Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Strong Teams Have Taken Big Falls

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Strong Teams Have Taken Big Falls

Article excerpt

With tradition in mind, it is startling that the Chartiers Valley boys basketball team will miss the WPIAL playoffs. It is the first time in Tim McConnell's 25 years as coach that the Colts won't be in the postseason.

But misery does love company this season in WPIAL basketball. This is the Humpty Dumpty Season in the WPIAL. All around the league, for whatever reason, there are numerous teams that have suddenly had a great fall off the wall of success.

The WPIAL always has a few surprise stories of teams that haven't been big winners, but put together a season for the ages at their school. But it's hard to remember a season with so many teams enduring such an abrupt fall.


* Besides not making the playoffs, Chartiers Valley will have its first losing season under McConnell. The 24 consecutive playoff appearances was the second-longest current streak in the WPIAL.

* Beaver Falls streak of 17 consecutive playoff appearances is over. The Tigers are 6-14. The previous low for wins was the 1999-2000 season, when they were 6-16.

* North Allegheny will miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Up until the 2015-16 season, the Tigers had won 20 games or more five times in six years. This year's team is 7-13 and the Tigers could have the fewest wins since they were 8-14 in 1987-88.

* Greensburg Central Catholic is 6-14 and in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2000. The Centurions had won at least 20 games the past seven seasons.

* West Mifflin is 4-13 and will miss the WPIAL playoffs for the second consecutive season. The previous time that happened was 2003-04. West Mifflin was 3-19 last year, marking the worst two seasons since the West Mifflin North and West Mifflin South merger in 1984.

* North Hills made the WPIAL semifinals the past three seasons and made it to the WPIAL title game for the first time only two years ago. Now, the Indians are 4-15 and out of the playoffs.

* Southmoreland made it to the WPIAL quarterfinals last year for the first time since 1987, but the Scotties are 4-17.

* Bishop Canevin made the WPIAL semifinals the past two seasons and the PIAA semifinals last year for the first time in school history. But the Crusaders are 5-15 this season.

There are various reasons for the down seasons at these schools. A number of the teams just don't have as much talent as usual. A few are adjusting to new coaches. Chartiers Valley doesn't have a senior on the team. Some teams have lost key players. At Southmoreland, 6-10 Brandon Stone had a number of Division I scholarship offers, but left and transferred to a prep school in North Carolina.

Don't give up on these teams. Some will undoubtedly return to prominence, maybe as soon as next season. But their woes prove that, no matter where, hard times can hit at any time. …

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