Short-handed Clairton no match for Thomas Jefferson
By Keith Barnes
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 11:56 p.m.
Clairton seniors Tyler Boyd and Titus Howard had front-row seats to watch the Bears basketball team take on Thomas Jefferson on Wednesday in a nonsection game.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they were in street clothes and not in uniform.
Thomas Jefferson senior Joe Carroll scored a game-high 25 points, and Chase Winovich chipped in 18 to lead the Jaguars to a 79-47 blowout over Class A Clairton.
“It was hard because I want to be out there so bad, and I can't,” Howard said. “I'm trying everything in my power to get out there, but it isn't working.”
Howard, a Pitt football recruit, missed the final two games of the football playoffs when he dislocated his left (non-shooting) elbow in a state quarterfinals win over Berlin-Brothersvalley.
Boyd, who committed to play football at Pitt during the first half of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Saturday in San Antonio, has yet to play this season.
He was nursing a shoulder injury during the Bears' run to their fourth consecutive PIAA Class A title and was limited during the team's 20-0 victory over Dunmore in the state finals at Hersheypark Stadium on Dec. 14.
“It's real hard, especially when I can't go out there and help them,” Boyd said. “I'm just taking it easy since I got back from the U.S. Army game, but I should be back in a game or two. I haven't started basketball conditioning, but I have been lifting weights again, and the shoulder is all healed up.”
Both players are expected to see their first action on the hardwood in the next week, but the earliest the full Clairton team will be together is Saturday's nonsection matchup with Imani Christian. Senior guard Terrish Webb will be making an official football recruiting visit to Pitt on Friday and will miss the Bears' Section 3-A game against Avella.
“We don't have the game experience of playing together right now because it is a new system, and we're doing some things that they haven't seen before,” Clairton first-year coach Matt Geletko said. “I'm not going to know what to do when they come back because I'm going to have to work them in on the fly and throw them into the fire, but they've both been coming to practice and the know what we're trying to do.”
As a team, Clairton is still feeling the effects of its 16-game football season as the players played little if any basketball during the fall. Despite the fact they are not yet in basketball shape, the Bears are tied with Monessen for first place in Section 3-A, and their only losses are to Class AAA Thomas Jefferson and Trib Total Media Class AAAA No. 4 Gateway.
“We've only been together for two weeks with zero scrimmages, and there's still a lot of things we have to work on, but unfortunately we don't have the luxury of that. So we're still feeling our way through during a game,” Geletko said. “That (conditioning) definitely has something to do with it.”
Thomas Jefferson, meanwhile, needed a game like this to prepare for a pair of tough Section 3 matchups. The Jaguars will play at third-place Steel Valley (8-3, 3-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday then will host first-place West Mifflin (9-2, 5-0) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Because of a quirk in the schedule, the Titans will have a week to prepare for Thomas Jefferson.
“We've been playing well, and, again, we haven't played teams the caliber of Steel Valley or West Mifflin, so we'll find out about ourselves come Friday,” Thomas Jefferson coach Dom DeCicco said. “Friday is going to be a great atmosphere, Tuesday here is going to be an unbelievable atmosphere, and I just think that will get you ready for the playoffs.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @KBarnes_Trib.
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.
- Thomas Jefferson, Central Valley prepare for rematch
- A-K Valley PIAA girls basketball playoff preview capsules
- Greyhounds again in underdog role
- Burrell girls to begin PIAA championship quest
- Serra Catholic’s PIAA path and foe familiar
- Sewickley Academy squads, Quaker Valley boys advance to WPIAL postseason
- Clairton edges Sewickley Academy to reach quarterfinals
- Quaker Valley boys qualify for PIAA tournament
- Fox Chapel girls basketball team looks to rebound in state tournament
- Plum seniors picked for Cager
- Karns City unfazed despite lack of PIAA experience