past year. Beaver also reached the quarterfinals in the state tournament, falling there to eventual state champion Corry.
Freedom’s Kody Komara won the 145-pound weight class at the WPIAL championships – his first title – and finished third at the PIAA championship. Along the way, he set a Freedom record for career wins and finished with a 156-31 record.