Sunday, February 15, 2009

Playoff musings

I covered three WPIAL basketball playoffs games over the weekend - Peters Township boys vs. Penn-Trafford on Friday night, the Trinity boys vs. West Mifflin on Saturday followed by the Beth-Center vs. Jeannette girls game. Each game captured my interest in different ways.

Every time I watch Nick Wilcox play basketball, I'm more impressed with his skill set and understand why there are three or four colleges coaches waiting to talk to the Peters Township senior after every game.

Against Penn-Trafford, Wilcox was simply dominant as he scored 23 points to go with 14 rebounds and six assists. My favorite part of his game is his patience. He doesn't force bad shots and lets the offense come to him. Against Penn-Trafford, he knew he had to rebound more due to the absence of 6-6 Derek Redding and he did. What will make PT ttough to beat in the WPIAL bracket is the emergence of senior Steve Radke. A member of the PT boys golf team which finished second in the state, Radke plays like the meanest big man in the WPIAL.

Peters Township is not invincible but it's going to take a supreme effort to beat them.

Trinity has a nice group of coachable kids but the Hillers need a scorer to complement sophomore Josh Valentic. Trinity plays tough defense and is patient on offense, all hallmarks of a well-coached team. Another scorer could turn the Hillers into a section champion.

The Beth-Center girls scored points in bunches during the first half of its playoff game against Jeannette and the Bulldogs surprised everyone but themselves when they held a 35-18 third-quarter lead. They ended up losing 49-47 on a last-second layup by Jeannette's standout player, .

Beth-Center brings back most of its top players next year and the guess here is they'll be the favorites to win Section 5-AA. The Bulldogs have height, depth and good perimeter shooting. That's always a nice combination.

Now, they just have to figure out how to win in the postseason.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

WPIAL basketball is a joke this year PERIOD

Anonymous said...

Truly amazing analysis. Thank you for your wise words there Mr. Anonymous. This message board is quite lucky to have you.

Joker said...

You're a joke. PERIOD.

Mailman said...

Brownsville girls return all but one player, a starting forward.

Hockey Fan 09 said...

Dear Mike Kovak,

How about some Hockey? Im sorry but Basketball is not so great this year. Hockey playoffs are almost starting and CM and USC are still fighting for first place in the section. look it up... come to a game...On Feb.23 CM hosts USC at 8:30 for CM's final home game of the regular season and for 1st place in the section.

If you want to see a good game game for a good story you will be there.

Anonymous said...

"Rivalries … tradition … civic pride … coaching changes … championships. When it comes to high school sports, the O-R's Mike Kovak has it covered from inside the borders of Washington and Greene Counties to the WPIAL and beyond. Join the area's premier high school sports guru for the inside scoop plus his thoughts and observations."

lets live up to it! lets see some hockey!

Hockey Fan 09 said...

CM plays at the Iceoplex at Southpoint but I hope you would have already known that.

V said...

Canon-Mac hockey has had a nice year so far. Definitely one of the best seasons in the program's history. It's a shame though that they've had to make their run without their best player, Steve Veydt, who has been out with a groin injury all season. With Veydt healthy, we could be talking about a state champion, but without him a deep playoff run would be a surprise.

Anonymous said...

WHO CARES ABOUT HOCKEY???

No one plays it, no one cares about it. Hockey is for all the kids that can't play real sports like football, basketball and baseball. Once all of you hockey players realize you cannot compete with the real athletes then mommy and daddy write the check so you can play.

CM hockey=A joke

Anonymous said...

Wow rough comments about hockey. FYI Kyle Almasy, a baseball stud, plays hockey for CM. Steve Veydt, a baseball stud, plays hockey for CM. Grant Strimel, a golf and baseball stud, plays hockey for CM. Brad Strimel, a D-1 football stud and baseball stud, plays hockey for CM.

So as you can see, some REAL athletes play REAL sports for Canon-Mac. Notice how each of the names mentioned above plays BASEBALL there. That's right the 2008 Quad-A state champions. So it's not like they play baseball for Aliquippa or some garbage program. These are REAL athletes playing Real sports, so your rant makes no sense P Ric Flair

Anonymous said...

Dont say that steve veydt and brad strimel are studs at baseball because they're not but ill give you kyle.

Anonymous said...

you saying cm programs are tops? The quipps have more championships than bobby vinton had hits.We always read about area kids going to play hockey at d-1 schools around here cm should have a fishing team they have so many great athletes they wouldn`t even need poles

Anonymous said...

Never compare Canon-McMillan athletics to Aliquippa. As the previous poster "quipped:" Aliquippa has more championships than Bobby Vinton had hit records.

Macs and Quips -- not nearly the same!!!

Anonymous said...

Hold up I said Aliquippa BASEBALL. Their basketball and football success is unquestioned. I'm a HUGE fan of Quip athletics, but let's face the facts they have more consecutive losing baseball seasons than the Pittsburgh Pirates. Baseball is the weakest sport in the Quip.

J Bakes said...

Whose the anon who can't call brad strimel a baseball stud? He loves baseball and has played at a high level all his life. Last year he sacrificed baseball to run track to get faster. But he is playing this year so anon can come apologize if they are tough enough. Steve veydt also deserves an apology. but anon does not have the guts do they?

Anonymous said...

J Bakes is right. Strimel is definitely a stud and figures to be the Big Macs starting Catcher this year replacing the legendary Charles Murphy. Murphy leaves big shoes to fill, but Strim should be able to get the job done. He is a great patriot and I think we can all get behind and support him at his next stop: West Point. Go Brad!

Anonymous said...

Anyone heard the name of Sammy Lombardo, I think that he has a great shot of being the starting catcher this year at CM

Anonymous said...

Anyone heard the name Bradley Strimel, he is the starting catcher for Canon-Mac this year.

Anonymous said...

What about Pihakis?

Anonymous said...

Is Pihakis even playing? I've been hearing that he wants to train for the East-West all-star football game.

But he doesn't play catcher. I think he's an OF or 1B. So Strimel definitely doesn't have to worry about Pihakis stealing his job at catcher. Alex is a nice ball player and Steve Bucci will find a way to use him productively.

State Champs...Got one? said...

Ummm Steve Bucci won't be using anyone productively. He is no longer the coach at Canon-McMillan. I'm surprised Mike Kovak hasn't broken that story yet considering it happened in his backyard (washington county) and Bucci is easily the most recognizable baseball coach around. I have not heard of any possible candidates but would imagine that a few alumni would be chomping at the bit to work with these kids.

Anonymous said...

Why is WPIAL Basketball a Joke? Explain!!!!