Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Does mat matter?

My colleague, Observer-Reporter assistant sports editor Joe Tuscano, authored a post on his blog "Mat Matters" concerning the Peters Township at Canon-McMillan boys basketball game which I covered Tuesday night. The Big Macs won the offensively challenged contest, 42-20.

The following is Tuscano's post:
Here is something you don't see very often: more points scored in a scholastic wrestling match than in a boys high school basketball game. On Tuesday night, Burgettstown defeated South Side Beaver 52-16 (that's 68 points if you are mathematically challenged. Canon-McMillan beat Peters Township, 42-20 (again, 62 if you need help cyphering). I think that says a lot about the sorry state of the area's basketball.

There are many local basketball teams I can not defend, they are simply horrible and have been for a long time, however, I believe this is an illogical argument.

Granted, Peters Township played poorly. They lacked aggressiveness but they also held the ball at times. That certainly kept the score down.

I also believe that the influx of AAU teams into the area has considerably improved the play of boys and girls. Yet, as stated before, there are bad teams.

There are also exceptional talents (Peters Township's Emily Correal, Ringgold's Emily Schartner come to mind on the girls side, while Monessen's Tim Tyree, Canon-McMillan's Charles Murphy and Chad Hagan, PT's Nick Wilcox and Beth-Center's Ryne Niemiec are a few of the top boys players).

The Peters Township, Ringgold, Washington and Monessen girls teams are legitimate WPIAL championship contenders. In Class A boys, don't be surprised if California or Bentworth made a deep run. Plus, the Canon-McMillan boys are one game from first place in what is widely regarded as the best section in the WPIAL.

There are awful teams, but there is plenty of positives when it comes to local basketball.

Now, it's time to talk wrestling.

I grew up in a wrestling-crazy area (not here), which can describe certain pockets of the Washington-Greene region as well. But let's inspect the results reported in Wednesday's O-R.

In five matches, there were 25 forfeits and four no matches. So out of a possible 70 matches, 29 were uncontested. That's 41.4 percent. Yeah, wrestling is very strong around here.

True, this area produces an OCCASIONAL PIAA wrestling champion. Can you tell me the last time a local team won a WPIAL or PIAA team title?

And don't ignore the fact that a far greater percentage of high schools throughout the state play basketball, which makes it tougher to win team championships.


Anonymous said...

Say what you want about the decline of wrestling, but Mr. T has the best blog on this site. His insight and timely updates are heads and above the other blogs on this site. It is a must read every day.

Dale Lolley said...

Thanks for that update Joe.

Anonymous said...

Tuscano's blog is a joke. I'd rather read Kovak's comments and updates, than the one post Tuscano posts every week and a half. And the state of local AA wrestling stinks too. Matches are over in 30 minutes due to the high number of forfeits. Low scoring or not, at least a basketball game has some excitement from start to finish, even if both teams are average or below. Full teams of wrestlers are intense to watch, but find me one other than C-M, Trinity or Btown, and I'll find you something interesting on Tuscano's blog. It aint happenin.

Anonymous said...

Don't include Trinity in that this year. Wrestling is dying a slow, painful death.