Monday, December 12, 2011

Boys basketball weekend in review

Team of the Week
Peters Township
Very difficult not taking Monessen here since the Greyhounds routed Class AAA power Blackhawk (more on that in a few), but Peters Township played more than one game and the Indians, who missed the postseason last year, got a pair of wins over quality opponents.
PT opened its season with wins over West Mifflin and Allderdice to win the Peters Township Tipoff Tournament.
Last year, the Indians shot a lot of three-pointers - a whole lot. PT got things done defensively in its first two games, as teams averaged 46 points against them.

The Greyhounds opened defense of their WPIAL Class AA championship impressively with a 68-50 win Saturday over Blackhawk.
There's plenty to like about Monessen, which plays up in classification. The Greyhounds are deep. Their eighth man would start for most teams. They also take on, and usually beat, all comers. Said it here before and I'll say it again ... the teams that regularly play difficult non-section schedules are the ones making deep playoff runs. Few face tougher schedules than Monessen.

Starting five
Brett Haney, Canon-McMillan
Corey Hunsberger, Trinity
Jalen Madison, Monessen
Dakota Norton, Peters Township
Kyle Rose, McGuffey
First reserve
Eric Ellis, Washington

Game of the Week
Canon-McMillan 53, Trinity 52 (OT)
Sunday's championship game of the EQT Energy Classic had a playoff feel. Part of it had to do with two rivals playing for a trophy, but a lot of it had to do with the competitive basketball staged.
Canon-McMillan, behind a barrage of three-pointers in the second quarter, cruised to a 13-point lead and put the rowdy Canon Crazies in a tizzy during the process. Trinity, a team that gave indication it will be a factor in the Section 5-AAA postseason picture, battled back and tied the game with 33 seconds left.
The Big Macs defense made two big stands - one at the end of regulation and the second at the end of overtime when David Williams, nicknamed Miller for reasons he does not know, stole the basketball and subsequently made the game-winning free throw.
Those Canon Crazies nearly cost their Big Macs a technical at the end when they stormed the court with 1.7 seconds remaining and came in contact (hugging) players.

Facts and figures
* Fort Cherry boys basketball coach D.J. Gambridge had to achieve some sort of milestone this weekend at the FC Tipoff Tournament. His first game as a head coach came against California's Phil Pergola, who won the 1995 PIAA Class AAAA championship with Ringgold. His second game was against South Fayette's Rich Bonnaure, coach of the 2010 Class AA state champs.
* Washington coach Mark Gaither was so displeased with his team during Sunday's third-place game against Waynesburg at the EQT Classic that he called a timeout to chew out his players. Gaither wasn't done when the timeout expired, so he called another.
* While McGuffey got off to a solid start by winning its tipoff tournament, it's possible no area team garnered more respect this weekend than Waynesburg.
The Raiders opened play in the EQT Classic by beating West Greene (no surprise), then followed with a decent showing against Canon-McMillan and then taking Wash High to the final seconds. Waynesburg had a chance to beat the Prexies in the closing seconds.
The Raiders drew considerable applause from the crowd at Canon-McMillan High School when its all-tournament players Ty Negley and Hogan Barnhart were presented trophies and when head coach Dave Sarra accepted an award for competitive spirit. Following the championship game, CM coach Rick Bell said part of  his pregame talk focused on Waynesburg's effort against Washington.


Anonymous said...

Great work Coach Sarra! We are all proud of you and the boys effort! Good luck the rest of the way!

Anonymous said...

Just watching the EQT classic was hard . Most of the basketball was appalling to say the least. supposedly even one of the better teams in Washington was awful. I understand they have 2 starters and their 6th man out for disciplinary reasons but whoa. If im trinity and canon mac im not feeling real good either. I hope in the future you can get better teams than West Greene. For crying out loud their varsity scrimmaged Wash Highs freshmen team and you expected them to compete. really its not fair to them as well.

Anonymous said...

Waynesburg and trinity will have their hands full goin forward with wash high at full strength. thats a fact!

mike_kovak said...

@Anon 10:01 a.m.

Washington played without four players expected to be in the top seven of the rotation. Not making excuses for them, but pretty difficult task this early in the season.

There were a lot of positive from the EQT, especially for Trinity.

As for the format, I was told there had to be two teams from Greene County and four from Washington County. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

True, that doesn't make for the most compelling hoops, but how would you make it better given those restrictions?

Anonymous said...

i did hear that mike about team representation. just saying that only 4 out of 12 games were competitive and three of them involved wash high.

Anonymous said...

Who mandated the 2 Greene Co teams and 4 Wash Co teams?

mike_kovak said...


Anonymous said...

What is your thinking of section 5aa boys? after sto-rox this may be the worst aa section ever. burgettstown, ft cherry carylton. and chariers houston, flat out stink. these teams would not make the 4th playoff spot in any other aa section.Have you ever witnessed a worse aa section?

mike_kovak said...

I think it's too early to jump to that conclusion.