Last year was a dream season for Freedom, when the Bulldogs shocked just about everybody while making it all the way to the WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A championship games.

This time around, Freedom coach John Kaercher knows his team won’t be catching anybody by surprise after dropping down to Class 2A.

“It was awesome last year to do what we did. Nobody expected us to do it. This year, we came in and we have a big target on our back,” Kaercher said. “It’s the same mentality from [Class] 3A to 2A. We’ve just got to grind and play our defensive game and let that carry us to victory.”

Despite the bull’s-eye on their backs, the Bulldogs are picking up right where they left off last season after a 61-50 win at Central Valley (0-1) on Tuesday night. Senior guard Jules Mohrbacher was the star of the show with a 30-point performance, and junior guard Shaye Bailey added 12 points to help Freedom improve to 3-0.

“I just think that [Mohrbacher] realizes her potential and she’s believing in herself a little bit more and her abilities. We had a great core coming back with both her and Shaye,” Kaercher said. “I don’t think the expectation has changed. We always think that we are the best team in the section, and I think if we keep holding true to where we are and moving forward, I think we’ll be a contender for the top spot.”

Lincoln Park boys continue to roll

Moon (0-1) had a pair of 21-point scorers in Mike Santicola and Elijah Gullory, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the hot hands of Brandin Cummings and Meleek Thomas for Lincoln Park (3-0). Cummings poured in a game-high 26 points, and Thomas chipped in 18 to lead the way for the Leopards in a 77-55 home win vs. the Tigers.

Fox Chapel boys top Hempfield

Defending WPIAL Class 6A champion Fox Chapel continued its strong start to the season after dropping down to Class 5A, improving to 3-0 with a 57-34 win vs. Hempfield (1-2). Will Siegel (11 points), Caden Kaiser (10 points) and Kam Greil (10 points) all scored in double figures for the Foxes, while Harrison Sowers finished with a game-high 19 points for the Spartans.

Defending champ North Catholic still unbeaten

The defending WPIAL Class 3A champion North Catholic girls improved to 3-0 with a 50-28 road win at Kennedy Catholic, continuing a hot start after bumping up to Class 4A. Dacia Lewandowski led the Trojanettes with 14 points, while Alayna Rocco added 10 and Anna Waskiewicz cleaned up on the glass with 14 rebounds.

Mt. Lebanon boys stop North Allegheny

Nate Girod scored a game-high 16 points with four 3-pointers, and Michael Pfeuffer and Tanner Donati contributed 11 points each for Mt. Lebanon (1-1) in a 57-43 home win vs. North Allegheny (0-2). Joey Dopirak led the Tigers with 14 points, while Anthony Sciote finished with 11.

Baldwin boys overcome Berger’s big game

Evan Berger has emerged as a top-flight scorer for Thomas Jefferson (2-1), and he had another huge game with 31 points on Tuesday against Baldwin. But the Highlanders (2-1) relied on a balanced attack with 17 points from Nate Richards and 16 apiece from James Wesling and Matt Schenk to pull out a 72-58 home win.

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at