Seton Lasalle's Hot Start Unexpected

By Spencer, Sarah K. | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), December 30, 2018 | Go to article overview

Seton Lasalle's Hot Start Unexpected


Spencer, Sarah K., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


When you graduate five senior starters from a 20-win team with a 10-0 section record, it's safe to say the next year's team, particularly how it will start off the season, is a question mark.

Maybe a little less so for Seton LaSalle, which returned plenty of varsity experience (four junior starters this year and one senior starter played last season), despite all the roster turnover, with its JV team regularly scrimmaging against the varsity team.

"It can be a tough transition, but I think we handled it very well because in practice we would always scrimmage against them, and it was always a somewhat good game," said senior guard Trevor O'Donnell, who averages 10.8 points and 4 rebounds per game. "So I think we were confident that we would be OK."

Seton LaSalle, which lost to Lincoln Park in last year's WPIAL Class 3A championship, has been more than OK this season and is looking to get back to Petersen Events Center. The Rebels are off to a 6-0 start with some sizzling offensive numbers, averaging 71.5 points per game, good for the second-most in WPIAL Class 3A behind North Catholic (74 ppg). They give up just 43.5 points per game, good for the second-fewest in 3A behind Deer Lakes (42.8 ppg).

That means Seton LaSalle is beating teams by a whopping 28 points, on average.

Could the Rebels have expected such lopsided results right out of the gate with a relatively new team?

"Honestly, no," said O'Donnell, who broke his foot late last season and wasn't able to participate in the team's playoff run. "I don't think anybody could have predicted it because we were not off to a good start losing five senior starters last year that were all a big part of the team. I don't think anybody really expected it."

Of course, it's a small sample size, and games will no doubt tighten as Seton LaSalle gets into the thick of Section 2 play. It'll also get more difficult over its next stretch of non-conference games, facing the always-tough Class 4A New Castle and Class 5A McKeesport. Seton LaSalle has section wins against Avonworth and Freedom and plays host to North Catholic (5-2) Friday.

Still, it's good to start out on the right foot, per Seton LaSalle coach Mark Walsh.

"We're looking forward to that competition," Walsh said of the tough games ahead. "We're excited to have the success that we've had. …

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