Basketball playoff preview: Multiple scorers key for West Mifflin
TribLIVE Sports Videos
West Mifflin coach Lance Maha has one of the most complicated offensive and defensive systems that you will see in the WPIAL. He has different ways to beat the press, put pressure on teams and create shots for others when teams play junk defenses on his son, Ryan Maha.
Knowing all that, the veteran coach is sure that if this happens during Tuesday's WPIAL Class AAA first-round playoff game against South Fayette at Baldwin that his team will most certainly win.
“When we put three people in double figures, we win,” Maha said. “It is a pretty simple formula.”
Simple but important.
When the Titans have put only one player in double figures this year, they are 0-4. Conversely, when three or more players score at least 10 points, West Mifflin is 8-0.
“Our best games are when Ryan gets 18 to 20 and we get 10 to 12 out of some other guys,” Maha said. “When we do that, we are hard to beat.”
The reason for the importance of getting multiple players in double figures is because of the junk defense teams typically play against Ryan Maha.
Ryan Maha has been West Mifflin's leading scorer in 17 games and is averaging 18.3 points per game. When teams sell out to cover him, the Titans need to have others score to counteract that.
“The way to punish a team for selling out one guy is for his teammates to step up,” Lance Maha said. “Sometimes we've been able to do that and other times we haven't.”
The onus falls on starters Cye Murphy, Derrick Fulmore, Cleve Randolph and Josh Harris to pick up the scoring slack. Fulmore and Murphy were the only others to lead the Titans in scoring this year.
However, Maha knows he needs to get his son involved in the game early to have any chance against South Fayette.
“We definitely need to get him shots because he is our best shooter,” Maha said. “We need to find a way to get him the ball, and he needs to do a better job of working without the ball.”
West Mifflin (16-5) beat South Fayette (13-9) earlier in the season, 49-34, and even though the Lions also have lost seven of their last 10 games, Maha knows the game won't be easy.
“To be frank, they didn't shoot the ball particularly well,” Maha said. “They would've played us better if they would've shot it a little better. It's a formidable challenge, but if we play like we can, it should be a good game.”
South Fayette is led by the inside-outside duo of Evan Bonnaure (16.7) and C.J. Rudisic (13.5)
The winner will likely get top-seeded Chartiers Valley in the quarterfinals.
Thomas Jefferson (16-6) vs. Laurel Highlands (15-6) at Gateway, 8 p.m.
The Jaguars had 11 days off since their Section 4-AAA-clinching win over West Mifflin. The Jaguars are a tough and gritty team led by a pair of football players in Joe Carroll (16.1) and Chase Winovich (11.9). TJ's only loss to a Triple-A team this year was to Montour. Laurel Highlands had a nine-game winning streak snapped in the season finale against rival Uniontown. The Mustangs look to Shane Guthrie (15.9) to do the bulk of the scoring. The winner will oppose either Montour or Ambridge in the quarterfinals Friday.
Steel Valley (15-7) vs. Jeannette (15-6) at Fox Chapel, 6:30 p.m.
Two of the best players in Class AA will do battle with Jeannette's Ciara Gregory and Steel Valley's C.C. Dixon. Gregory averaged 30.4 points per game during the regular season. Dixon scored 23 in a first-round win over Avonworth (59-34) and averages 16.2 points per game. The winner takes on either Deer Lakes or OLSH.
Norwin (13-10) vs. Bethel Park (19-3) at Woodland Hills, 8 p.m.
Norwin used a big first-half run to beat Penn Hills in a preliminary-round game last week for its first playoff win since 2008. Now the Knights get a strong Bethel Park team led by Megan Marecic and her 15.5 points per game. Norwin is led by Alayna Gribble's 15 points per game. The winner takes on either Penn-Trafford or Plum.
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.
- Plum boys basketball seeks section 3-peat
- New scenery for 1st-year Riverview boys basketball coach Sapotichne
- Riverview girls aim to build on memorable season
- Plum girls basketball team looking to take next step
- Coach focused on building South Allegheny girls program
- South Fayette, Chartiers Valley boys basketball teams setting goals high again
- Monessen girls basketball eyes playoff return
- Mt. Pleasant girls basketball to rely on experience
- Latrobe boys look to defend Section 1-AAAA title with experienced lineup
- Mt. Pleasant to rely on experienced, balanced group
- South Allegheny boys seeking bounce-back season