ShareThis Page

Jennette's hopes are pinned to Beaver Falls' WPIAL success

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 5:18 p.m.
Seth Miller dunks the ball in the Jayhawks win.
Miles Sunder grabs a rebound in Jeannette's win last week.
Julian Batts drives toward the net in the Jayhawks' win over Aliquippa earlier last week.
Jayhawk Garrett Elliott goes up for a two-point layup in the game against Apollo Ridge.
Jeannette's Duke Brown goes up for two points in the Jayhawks' quarterfinal loss to Apollo Ridge. PHOTOS:John Howard | The Jeannette Spirit

When Jeannette boys basketball head coach Adrien Batts awakened from a two-day, stunning loss induced state of incoherence into the lucid world of clear thinking, one question resounded in his head.

“Did we really lose?”

Batts' struggle to wrap his head around his team's shocking loss last Saturday to Apollo Ridge in the WPIAL Class-AA quarterfinals seems an all too stunning end to Jeannette's WPIAL season that at one time looked destined for certain glory. The Jayhawks, once the top-ranked team in Class-AA, had one goal in mind entering the playoffs: win the WPIAL. Their run began last Wednesday with a hard-fought, round of 16 win over a competitive Aliquippa team, which set up the quarterfinal matchup with Apollo Ridge. The Jayhawks were heavy favorites.

“If we play them 10 times I know we win nine,” said Batts. “We just hit a big wall and couldn't get over it.”

Didn't seem like too big a deal when Jeannette first encountered the big wall metaphor. The Jayhawks dominated the first quarter and led 24-6 entering the second. Then the wall. Over the next 16 minutes of basketball, Jeannette managed just 13 points shooting an abysmal 17 percent from the field while Apollo Ridge caught fire and surged to a four-point lead by the end of the third.

“We gave them confidence and we couldn't hit any of our shots,” said Batts. “We were doing things we have not done all season. We weren't defending. We couldn't find our man.”

Jeannette's inability to defend, coupled with their ice-cold shooting, extended into the fourth quarter and the Jayhawks fell 53-49. So began Batts' stupor two games sooner than he'd hoped.

“I really wanted to play Beaver Falls,” said Batts.

Beaver Falls, the one-seed in Class-AA, would have been Jeannette's semifinal opponent. “I wanted to see how good we really are.”

Batts now has to root for Beaver Falls to win it all. If the Tigers win the WPIAL title, Jeannette earns the seventh and final seed for the state playoff tournament, which begins next week.

Should Beaver Falls fall, Jeannette's season is finished.

Dave Moio is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.