The PIAA Board of Directors voted 29-2 0n Thursday morning to return the PIAA Basketball Championships to Giant Center in Hershey for the next four seasons, beginning with the 2012-2013 season.

The move is not a surprise to PIAA insiders.  When the PIAA extended RFPs (Requests For Proposals) for the winter sports championships back in March, only one venue – Penn State – returned a basketball proposal.

But there was one problem: Penn State submitted a combined individual wrestling and basketball proposal in violation of the PIAA’s policy on championship venues.  The PIAA executive staff had no choice but to ask interested parties to re-submit RFPs for basketball.  This time, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts did submit a proposal, and it was substantially better than Penn State’s proposal.

Hershey reported submitted a zero-rent bid.  Penn State reportedly submitted  a bid that included reimbursed expenses of $74,000 per season.  Neither has been confirmed.

In addition, Penn State has been angling to become one of the sites used regularly for NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Regional play.  This makes total sense, of course, but those dates are the same as future PIAA basketball championships.

So in the end, once PIAA re-opened the bids, it was a fait accompli.

Andy Shay of the Patriot-News has a story from last night’s meeting (the vote was taken today) here.

The decision also satisfies several Board members who have been critical of the move to Penn State, which has seen declining attendance since the championships were first moved to the Bryce Jordan Center in 2006.  Some Board members believe that the dominance of District 12 teams in the East has helped to tamp down the attendance numbers (undoubtedly true) and that a return to Hershey would boost the sagging attendance numbers (debatable, if possible).

Team and individual wrestling will remain at Giant Center and swimming will remain at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium for the next four years.

 

We’ll provide updates of the PIAA Class AAA girls basketball championship game between Lancaster Catholic and two-time defending champion Archbishop Wood.

Wood jumps out to 9-1 lead, LC cuts it to 9-3 at 3:55

Lancaster Catholic having some trouble penetrating solid Wood defense … trails 11-7 with 90 seconds left in 1st

Catholic nice job of clawing back after slow start, trail 13-9 end 1st

START 2ND

Wood working motion offense well. Leads 17-11

A couple of LC turnovers and some patient offense by Wood results in 24-14 Wood lead with a minute to play in the half

HALFTIME: Archbishop Wood 26, Lancaster Catholic 14

Catholic just not having a good shooting night, hitting just 5 of 14 from the floor, including 1 of 6 from the 3-point line … 10 turnovers haven’t helped much

START 3rd

Wood continues to cruise, leading 37-21 with 1:52 to play in the quarter.

Wood just too much handle at both ends for Catholic, even get a late steal and bucket at the end of the third period for emphasis

END 3RD: Archbishop Wood 41, Lancaster Catholic 22

START 4TH

LC never had a chance: Final – Archbishop Wood 52, Lancaster Catholic 33

 

We’ll provide periodic updates of the Steel-High vs. North Catholic PIAA Class A girls basketball championship game.

You can follow the live action here: PIAA LIVE BOX SCORES

Currently, Steel-High leads 12-7 with 3:00 left in first quarter.

Steel-High is 4-for-6 from 3 land, hitting first 3 attempts

OK, make that 5-for-7: Steel-High leads 21-12

END FIRST Q: STEELTON-HIGHSPIRE 21, NORTH CATHOLIC 14

Good quarter for Rollers: 7 for 15 shooting, 5 for 8 from beyond the arc, only 2 turnovers

START 2ND

Steel-High extends lead to 26-16, scoring well-balanced among starters

North Catholic creeping back, two turnovers for five points cuts it to 28-23 at the 3:22 mark

North Catholic with in 1, 28-27 at 2:00

North Catholic takes first lead of game, 29-28 at 1:27

Tied at the half, 31-31

START 3RD

It’s a great game now. Steel-High leads 42-39 with 2;46 left. Pretty physical underneath now.

Steel-High stretches leads to 47-41

North Catholic closes late

End 3rd quarter: Steelton-Highspire 47, Pittsburgh North Catholic 45

START 4TH

Lots of action. Jazmine Blanding of SH knocked to floor on a block, crowd goes bananas was NC gets possession. Plenty of bumping around in the second half.

Steel-High leads 55-51 with 4:00 left

Amber Hess-Moore is T’d up … NC makes two of four free throws, closes to 55-53 with possession

Wow, Steel-High could have yielded as much as 7 points after the technical (2 FTs for tech, 2 FTs for shooting foul and a possible 3 after possession) and only give up 2 points … then Moore-hess comes back to nail a 3 … 58-53 Steel-High with 2:24 left

Steel-High 58-55 with 1:18 to play, Steel-High with TO with 1:18 to play

Steel-High with a burst, leads 62-55 under a minute

NC scores underneath, closes to 62-57 with 17.6 left

All but over, Jaz Blanding of Steel-High makes a pair of free throws to give SH 64-57 lead

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