Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Basketball's Memorable Moments

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Basketball's Memorable Moments

Article excerpt

High school basketball is over and the memories from games, players and coaches are many. So for the 2017-18 season, "I'm Just Sayin ."

* One shining moment: When Tess Myers drove the length of the court in the WPIAL 4A girls championship and hit a shot at the buzzer to give Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic a 50-49 victory against Beaver. And it was priceless seeing Myers run to get hugs from her grandfather courtside after the game. It was like a Sister Jean moment.

* Best individual performance: Mars' Robby Carmody, for one half of the PIAA Class 5A final against Abington Heights. Carmody scored Mars' first 24 points of the second half and finished with 27 of Mars' 30 points in the final two quarters of a tough loss to Abington Heights. This year was the 30th anniversary of the greatest individual performance in a state championship game and Carmody's performance brought back memories of that March night in 1988, when Carlisle's Billy Owens scored a record 53 points in the 4A title game against Central Catholic. Owens scored 27 points in the first half.

* Most memorable performance in a short period: We hate to be repetitive, but Carmody is a double winner. What he did late in 30 seconds of a game against West Allegheny is a finish for the ages. West Allegheny led Mars by 10 points before Carmody scored 10 in the final 30 seconds to tie the score. Mars eventually won in overtime. Carmody hit three 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds and was fouled on one attempt. He made the free throw and eventually finished with 43 points.

* Players of the year: Ahhhh, we'll let the Post-Gazette announce those in the April 15 and April 20 editions.

* Best coaching jobs: On the boys side, it's New Castle's Ralph Blundo, Quaker Valley's Mike Mastroianni, OLSH's Mike Rodriguez and Mars' Rob Carmody. How in the heck did Blundo win his fifth WPIAL title this year with that team?

On the girls side, how about Beaver's Greg Huston, North Allegheny's Spencer Stefko and Mars' Dana Petruska? In the cases of Carmody and Stefko, their teams were expected to be strong this season. But sometimes it takes a masterful coaching job to have a team live up to lofty expectations.

* Most underrated player: James Ellis, Westinghouse. Sure, it's hard to not notice this 6-foot-11 senior center and he received some "pub" this season. But many don't realize exactly how good Ellis is - or his potential for the future. He has signed with Allegany, a junior college in Maryland. But don't be surprised if he ends up at a Division I college and sits out the 2018-19 season. He could be a major factor at a major college in a few years.

* Best comment: Dave Long, the boys coach at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in Cranberry, after the school fired him recently: "I had open heart surgery while I coached and I've been through a heart attack. …

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