Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rebels Motivated by Loss in Playoffs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rebels Motivated by Loss in Playoffs

Article excerpt

Mark "Knobby" Walsh didn't have to worry about keeping his Seton- LaSalle boys basketball team motivated during the offseason.

After securing their first section title since 2000 with a perfect 12-0 conference record last year, the Rebels went 21-3 overall but saw their season come to an abrupt end during the WPIAL quarterfinals, losing a one-point heart-breaker against Quaker Valley.

"That game did stay with us," said Walsh, who is in his third season coaching at Seton-LaSalle. "We didn't talk much about the game soon afterward, but we used it as a motivation factor. It was a tough end to a great season.

"Basically, we said, 'We'll be back.' We realized we had a lot coming back this year and we stayed motivated through the summer and fall. We put last year and that game behind us now and are looking for a fresh start this year."

Entering this season as the Post-Gazette's No. 2-ranked team in WPIAL Class AA, the Rebels jumped out to a 2-0 start last weekend at Peters Township's tip-off tournament. Seton-LaSalle knocked off host Peters Township, 63-30, Friday before slipping past Class AAAA's No. 3 Gateway, 68-66, the next night.

Senior point guard Dale Clancy poured in a game-high 31 points against the Gators.

"Our team balance was key," Walsh said. "Clancy scoring like he did definitely helped, but the guys are starting to have a greater understanding of what we need to do offensively and defensively.

"I was really happy to see the amount of energy our guys were playing with so early in the year."

With Clancy back running the point, Walsh also returned starters 6-foot-5 senior swingman Levi Masua and 6-4 senior forward Malik White. Senior guard David Boehm and junior forward Ryan Norkus round out the Rebels' starting five.

Senior guard Dom Del Greco, who saw a lot of time last year, will miss this season after sustaining a knee injury during football season.

"We're very balanced and have some size," Walsh said. "Coming into this year, I thought we would have a pretty good team. …

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