Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

St. Joe's Won't Forget

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

St. Joe's Won't Forget

Article excerpt

Despite an impressive 20-5 record while sharing the Section 4 championship, St. Joseph, Natrona, had the misfortune of drawing Union in the first round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs last season.

The Spartans were "upset" by 12th seed Union to quickly end their season on a disappointing note. The Scotties turned out to be a much team better than anybody expected, winning the WPIAL title and having an eight-game winning streak that took them to the PIAA finals. St. Joe really got matched up early against a team playing like a top seed. With four returning starters, the Spartans had a long time to consider that game.

"Our kids are determined to not let history repeat itself this year," coach Kelly Robinson said.

St. Joseph could be on its way to a memorable campaign.

Going into a non-section home game last night against Cheswick Christian, St. Joseph was 4-0, despite a challenging schedule. The Spartans opened the season by winning the Dubois Central Catholic tournament. St. Joe topped the host team in the final, 77-59. Dubois C.C. reached the PIAA second round last season.

Robinson's team impressively against rivals Riverview, 82-55; and Burrell, 79-68, last week at its newly refurbished home court at Highlands Middle School.

St. Joseph begins defense of its 4-A championship Tuesday at Duquesne, the team it shared the title with last season. St. Joe plays two more section games before Christmas, at home against Serra Catholic and Winchester-Thurston.

"It was disappointing to lose in the first round of the playoffs last season, but knowing Union was such a hot team at that time took some of the sting out of it, Robinson said. "Class A basketball is so competitive. There are a lot of good teams. We're just hoping to get out of our section again. With Duquesne, Serra and Vincentian in our section, there's a possibility that somebody good will be sitting at home at playoff time. …

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