Mo Valley girls endure in-season coaching change

Moshannon Valley High School girls basketball has been about as close to a revolving door for coaches in the last half-dozen years as there has been in the area, going from Tom Tomasko to Aaron Mills to Van Cornish.

Nothing, though, is as unusual as having a coaching change in midseason, which the Damsels endured when Cornish stepped down in late January.

Junior varsity and former junior high coach Michelle Grube has filled in for Mo Valley, which is 2-17, but it’s still up in the air whether or not the school will need to find yet another coach for the 2013-14. Recently married, Grube, who works at Penn State, is expecting a child over the summer.

“I actually haven’t decided if I will be back next year or not,” Grube said. “I have worked with a lot of the girls since they were in fifth and sixth grade. They are a great group of young ladies, and I really enjoy working with them. It’s a tough decision since they are such a great group.”

Conference finals

Three area conferences are slated to hold championship games on Saturday night, with teams from the Mirror coverage area taking the court in five of the contests.

In the Inter-County Conference games at Claysburg-Kimmel High School, both games are set. The Bellwood-Antis girls will try to turn the tables on Southern Fulton in a rematch of last year’s final, with the B-A boys taking on Northern Bedford in the nightcap.

Bishop Guilfoyle and Westmont Hilltop have clinched berths in the Laurel Highlands Conference girls championship game at the Richland Field House. The spots in the boys game, though, as still up in the air. Bishop Carroll is just ahead of Bishop Guilfoyle and Penn Cambria to be the Section 1 boys representative, while Johnstown and Bishop McCort are in contention to be the Section 2 team.

The Portage girls, barring an upset loss to North Star, will be in the WestPAC championship, taking on Berlin Brothersvalley. It would be the Lady Mustangs’ first time to play for the WestPAC crown.

Record high

Her team is only 4-16, but that hasn’t stopped Shanksville-Stonycreek senior Kayla Stockenus from putting together a season to remember.

Stockenus scored all but 10 of the Lady Vikings’ points in a 69-37 loss to Windber on Tuesday. That wasn’t even one of her best games of the year, but it put her in rare company by putting her above the 2,000-point plateau for her career.

Stockenus enters the week with 601 points and an average of 30.1 per game.

District 5 playoffs

As far as playoff seedings are concerned, the District 6 regular season wrapped up on Thursday. District 5, however, takes in the entire season, minus tournament games, so some of its races are going down to the final week.

Of the greatest impact to area readers, Everett is trying to hold off Tussey Mountain for the No. 1 seed in Class AA girls. Those teams meet in Saxton tonight, but it looks like the Lady Warriors will stay on top even if they lose.

Class AA boys also has a distinct area flavor, with three of the teams likely to advance coming out of Blair County. Chestnut Ridge was chasing Conemaugh Township for the top spot, but the Lions’ hopes were dealt a big blow by three losses last week. Northern Bedford and Tussey also are part of what looks like it will be a very entertaining bracket, while Everett is dueling Windber for the sixth and final slot.

There aren’t any boys teams from the Mirror coverage area in 5-A – although H.O.P.E. for Hyndman from just outside will be part of the field – but Northern Bedford is contending for a first-round home game on the girls side.

It doesn’t look like any wild-card teams will qualify.

D6 update

Basketball chairman T.J. Kakabar reports that 53 teams entered the District 6 playoffs in Class AAA, AA and A. The seedings and brackets are expected to be unveiled early this week, possibly today.