By: Matthew Wilke –
The SLS Boy’s Basketball Team beat Greensburg Central Catholic (GCC) in the WPIAL championship at the Palumbo Center on the first day of March. It was a close game that went back and forth and was decided only in the final seconds. The Rebels pulled away with the win to become WPIAL champs for only the second time, and for the first time in 25 years.
When asked what this game meant to the school and the team, Dale Clancy, point guard, responded, “We have a chance to do something here that hasn’t been done in recent memory.”
The #1 seeded Rebels will try to avoid their second loss this season as they make it to the PIAA championship in Hershey, PA. Up to this point, they have a stellar 26-1 record and are undefeated in the section this year. They have playoff victories against Jeanette, Summit Academy, Beaver Falls, GCC, and Penn Hills. Penn Hills was the boys’ latest victim in the first round of the state playoffs on Saturday night at Gateway High School. Their next match is Wednesday against Mercyhurst Prep at Sharon High School at 8 PM.
Last season the Rebels had a solid season with a 21-3 record but had a disappointing loss in the second round of the WPIAL playoffs to Quaker Valley.
“The biggest difference between this year and last year is the depth that we have on this team. We are about 7-9 guys deep this year and you could put in any one of them off the bench and still keep the play up,“ said Boehme.
The team returns three starters from last year with Malik White, Dale Clancy, and Levi Masua. Christian DelGreco and Ryan Norkus round out the starting five. Last year’s starting guard Dom DelGreco suffered a torn ACL during football season and was unable to play. Key contributors off the bench are Cletus Helton, Tom Rizza, David Boehme, Andrew Rodgers, John Marzina, Adam Turzak, Alec Mastovich, and Nico Popa.
“The seniors are really tight this year and are motivated to win at all costs” says Malik White.
The seniors are Dale Clancy, Malik White, Levi Masua, David Boehme, Dom DelGreco and Tommy Rizza. As freshmen they got a lot of playing time but the team only went 4-16. They have gotten better each year and have qualified for the playoffs the past three years. It’s fair to say that this senior class has turned the basketball program around.
The Rebels will try to avoid their second loss of this season by getting rebounds, avoiding turnovers, and playing good defense and the rest should fall into place. The team lost their only match of the season to Class AAA Montour. Adam Turzak suggests they didn’t rebound good enough or play good defense. Since that loss however, the team has changed from playing zone defense to man-to-man defense.
It appears that this new strategy is working as they have looked near unbeatable in the rest of their games.
“We believe we can beat anyone if we play like we know how to and listen to coach Walsh,” says Levi Masua.
Going into the playoffs this team was ranked #1 in the WPIAL Class AA and #2 in PA. The state championship held in Hershey, PA is the last hurdle in the Rebels stellar season.
For More: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/high-school-basketball/2014/03/01/Third-year-coach-leads-Seton-LaSalle-to-Class-AA-basketball-title/stories/201403010148