Share This Page

Unselfishness key for Mt. Pleasant boys in Section 3 race

| Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 11:08 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant's Tyler Mellors (red shirt) dribbles through Uniontown's defense in the first half of Mt. Pleasant's match up against Uniontown held at Uniontown Area High School on Friday, January 11, 2013. Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Mt. Pleasant's Like Liprando (12) puts up a shot on Uniontown's Joe Campbell (32) and drawing a foul early in the second half of Mt. Pleasant's match up against Uniontown held at Uniontown Area High School on Friday, January 11, 2013. Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Mt. Pleasant's Mitch Matlas moves the ball upcourt in the first half of Mt. Pleasant's match up against Uniontown held at Uniontown Area High School on Friday, January 11, 2013. Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review

In the first year of Tony Splendore's second stint as boys basketball coach at Mt. Pleasant, the Vikings have been in contention for a section title.

Mt. Pleasant (8-5, 4-2) entered Thursday's nonsection home game against Elizabeth Forward one game behind Section 3-AAA co-leaders Uniontown and Laurel Highlands.

In a career spanning nearly 40 years, it would be Splendore's first championship as a boys coach.

Splendore is the Vikings' third boys coach in as many years.

He succeeded Jeremy Yetter, who took over in 2011-12 following the death of longtime coach Tom Traynor, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in May 2011.

“I started coaching in 1972, and I've been with it ever since,” said Splendore, 62, who is in his 15th season as either boys or girls basketball coach at Mt. Pleasant.

He has served in various assistants' roles at Mt. Pleasant and neighboring Southmoreland during the remainder of the time.

While Splendore has won two section titles as coach of the Mt. Pleasant girls program, he may be best known as the school's longtime boys and girls tennis teams.

“Thirty-nine years,” Splendore said.

He has been pleased with the Vikings' togetherness on and off the basketball court.

“We've been successful because of our unselfishness,” he said.

The starting lineup varies from game-to-game; Splendore has maintained throughout the season a willingness to mix-and-match his roster.

“We don't have a starting five,” he said. “We've tried to impress to these guys that we have a starting seven or eight.”

Juniors Ryan Gumbita (11.3 points per game) and Marcus Malara (10.1) were leading Mt. Pleasant in scoring. Just two seniors appear on the roster.

“I'm proud of this team's work ethic,” Splendore said. “They are a young team, but they have a togetherness about them. The boys have adapted well to a new style of play.”

According to Splendore, the high school game has changed significantly over the years because coaches “are in more control with various offenses and play-calling.”

He is encouraged that the Vikings have been able to increase their scoring output in time after a slow start.

“We want to average more than what we had been,” he said. “We've been looking to step up the tempo a bit. We're scoring close to 60 points a game now.”

Mt. Pleasant opened the year with losses to Class AAAA Norwin and Penn-Trafford, averaging just 35 points.

“I think there will be a shot clock in high school basketball in the future,” he said. “That will speed up the pace somewhat.”

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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.