Keystone Oaks boys basketball embracing high expectations
TribLIVE Sports Videos
There are some pretty high expectations for the Keystone Oaks boys basketball team heading into the 2012-13 season.
The Golden Eagles had a breakout campaign last season, going 20-3 — including a 12-0 mark in Section 4-AAA action.
While some coaches might shy away from talking about living up to expectations, second-year Keystone Oaks coach Gene Mercuri is embracing it.
“Anytime you have success, it brings expectations with it,” Mercuri said. “It is what we want. We are trying to build a program. We want people to expect us to play well and win.”
It may be a bit harder to repeat the same results as last season. The Golden Eagles were moved from Section 4-AAA to 5-AAA, which is becoming one of the toughest conferences in Class AAA.
Keystone Oaks must dealf with Chartiers Valley, McGuffey, Montour, South Fayette, South Park and Waynesburg if it hopes to make a return to the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
“You want to go out every night and battle,” Mercuri said. “Whatever teams get into the playoffs will be battle tested.”
Keystone Oaks will be led by the return of Cory Sevacko and Jared Skolnicki.
The seniors started for the Golden Eagles last season and bring a high level of athleticism to the court.
Sophomore Kobe Phillippi makes his return after receiving a large number of minutes last season. Juniors Braydon Griffiths and Taylor Lehman round out the starting five.
Keystone Oaks will have plenty of depth: Juniors Walt Hepner, Declan Hartnett and freshman Erat Ojok will get time off the bench.
“We have some sophomores working hard,” Mercuri said. “Mike Orosz has been busting his butt and is fighting for time, as well.”
Keystone Oaks hosted a tipoff tournament last week, and the Golden Eagles walked away 2-0. On Friday, Keystone Oaks downed Bishop Canevin, 70-54. Sevacko led the team with 27 points.
Keystone Oaks defeated Hopewell, 69-61, on Saturday.
The strong start has the Golden Eagles on the right path. Mercuri said while the team is preparing for a brutal section slate, the team has set the bar high.
“Our goals are never going to change,” Mercuri said. “It is a not a goal to play hard — we do that. It is what we are supposed to do. We want to try and win the section. We want to get in the playoffs and see what we can do from there.
“Our goals will never change from that. We are going to shoot for the ceiling.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-388-5813.
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.
- East Allegheny boys basketball team ready for fresh start in Class AA
- Ford City girls basketball aims to close program on top
- Ford City boys basketball coach brings winning personality for final season
- East Allegheny girls basketball team embraces new outlook
- Deer Lakes boys move into tough Class AAA section
- Deer Lakes girls basketball set for AAA competition
- Geibel girls basketball primed to continue upward trend
- Burrell boys basketball team moves to Class AAA, eager to compete
- 6-foot-8 transfer bolsters Cheswick Christian boys lineup
- Cheswick Christian girls have high expectations
- Fox Chapel boys basketball team will rely on rotation for scoring