Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Monessen Coach Savors Wpial Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Monessen Coach Savors Wpial Title

Article excerpt

Monessen coach Joe Salvino didn't openly show much emotion after the buzzer sounded in last Friday's WPIAL Class A championship game victory against Jeannette. There was no jumping around. No big fist pump.

But what he was feeling inside was much different.

A year after being blown out in the final by Lincoln Park - a charter school in Midland, Beaver County - Monessen defeated a fellow public school, Jeannette, to win the WPIAL title. Salvino was proud that two public schools were meeting in the final, and perhaps even more thrilled that his team beat a pair of private schools - Vincentian and St. Joseph - on its way to the championship.

"It's one of the most satisfying things I could ever do because that means that I could put my players up against anybody," Salvino said.

Salvino has publicly criticized private and charter schools - particularly Lincoln Park - because he feels that they have an unfair advantage because of their ability to bring in players from multiple school districts.

"I know people don't want to hear it, but it has to be said because I know every coach out there wants to say the same thing," Salvino said. "I stand up for the public schools constantly because we have to go with the people who live in our town, our communities. These people can go wherever they want to. The thing is, with charter schools, my tax dollars are paying for this person to go to school. And I don't think that's fair, especially in smaller areas."

In the 73-57 triumph against Jeannette at Petersen Events Center, Monessen (20-6) built a 10-point halftime lead and was able to hold off the Jayhawks in the second half with the help of Justice Rice (22 points) and Lavalle Rush (18).

Monessen opens the PIAA playoffs tonight at Canon-McMillan against yet another private school. Venango Catholic was the fourth- place finisher in District 9.

SOUTH FAYETTE COMES UP SHORT

No team - boys or girls - advanced to the WPIAL championship with a seed as low as the South Fayette girls (No. …

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