On The Air Tonight, Hempfield vs. Kiski Area
In tonight’s Quad-A Network Girls Basketball broadcast, the Hempfield Spartans hope to bounce back from last night’s loss to Penn-Trafford with a road game against Section 1-AAAA foe Kiski Area. The Spartans dropped a 53-49 decision to the Warriors last night, but despite the loss Hempfield has still won five of its last seven games. The Cavaliers have struggled with and 0-17 record and a team that is young and inexperienced.
The Spartans are the reigning section champs, and while they won’t repeat as section title winners this year, head coach Aaron Epps is hoping that a rugged schedule will have his team prepared for the post-season in 2014. A year ago, Hempfield was a perfect 14-0 in section play but fell in an opening round upset to 12th seeded Upper St. Clair, 53-48. That defeat has served as a motivator for this year’s team, which has already locked up a playoff berth. The team leader for the Spartans is IUP-recruit Monica Burns, a senior guard who averages over 20 points per game. Burns recently surpassed the 1,000 point plateau with 24 points against Connellsville on January 16, part of a 67-48 Hempfield win. Not only the scoring leading, but Burns is the emotional spark plug for the Spartans as well.
For Kiski, the season can’t be measured in wins and losses but instead improvement. Nick Ionadi is in his second year as head coach at Kiski and is stressing development. Ionadi is hoping to rebuild the Cavaliers Girls Basketball program from the ground up, starting with the youth teams. After losing eight seniors from his varsity roster from last season, Ionadi has turned to senior guard Anyssa Sanchez for support. Often the team leader in scoring on a given night, Sanchez and junior center Channing James have done their best to keep Kiski competitive. The Cavaliers are just two years removed from a 16-7 season and trip to the WPIAL Playoffs.
Tip-off for tonight’s game between Hempfield and Kiski Area is slated for 7:45. The game can be heard live via the internet by clicking here! Randy Gore and Nick Farrell will have the call.