The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 16, 2013

CORY ISENBERG| Basketball season getting interesting

Cory Isenberg

JOHNSTOWN — While it’s still very early in the high school basketball season, there have already been some interesting matchups.

In girls play, Westmont Hilltop knocked Forest Hills out of the ranks of the unbeaten while Bishop Guilfoyle, which lost all five starters from last season, handed Bishop McCort its first loss. The Crushers, who play at troublesome Penn Cambria this evening, entertain the Rangers on Thursday.

In the Heritage Conference, the United girls (4-0) have gotten off to a solid start but face a huge test tonight when Blairsville (2-1) comes to Armagh.

On the boys side, Bishop Carroll has been on the winning side of three lopsided games and heads to Greater Johnstown on Wednesday to battle the athletic Trojans.

There is another boys game that should be entertaining that is set for tonight in Davidsville.

Conemaugh Township and Windber, both still unbeaten, will square off in a WestPAC North contest.

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PIAA football finals: So much for the report from a Philadelphia reporter that declared that Imhotep Charter was the best high school team in any classification.

The Panthers fell flat on their faces on Sunday in the PIAA Class AA title game, as District 7 power South Fayette (15-0) pounded them 41-0 at Hersheypark Stadium. Apparently no one told Imhotep that it actually had to play for the championship on the gridiron and not on paper.

The contest, which was postponed from Saturday due to inclement weather, featured record-setting junior quarterback Brett Brumbaugh, who threw for three first-half touchdowns.

Defensive back Conner Beck returned an interception for another score to lead the WPIAL champs to their first PIAA football title. Brumbaugh’s older brother, Christian, helped South Fayette to a runner-up finish in 2010.

Imhotep Charter (12-3), the District 12 champ, was held to 60 yards of offense through 24 minutes. The Panthers, who had come into the game averaging 268 yards rushing per game, were limited to just 23.

In the other game on Sunday, Philadelphia power St. Joseph’s Prep won its first state crown with a 35-10 win over Pittsburgh Central Catholic (15-1) in the PIAA Class AAAA championship.

Quarterback Chris Martin threw for a Quad-A championship record three touchdowns finishing with 192 yards passing and the team scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to seal the win.

The Hawks defense limited the three-time state champion Vikings to less than 250 yards of total offense. Central Catholic lost quarterback J.J. Cosentino, a Florida State recruit, in the third quarter with a leg injury.

On Friday, Pittsburgh North Catholic survived for a 15-14 overtime win over Old Forge in the Class A title game while in Class AAA, Archbishop Wood won over Bishop McDevitt.

Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at