Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dukes Take Care of Business, Win Title Claiming 11th Wpial Crown All in Day's Work for Duquesne

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dukes Take Care of Business, Win Title Claiming 11th Wpial Crown All in Day's Work for Duquesne

Article excerpt

The Duquesne High School boys' basketball team doesn't just say it takes a business-like approach to basketball. It backs it up, complete with the requisite titles.

"We are like a company, the players came up with it," coach Montel Staples said. "Elijah Fields [a junior forward and leading scorer] is the CEO. Jamie Demery [senior center], he's the vocal guy on the team, so he is the director of marketing. He markets the team."

Duquesne, Inc. What's its No. 1 product? Wins, of course, with the manufacturing of championships a key industry as well.

The Dukes (21-7) won their 11th WPIAL championship Friday night with a 54-52 victory against St. Joseph at Duquesne University's A.J. Palumbo Center.

"If Duquesne is a business, then Elijah Fields is the CEO because he's the heart and soul of the team and he can take over the team at any time," junior guard Layton Dunn said.

"And we are like a business. Jamie made the comment, 'It's never personal; it's just business.' "

So was the Dukes' mind-set after the game, when Staples said the bus ride home, while triumphant, was less jubilant and more professional. The players are very happy to be crowned WPIAL champions for the first time since 1999, but in the locker room following the game, they decided they have their eyes set on a bigger prize.

"We are going to move on to the next game and see what our chances are in the state playoffs," Staples said.

"We had some goals coming into the season. The first goal was making the WPIAL playoffs, the second to win our section, the third to qualify for the state playoffs, the fourth a WPIAL championship. And goal No. 5 was the PIAA championship.

"So far, we have accomplished four out of four. We want to make it a clean sweep, bat 1.000."

The quest will begin Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Berlin- Brothersvalley (18-8), the No. 3 team from District 5 at Southmoreland High School in Alverton. It's the first of five consecutive games the Dukes would have to win this month to capture the school's fourth PIAA boys' basketball title. …

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