Thursday, February 24, 2011

Playoff leftovers

Josh Valentic started at Trinity as a skinny, short freshman who often deferred open looks. looking at his evolution into an 6-3 offensive force who averaged 30 points per game in the regular season and scored 66 points in two playoff games.

There's little doubt in my mind that Valentic will become a contributor quickly at Wheeling Jesuit.

* South Fayette Rich Bonnaure told the Observer-Reporter following the Lions' playoff win over South Park Wednesday, "I think Pat's the best point guard in the WPIAL. People who have seen him a lot will tell you that, too. He controls the game. He can do whatever it is we need."


Reading the story got me thinking about an earlier post where I said the Boys Player of the Year honors was a two-player race between Trinity's Josh Valentic and South Fayette's Mike Lamberti, who recently made an oral commitment to Division II power West Liberty.

That's not fair to Zedreck, who, in my opinion, was the best player on the court in last year's PIAA championship game. Zedreck's scoring average isn't as high as Valentic or Lamberti but he's averaging 10 assists. That's crazy at the high school level. He's also as good a defender at the position as I've seen this year.

* The Fort Cherry girls are the lone remaining team from Washington County in the basketball playoffs. From what I saw of the Rangers in their first-round win over Geibel, they have the look of a team that could be around for a while.

Fort Cherry played the best brand of overall team basketball I've seen from an area girls team in several years.

* FC's Nate Bellhy is one of the more athletically gifted players I've seen come through a Washington County school in my time at the O-R. He should be a solid contributor and possibly more by his sophomore year at Division II Seton Hill.

* With Valentic, Lamberti and Bellhy all head two Division II programs on scholarship, that makes this year's senior class one of the better ones in recent memory.

* If Monessen beats Ellwood City tonight in the WPIAL Class AA playoffs, Greyhounds coach Joe Salvino will join the 500-win club.

Got to speak with Salvino for a while following the WPIAL playoff pairings meeting and we hit on a number of subjects. One of them being how difficult it will be for younger coaches to reach the same milestone as Salvino, who has won three WPIAL and two PIAA titles at Monessen.

Salvino said coaches have a few things going against them these days, the main one being the transitory nature of the business. Coaches like Salvino, who have spent their entire coaching careers in one place, are becoming less common.

Teams are also playing fewer games. The PIAA allows a maximum of 22 scheduled games in the regular season.


Anonymous said...

Watch out for the Clairton Bears in class A. You can throw their record out the window...this team will give Rochester everything they can handle. If the Bears can get past Rochy, they may be playing for the title.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I shared this on the blog before about Totino-Grace High School in Minneapolis. They are a football powerhouse that is a 3A school. Well they moved up to 4A and dominated. Well, now they're moving up to 5A. I was wondering if this works for Minnesota schools, why not schools like Clairton? Here's a link to the story

Anonymous said...

Does Green play basketball for Clairton. My god, if I was the coach I'd make sure he was out for the team.

Anonymous said...

Green does play basketball, he's only started playing the second half of the season because of recruiting trips and to rest up a bit from his third straight 16 game football season. Clairton is on a 6 game winning streak with him playing.

Anonymous said...


the Monessen girls are undefeated and just beat Ft Cherry two weeks ago, but you state that "Fort Cherry played the best brand of overall team basketball I've seen from an area girls team in several years" - really?.

mike_kovak said...

Anon 12:$3 p.m.,

I stand by the statement, especially since I haven't seen the Monessen girls this year. I'm sure I will soon but have not yet.

Anonymous said...

#9 Clairton 56, #1 Rochester 55. Man those people up in Beaver County must HATE Clairton...

Anonymous said...

Good stuff anon Feb 24 11:21.. I'm sure stories like that will pique more interest come football season, but it does provide a good case and point