Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lincoln Park Looks to Promising Future Piaa Basketball: Boys Class A

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lincoln Park Looks to Promising Future Piaa Basketball: Boys Class A

Article excerpt

Only an hour had passed since Lincoln Park's season ended in a 59- 53 loss to Johnsonburg in a PIAA Class A semifinal Tuesday, but junior forward Ryan Skovranko had already turned the page to next season.

"He came and sat next to me on the bus and wanted to know what he could do to get better and what we as a team could do to get better and get over the hump," said Mike Bariski, an assistant basketball coach for the Leopards and the school's athletic director. "It spoke well for our future."

For the third consecutive season, the Leopards reached the PIAA Class A Final Four, but have yet to win a title after losing in the championship game the prior two years.

"We have expectations to play in the last game, but Johnsonburg played great last night," Bariski said.

"If you look at what we had to go through this season, with injuries and the situation with Elijah [Minnie], we're proud of the players and what they accomplished."

Minnie was a huge addition for Lincoln Park. A 6-foot-9 junior, he was originally ruled ineligible by first the WPIAL and the PIAA after transferring from Summit Academy before the start of the school year.

But on appeal, the PIAA overturned the ruling and Minnie took the court for the first time on Jan. 11 against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, scoring 21 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking nine shots.

The Leopards were just 6-4 before Minnie was ruled eligible, but won 13 of their next 14 games, including a 13-point victory against WPIAL Class AA champion and PIAA finalist Beaver Falls. …

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