Share This Page

Vincentian's speed, trap prevail

The Vincentian boys basketball team knows how to play one way: fast.

Clairton fell into Vincentian's trap in the WPIAL Class A semifinal Tuesday night at West Allegheny.

Vincentian (23-1) advanced to the Class A final against Lincoln Park by defeating Clairton, 69-54. The Class A championship game is set for Friday at A.J. Palumbo Center.

The Royals used a half-court and full-court trap against speedy Clairton (10-11) and created 22 turnovers, 14 in the first half — as they took a 37-21 halftime lead.

John Bray, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, was too much for Clairton to handle. He scored a game-high 31 points, 17 in the first half. He iced the game by going 6 for 6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.

"That's how we play," Vincentian coach George Yokitis said. "The trap is the only way I know how to coach. If they were so convinced they could beat it, they would have beaten us. I compliment them for coming back. We had no answer for (Desimon) Green. He's an amazing athlete.

"The game went the way we thought it would, and Johnny hit a couple big shots in the first half. It was our night to hit a couple tough shots."

Green (23 points and nine rebounds) and Parrish Middlebrook (13 points) came off the bench to spark Clairton. Green scored 12 points in the third quarter as Clairton trimmed the lead to 52-41.

Clairton coach Theron Pitts admitted that Vincentian's trap was the difference.

"They did a great job preparing for our speed," Pitts said. "We did what they wanted us to do — dribble into the traps and throw the ball away. At times, some of our guys didn't want the ball."

Pitts said he also was impressed with Bray's game.

"I saw a lot of film on him, and we did know that he was their best player," Pitts said. "He's solid and better than the scouting report indicated. He's going to play somewhere in college."

Clairton did pull to within 56-47 with 5:27 left, but a 3-pointer by Tony DiNardo ended the threat. Vincentian then hit 10 consecutive free throws to put the game out of reach.

Chris Koryak had 13 points for the Royals and Adam Dian had 11, all in the first half.

Bray said the game plan was simple: Do what we usually do, and run up and down the court.

"We like the transition game," Bray said. "That's how we play, and we feel we're in better condition that anyone we play. We run them up and down and see if they can last with us.

"We used Clairton's cockiness to our advantage as a little motivation. Other schools told us the trap would work."

Photo Galleries

WPIAL Basketball Semi-finals at West Allegheny High School

WPIAL Basketball Semi-finals at West Allegheny High School

The Mt. Lebanon girls basketball team defeats Oakland Catholic, 64-43 in the WPIAL AAAA semifinals and Vincentian Academy beats back Clairton, 69-54, in the Class A semifinals.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.