Strong finish powers West Mifflin
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 11:50 p.m.
Lance Maha has been coaching long enough to know when to unload on his team at halftime.
Friday wasn't one of those times.
Still, that didn't mean the veteran West Mifflin boys basketball coach didn't have a few choice, albeit calm, words for his team during intermission of the Section 4-AAA game against East Allegheny.
“Sometimes when you are coaching, you have to kind of look at the collective self-esteem of your team,” Maha said. “I think we needed to talk about the things that we thought we needed to do to help us win the game.”
Surely, part of that talk was to get the ball into Ryan Maha's hands.
Maha hit three 3-pointers within four minutes of the second half to spark a 16-3 West Mifflin run that turned a close game into a rout, as the Titans opened up section play with a convincing 61-40 victory over visiting East Allegheny in front of a raucous bipartisan crowd.
“I thought we played on our heels early and in the locker room I made it clear that we needed to be a little more aggressive,” said Lance Maha, whose team held a 27-22 lead at the break.
The coach's son said he has heard explosive halftime speeches before from his father, but was kind of surprised with the lack of yelling this time around.
“Yeah, he never raises his voice,” Ryan Maha said with a smile. “Coach gave us a little talk at halftime because we obviously weren't playing up to our capabilities. We came out a little stronger in the second half.”
West Mifflin (3-1, 1-0) got solid contributions from a multitude of players. Derrick Fulmore had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Cye Murphy chipped in with eight points and 11 rebounds. Cleve Randolph blocked four shots, and Mike Peterson grabbed seven rebounds off the bench. Freshman Karlyn Garner contributed seven points in limited minutes.
“We have an old team, but we don't have very much experience,” Ryan Maha said. “We have to work together and I think we did that today.”
East Allegheny (3-2, 0-1) got 15 points from Jordan Williams. The Wildcats led by as many as four in the first half and had the lead up until the final few minutes of the first half.
“You have to take into account that there is a little more emotion for these kids,” Lance Maha said. “You have Duquesne kids playing for East Allegheny and Duquesne kids playing for us. Every time we have played them, they played up.”
East Allegheny coach Vern Benson also pointed to the first couple of minutes of the third quarter as the deciding factor.
“We just lost sight of what we wanted to do,” he said. “They got a couple quick baskets on us, and we fell apart. Once they start hitting those threes and (we) got behind, we had to change our game plan. We had to put a little more pressure on them. That fell more into what they wanted to do than what we wanted to do.”
The Wildcats managed only four field goals in the second half. They were outscored, 41-21, over the final 19 minutes of the game.
“Vern is doing one heck of a job over there,” Lance Maha said. “I think East Allegheny can be a playoff team. They are athletic and can shoot. I think we did a pretty good job defending them in the second half.”
East Allegheny shot 11 of 54 from the floor, including 5 of 22 from 3-point range. They were outrebounded, 53-26.
“We never gave up,” Benson said. “These kids fought to the end.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com
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.
- Kiski Area shrugs off 54-point semifinal loss, refocuses on PIAA playoffs
- Breaking down the PIAA boys basketball playoffs
- Thomas Jefferson basketball team wants to erase sting of WPIAL loss
- After long layoff, Frazier, Mt. Pleasant girls set for PIAA tournament
- Trib Cup: Focused roster leads Vincentian girls to 3rd straight WPIAL title
- For 3rd straight season, New Castle tops Hampton for WPIAL championship
- Quaker Valley boys qualify for PIAA tournament
- Frazier, EF girls set to hit PIAA road
- EF girls know it’s time to step up for PIAA playoffs
- Lady Trojans set for PIAA playoffs
- Vincentian claims 3rd straight WPIAL Class A girls title