Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Allderdice Ready to State Its Case

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Allderdice Ready to State Its Case

Article excerpt

To Allderdice boys basketball coach Buddy Valinsky, his team's upcoming appearance in the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs is just that and nothing more.

He and his team do not see it as some kind of grand responsibility to carry the torch for the six-team City League, a league in which it is the lone remaining team on the boys side.

Simply, the Dragons are going to try to continue what they've done for much of this season -- win and hope that their run can persist.

"We are the only boys team left and obviously we're going to try to represent the City as best as we can," Valinsky said.

Exactly two weeks after it handed Obama Academy its first loss of the season in the City League championship game, Allderdice will play Hampton in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and hope to do something that hasn't been done often in recent years.

Since Schenley won a PIAA title in 2007, only one team from the City League has won a game in the state playoffs. The team that managed that feat just happened to be Allderdice in 2011, the season before Valinsky returned as head coach.

If there's any hope of repeating that accomplishment, the Dragons will have to rely on the sort of offensive balance that has paced them this season. Sophomore guard James Jackson leads the team in scoring at about 14 points per game, but several others average close to double figures, a group that includes sophomore guard Timothy Jackson, James' twin brother, senior guard DaVaughn Moultrie, and his twin, senior guard JaVaughn Moultrie and junior guard Ramon Creighton.

"We're able to score with different people and the team has accepted that really well," Valinsky said. "They've really matured that way. They don't care who the leading scorer is as long as we get a win."

With that scoring balance and some strong defensive play, the Dragons have won seven of their past eight, but will face a different challenge entirely with the Talbots. Three of Hampton's four losses this season came to undefeated New Castle and it has one of the WPIAL's top players in Pitt recruit Ryan Luther.

Luther's role in the game also extends beyond his skill set -- along with his twin brother, Collin, the Luthers will be one of four sets of twins participating in the game. …

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