Deep thoughts following the first night of the WPIAL basketball playoffs:
1. Sewickley Academy's Tom Droney is the best player I've seen this year, by far. The 6-5 sophomore guard is explosive, a great shooter, plays under control, can not be stopped getting to the basket and has incredible court vision.
He reminds me of Herb Pope, but a step faster.
His speed suprised Bentworth, which beat Sewickley in overtime.
"From what we saw of him on game tape, I had no idea he was that fast," Bentworth coach Bob Kennedy said.
2. Speaking of Bentworth, the Kennedy brothers (Jon and Joe) willed the Bearcats to a well-deserved victory. Both were dominant in completely different ways. Jon was a defensive menace while Joe made several clutch shots.
3. Too bad the varsity playing career of Burgettstown's Brenden Bongiorni had to end on a buzzer-beating loss to Bishop Canevin. Bongiorni was a four-year starter and played everything from point guard to center. A very underrated student-athlete.
4. Burgettstown's Ed Goetz, in my humble opinion, is one of the area's best coaches. After speaking with some athletic directors and others, I'm not the only one with the opinion. Here's hoping his Blue Devils start winning playoff games at the buzzer.
5. Next week, California versus Bentworth in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals. That's going to be a great game.
6. I did not realize that Avella had just two seniors on its girls roster. The Eagles were not in Vincentian Academy's league yesterday but, a year from now, they'll be much improved.
7. And I couldn't agree with veteran coach Jim Matalik more. If Avella becomes a good shooting team, it could make a deep playoff run in 2009.
8. According to Bob Kennedy, the Bentworth boys are healthy. The last time that happened, the Bearcats were the Observer-Reporter's No. 2 Class A team.