Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Clairton Hunting Consistency

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Clairton Hunting Consistency

Article excerpt

It's been a frustrating season for a group of athletes accustomed to winning with regularity.

Clairton has had its struggles. The Bears, as typically the case, got a late start due to most of its players competing for the school's football team that advanced to the state final on Dec. 12. Then, several players left the team, forcing others to step into new roles. Because of all of this, it's taken the Bears longer than most teams to come together and play as a cohesive unit.

But throughout it all and despite an 8-12 overall record, the Bears won three of their final four section games to finish second behind Jeannette in Class A Section 4 and reach the playoffs for the 11th year in a row.

"Once we got our rotation down, guys started to know where each other was going to be on the floor," third-year coach Matt Geletko said. "We started to learn our strengths and weaknesses. We learned who our top scorers were going to be and who our top defensive players were going to be. We were then able to start working on different things."

Clairton has leaned on solid defensive play to earn its wins, having not given up more than 55 points in any of those games. It's offensively where the Bears have been shaky, sometimes going on long scoring droughts and finishing quarters with single-digit points.

"My major concern is getting good offensive performances," Geletko said. "Defensively, we've been fine. We just struggle to score some nights. We seem to get into the flow of a game through our defense. If we can get some consistency on offense, we like our chances [in the playoffs]."

Junior shooting guard Uri Myers leads the Bears in scoring with 15 points per game. He's joined in the starting lineup by junior point guard Harrison Dreher, sophomore guard-forward Lamont Wade, junior forward Aaron Mathews and senior forward Raymone Clifford.

SERRA PLAYOFF BOUND

Serra Catholic has won one fewer game than it did last season, but this season might be considered more of a success considering the Eagles have done something they didn't do a year ago -- qualify for the playoffs.

The Eagles are in the playoffs a year after falling short for the first time since the 2003-04 season. …

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