Vincentian Royals tally another big win
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Vincentian Academy's student section sang “Happy Birthday” to Matt Rathz at Friday night's game against Eden Christian, but he was only concerned with continuing the team's undefeated season.
“This was a big game, our first section game, so it was definitely important to get a win,”Rathz said.
Rathz, along with Tony DiNardo, led the team with four blocks each to deter Eden Christian's post game in their 79-56 win.
“It's a great, dominating feeling when you get a block,” Rathz said. “It feels like you know they're not going to want to bring it back into your house.”
Vincentian Academy coach George Yokitis explained how DiNardo, who also led the team with 19 points, gets most of his blocks.
“If you noticed, DiNardo plays like an NBA player,” Yokitis said. “He doesn't block the guy he's guarding, but he blocks the guy someone else is guarding. He has an uncanny knack for following the ball, coming off the guy he's guarding and blocking another guy's shot.”
But the Royals found themselves in an early 7-0 deficit after Eden Christian's defense forced Vincentian Academy to miss its first six shots.
“They have a nice 1-2-2 trap, and their kids are really active and competitive,” Yokitis said.
The Royals chipped away at Eden Christian's lead until Jay Cortese made two free throws early in the second quarter to put Vincentian Academy up, 17-15, a lead it did not surrender.
“It's not often teams come in here and are up, 7-0,” Yokitis said. “Usually it's the other way around, so I thought our kids really responded well.”
Eden Christian kept the game close until Cortese buried a two-handed dunk over the head of a defender to make the score 47-41 in the third quarter.
“We tell him to dunk whenever he gets the chance, and he hasn't missed one yet,” Yokitis said. “Plays like that certainly affect our team, and after that our defense settled in.”
The Royals expect more tough section games ahead.
“This is how it's going to be in sections this year,” Rathz said. “We don't expect to walk over any teams, so we have to play hard-nosed to win.”
And by Rathz's own admission, they are a small team that can't make too many mistakes.
“We've worked all spring, through summer and fall and we want to see our hard work pay off,” Rathz said. “We're confident we can make a run.”
The Royals will have another big home game at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11, when they hosts Quigley. The Royals will play the following day, as well, as Bishop Carroll pays a visit at 7 p.m. on Jan. 12.
Vincentian will then head to Sewickley for a 7:30 p.m. contest on Jan. 15.
North Hills 60, Shaler 58 — Titans star forward Geno Thorpe did not play in the first half, but his 25 second-half points were almost enough to boost Shaler past North Hills.
The Titans have yet to tally a win in Section 3-AAAA play but will continue a run of section games in the coming days.
Shaler will play at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Butler before returning home to face Pine-Richland at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 15. The Titans then hit the road to play North Allegheny at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 22.
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
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.
- State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Woman shot outside Kennywood Park in West Mifflin
- Innovation enhances Philadelphia’s history as Democrats convene, Pope Francis visits
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- Pakistani military says it achieved major victory over Islamist terrorists
- Biertempfel: Loss of All-Star paper ballots a blow to nostalgia