Kittanning slowed by flu bug but still beats Valley
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Kittanning coach Bill Henry wanted his kids focused on the rims Friday night against Valley, but several of the Wildcats had other baskets — waste, specifically — on their minds.
A flu bug affected several of Kittanning's players and forced the Wildcats to simplify and slow their play during a 52-39 home win over the Vikings. Half- and full-court zone defense, applied by Kittanning's collection of 6-foot-plus starters, proved sufficient against Valley's undersized, young lineup in the Section 1-AAA matchup.
“We did what we needed to do defensively,” Kittanning coach Bill Henry said. “We just couldn't finish, and I think that was a combination of kids just moving a step slower and not feeling so good. I don't want to make an excuse. You have to give Valley credit, because they played hard and made us look that way.”
Kittanning (7-0, 3-0) opened the game with a 6-0 run that included three baskets in transition, including two fast-break field goals by Alek Schaffer. Tyler Gardlock's backdoor cut and lay-up put Valley (1-4, 0-3) on the board with 4:10 left in the first quarter, but the high-percentage look proved rare, as the Vikings struggled to work the ball inside.
“With that length, they make it hard to get the angles that you'd normally have,” Valley coach Phil Cope said. “They make you pass around them. You're going to have to come out on the back end and make shots, and we just didn't make enough.”
Kittanning's flu bug left the team with a shortened bench — Eric Hulings and Nick Bowers were unable to play in the second half — and limited energy to continue pushing the ball for quick baskets. A 30-16 halftime lead for Kittanning shrank to an 8-point margin by the end of the third quarter as Valley's Mike McNabb made two 3-pointers, Gardlock scored twice in the paint, and D'Aundre Johnson had a put-back and a 3-pointer.
The turnover troublereturned in the fourth, as the Vikings had eight giveaways. Gardlock finished with a game-high 15. Henry, also dealing with flu symptoms, led Kittanning with 13 points.
Bill West 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’ Brown combats disruptive defensive ploys
- Pitt football coach Chryst refutes analyst Wannstedt’s opinion
- Crosby appreciates his relationship with Penguins fans
- Pirates analyst Kent Tekulve recovering after heart transplant
- Coroner: Heart attack caused Norvelt crash
- Steelers veteran defenders want young teammates to step up
- Teacher can pursue racial-discrimination claim against PPS
- Ferrante trial delayed another week
- UPMC buying New Castle-based Jameson Health System
- New approach on offense has Pirates in playoff contention this season
- Fuel cell company leaves New York to operate plant in Mt. Pleasant Township