Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Defense Has Been Key for Aliquippa

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Defense Has Been Key for Aliquippa

Article excerpt

When many think of Aliquippa boys basketball and the success it has had over the years, the program's many big-time offensive talents might first come to mind.

But this group of Quips -one of the school's most successful ever -will likely be remembered for their exceptional work keeping the opposing team from scoring.

For the second season in a row, Aliquippa finished the regular season undefeated. And just like last season when they won the WPIAL Class AA title and were the PIAA runner-up, the Quips lead the WPIAL in scoring defense. The Quips allowed 43.2 points a game last season and have lowered that number to 41.5 this season. The No. 1-seeded Quips (21-0), who are ranked No. 1 in the state, opened defense of their title Thursday night with a first-round game against East Allegheny.

Aliquippa is locking down opponents consistently, as it has allowed 50 or more points only four times. It held Kennedy Catholic -the No. 1 Class A team in the state -to a season-low 37 points and limited Class AAAA power Chartiers Valley to 44 points.

What's interesting is that Aliquippa is having great success by simply playing half-court man-to-man defense, and not by pressing or trapping.

"The key is a real fundamental," Aliquippa coach Nick Lackovich said. "We help each other. We have a couple of really good shot blockers that help clean up some of the miscues, if there are any. We take responsibility for each other's man."

The Quips have the total package with perimeter defenders Jassir Jordan and Sheldon Jeter, shot blockers Chucky Humphries and Robert Crute, and Kaezon Pugh, who provides the "muscle."

"Coach Nick and coach [Dwight Hines] always preach defense to us and make sure we take pride in not letting our man score," Humphries said.

"I think it's hard for some schools to coach defense, but when you have five guys on the court who take pride in not letting your man score, then I think defense can be coached. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.