Jeannette boys finish basketball season in second place
The disparity was obvious.
17-2, 23-4, 19-7.
They're not what they appear to be — a three-quarter scoring line in a typical Jeannette basketball win — instead, they are the numbers that tell the tale of Jeannette's Section 3-AA season-ending loss last Friday to Greensburg Central Catholic.
Jeannette lost by seven. GCC outscored Jeannette from the free-throw line by 15, 17-2. The Centurions took 23 trips to the charity stripe to just four for the Jayhawks.
Jeannette committed 19 fouls in the game — GCC committed seven.
The game was played on Greensburg Central Catholic's home floor.
“I don't understand how two teams can play an entire game man-to-man defense and one team takes 23 free throws and the other takes four,” said Jeannette head coach Adrian Batts.
“It doesn't make any sense to me how we didn't get into the bonus in either half.”
Not that Batts expects an explanation — he knows better than that — but he did not use the absurd disparity in free-throw scoring as an excuse for his team's loss.
“You have to give GCC credit. They are very good.”
Jeannette finished the season at 10 wins and two GCC's in the section, and 17-4 overall. Batts thinks the Jayhawks' body of work in 2012-13 will earn them an opening-round bye in the WPIAL Class-AA playoffs.
Brackets were announced too late for this week's edition.
“I have a feeling (the WPIAL) may set it up so that we have to face GCC again in the semis,” said Batts. “But, we have to take care of business first to get back to them.”
Batts does not want his team looking ahead to a possible third meeting with GCC because it could spell doom against some quality teams in Class-AA like Seton-LaSalle.
“There are some very good teams at the top of Double-A,” said Batts. “We can't get caught looking ahead.”
Batts will use the week of practice to focus on improving his team's ability to close out games by practicing ball management, solid decision-making late in games and, of course, assuming Jeannette draws a foul or two in future games, free throws.
GCC (12-0) (20-1)
Jeannette (10-2) (17-4)
Serra Catholic (6-6) (13-7)
Shady Side (6-6) (8-13)
South Allegheny (4-8) (8-14)
Riverview (2-10) (5-16)
Springdale (2-10) (4-15)
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.