Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Good Times Make Return at Carlynton

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Good Times Make Return at Carlynton

Article excerpt

Tim Bonner knew what the moment felt like, the moment when he helped lead a team to a section championship. For him, it came in 2005 with a Carlynton girls' basketball team that finished 16-10, claimed a share of the Class AA Section 3 championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the WPIAL playoffs.

At Carlynton, that kind of success has a fleeting feel to it, as the program gradually regressed.

But in 2012, on the heels of a 12-10 season, it was searching for a new coach and the school knew just where to turn for that vacancy - - Bonner, who had retired after the 2005-06 season.

With that change has come success.

Now in his second season of his second stint at the school, Bonner has led Carlynton to an 18-3 record for the regular season, a mark which has helped it win its first section title since he was last at the school.

"We've been able to put together a nice little run," Bonner said. "It's worked out well for us. I'm really proud of my girls."

Following a brief two-year tenure as the school's head coach from 2004-06, Bonner ventured into retirement. And for a while, he figured it would stay that way.

But after the 2011-12 season, he was beginning to ponder a return, this time as an assistant coach with the Carlynton boys basketball team. It was a position he felt comfortable taking -- that was until he got an exploratory phone call from the school's athletic director offering him the head coaching job with the girls' team.

"The rest is history," Bonner said.

He inherited a Cougars program that had bottomed out, going 47- 108 from the 2005-06 season through 2011-12, a period in which it never made the playoffs. Despite that underwhelming record, there were signs of progress in the final two years of that span, as Carlynton went 12-10 in each of those seasons.

Immediately hoping to build on that positive momentum, Bonner helped lead the Cougars to the playoffs that season with a 13-11 record, accomplishing the goal they set out for at the beginning of the season. But heading into this current season, they had greater expectations -- namely, that elusive section championship. …

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