Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beaver Falls Needs Cottrill Back on Floor

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beaver Falls Needs Cottrill Back on Floor

Article excerpt

Losing two of three games isn't often a cause of concern for many high school basketball teams. It's simply a short rut in a long season, and one that doesn't demand too much attention.

Then again, the Beaver Falls boys team isn't most programs. The Tigers are the defending WPIAL and PIAA Class AA champions, and were the Post-Gazette's preseason No. 1 team in the class after they returned several key parts from that championship team.

Their start to the season, however, hasn't been ideal. After winning its first six games with relative ease, Beaver Falls has lost two of its past three, its worst three-game stretch since December 2011, to fall to 7-2 on the season.

So, after so many years of success, what has contributed to the slow start?

One reason is pretty obvious, and that's the loss of star guard- forward Elijah Cottrill, an Akron football recruit. The 6-foot-3 senior has missed the past few games while serving a suspension for disciplinary reasons. Cottrill, also a Division I prospect for basketball, averaged a team-high 16.4 points per game last season and was a member of the Post-Gazette's Fab Five.

Without Cottrill in the lineup, the Tigers offense sputtered a bit in the two defeats. After averaging 73.6 points in their first five games, they scored only 84 combined points in their losses to Blackhawk and Central Valley. Beaver Falls' 38 points against the Warriors was the program's lowest single-game scoring mark since February 2010.


After promising starts of 3-0 and then 5-1, the West Allegheny boys team has struggled a little recently. Since their one-point victory against Moon Dec. 9, the Indians have lost four of their past six, a run that has also seen them lose their past three. Though the team's recent struggles are somewhat disconcerting, they might not be as bad as they appear on paper -- two of the team's past three losses came by single digits.


Recent history has been kind to the Chartiers Valley boys basketball program, as the Colts have emerged as one of the more successful teams in the WPIAL the past few seasons. …

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