Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

East Allegheny Scrambles for Bid

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

East Allegheny Scrambles for Bid

Article excerpt

There is seemingly no basketball player in the WPIAL or City League whose shooting range is in more inverse proportion to his size than Jordan Williams.

A senior shooting guard at East Allegheny, Williams stands just 5 feet 4. Yet he routinely makes 25-footers, shots so far from the basket for someone so small that it would seem fairer if it counted for four points instead of three.

"I've told Jordan that I'll never allow another player under my tutelage to ever shoot from as long range as he does," East Allegheny coach Vern Benson said with a laugh. "Every time he shoots, I'm saying to myself, 'Short, short, short ... in!' I'm always holding my breath.

"He's amazing, though. He isn't scared to shoot from anywhere on the floor. The best part is that he makes a lot of them. He's a really tough kid. I don't usually want guys shooting NBA-type 3s, but I've bought it in Jordan's case. I'm a believer."

Williams has given Benson every reason to believe -- he is averaging a team-high 17.1 points a game for the Wildcats.

Williams and his teammates are believers, too. In Benson's second season as coach, East Allegheny has a chance to reach the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 1996. That is pretty heady stuff for a program that has celebrated only one section title in its history ... and that was all the way back in 1967, the high school's first season as East Allegheny.

After defeating Elizabeth Forward, 70-64, Tuesday, East Allegheny is 9-9 overall and 4-5 in Class AAA, Section 4. Though no one is likely to catch Thomas Jefferson (13-5, 9-0) or West Mifflin (13-3, 8-1) in the standings, the Wildcats are in a battle with Steel Valley (10-6, 4-4) and Elizabeth Forward (10-9, 4-6) for the section's other two playoff spots.

East Allegheny has three section games remaining -- at Ringgold (2-15, 1-8) on Friday night, at home against Belle Vernon Area (2- 14, 1-7) next Tuesday and at Steel Valley next Friday. …

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