Quaker Valley boys basketball enters season less experienced than past
TribLIVE Sports Videos
This year's Quaker Valley boys basketball team will look quite a bit different than the version that advanced to the PIAA semifinals a season ago.
That tends to happen when seven seniors — including the team's top four scorers — graduate, leaving a more inexperienced core behind.
“It'll definitely be a transition season only because this will probably be the youngest team that we have started in terms of experience over the last five years,” Quaker Valley coach Mike Mastroianni said. “I think a lack of experience on some of the guys was due to the number of seniors we had last year. We felt that these guys were good enough and in any other year may have played younger, but our senior class last year was outstanding.”
The team's depth took another hit when juniors Jake Trovato and Kendall Luton, two potential rotation players, suffered injuries that will likely keep both out for the season. But Mastroianni believes his team has enough left to make its ninth straight WPIAL playoff appearance.
“The year before (last), we won 20 games,” Mastroianni said. “The year before that, we had won 20. Last year's group continued forward, and that's really what our goal is every year. We're trying to have a high level of expectations in our program and maximize our potential.”
This season, the Quakers will look to fourth-year seniors Burke Moser and Nelson Westwood to lead the team. Moser, who averaged 8.8 points per game a season ago, is the team's leading returning scorer.
Seniors Micah Glenn and Jack McGarry; juniors John Bernard, Winter Fondi, Christian Miller, Jack Stater and Qadir Taylor; and sophomores Chris Conlan and Tyler Garbee will also be “in the mix,” Mastroianni said, as the Quakers have the potential to go 10-12 players deep.
“It might be a few guys helping us (one night), and another night it might be a few different guys,” Mastroianni said. “I think as a coaching staff we understand that we have to be patient until they gain some of that valuable experience. But we have a lot of numbers ... (and) we're banking on (Moser's and Westwood's) experience to help us carry all the younger guys until they gain that valuable game experience.”
The Quakers will play some different opponents this season, as WPIAL realignment changed up Section 6. Carlynton, South Side Beaver and Sto-Rox joined the section, replacing Aliquippa, Beaver Falls and New Brighton.
Three of Quaker Valley's five losses came last season against Beaver Falls, the eventual WPIAL champion and PIAA runner-up in Class AA.
But the Quakers have plenty of history with Sto-Rox as well. The Vikings eliminated Quaker Valley in the WPIAL quarterfinals last season, with the Quakers returning the favor in the PIAA playoffs.
Mastroianni is looking forward to another competitive season, which will begin with a game against Cornell in the QV Boys Basketball Classic on Dec. 7.
“I think the combination of new players and the new section will definitely be a challenge for us,” he said. “We've played some of (our new section opponents) in the past, but any time you play teams in the section, the games are a different level of importance. But we're excited. We'll be built a little different this year than we were last year, but I think we have some new, exciting younger players. We're excited about our potential as a team.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Steelers finalize 53-man roster
- Pitt cruises past Delaware in season opener
- Coping with Kids: Cool products for family road trips
- Pirates notebook: Morton status remains in limbo
- Former Steelers linebacker Harrison retires
- Outbound 376 reopened after man on exit sign caused closure
- Woman killed in Fayette County van-motorcycle collision
- AFL-CIO: Wolf out in front in city’s Labor Day parade
- Penn State edges Central Florida on last-second field goal
- Secret judicial ruling blocks release of sexually explicit emails
- 90,000 people could hit the North Shore for games, ribs