Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Prexies Enjoying Excellent Opening

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Prexies Enjoying Excellent Opening

Article excerpt

In every classification there seems to emerge different tiers of teams.

* There are the serious title contenders year in and year out.

* There are teams that fly under the radar that will usually make it to the playoffs but are not a serious threat to win the championship.

* Then there are the teams striving to get better and can surprise anyone on any given night.

At least for now, it would appear that the Washington boys basketball team falls into the middle tier in Class AA. The Little Prexies have made it to the WPIAL playoffs the past two years but were knocked out on those two occasions in the preliminary round and first round, respectively.

Last year the Little Prexies finished second in Section 4-AA to Seton-La Salle with an 8-4 record, 17-7 overall. Last year's squad was led by senior Josh Wise. Wise led the section in scoring with a 22-points-per-game average.

"Anytime you lose a player with his ability it is tough," head coach Mark Gaither said. "A lot of our offense naturally went through him. We don't have a player like that so we are counting on different guys. It is a total team approach."

Even without last year's leading scorer, Gaither believes this year's team has a chance to be one of his deepest and best. Leading the way are seniors Dupree Jenkins, a 6-foot guard, and Quorteze Levy, a 6-1 forward.

Jenkins is the lone returning starter and Levy is a key starter this season after coming off the bench last year. So far, they have led the Prexies (6-1, 3-0) to a strong start to the season.

"Those are two of our senior leaders," Gaither said. "Dupree was all-section and was our one returning starter. When we need a bucket or someone to get everybody under control, that's' him."

"Levy was a key player last year. He is our all-everything guy. Always brings energy and enthusiasm. Does all the little things that make teams great."

Also looking to make contributions for the Little Prexies are 6- foot-3 sophomore Nate Swart and 6-2 junior DeQual Isbell.

Swart reached double figures in the first three games this season and Isbell led Washington to their first section win on Dec. 13 against Bishop Canevin, 58-47, with a 16-point, 12-rebound double- double. …

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