Gateway opens with McDowell
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Gateway head coach Cornelius Nesbit gave his players a couple of days off after the 36-28 WPIAL Quad-A semifinal loss to Bethel Park on Feb. 26.
He wanted them to clear their head after a hectic journey from the end of the regular season through the three-game stretch in the WPIAL playoffs.
The time off, Nesbit added, also helped the coaches look at some film and develop a game plan as the Gators get set for their shot at the PIAA playoffs, which begin Friday.
“When we got back to practice, we watched film of the Bethel Park game, and we needed to see where we made our mistakes and what we can do to fix them,” Nesbit said.
“To win a state champ- ionship, you're going to play a lot of good teams like Bethel Park.”
Gateway will travel to Erie on Friday to take on District 10 champion McDowell in the first round of the state playoffs.
The game will be at 5 p.m. at Gannon University.
Nesbit said he took in Saturday's WPIAL champ- ionship game between Bethel Park and Chartiers Valley at Duquesne University's A.J. Palumbo Center.
The Black Hawks upended the Colts for the title to give Gateway the No. 3 seed from the WPIAL to the PIAA playoffs.
“We wanted to see Chartiers Valley in person because they could be a second-round opponent for us,” Nesbit said.
The winner between Gateway and McDowell will face the winner of Chartiers Valley and Allderdice from the City League in the next round on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
Nesbit said it was a bittersweet feeling to see Bethel Park win the title.
“On one hand, we lost to the eventual WPIAL champion,” Nesbit said.
“At the same time, we felt we were good enough to be there and good enough to hoist the championship trophy.”
McDowell enters the state tournament with a 13-10 record, and the Trojans beat Erie Central, 49-26, for the District 10 title on Saturday.
Gateway and McDowell met in the state playoffs in 2009, and McDowell won that game, 64-37, before falling to eventual state champion Mt. Lebanon in the next round.
“We watched their win in the District 10 champ- ionship game, and they are a team that will full-court man-to-man pressure you,” Nesbit said.
“We have to be able to handle the pressure. They are a well-coached team that goes about eight (players) deep. We throw out the records when you get to the state tournaments, because on any given night, you can be beat.”
Nesbit said his players understand the magnitude of games in the state playoffs.
“We understand it is one and done, and for our four seniors, every game could be their last game,” Nesbit said.
“We know it's not like the WPIAL semifinals that when we lost there, we still knew the season was alive. There is no next game if we don't take care of business.”
Gateway goes into the game against McDowell with a 20-5 overall record.
The Gators won five in a row, including a state-playoff-clinching 50-43 victory over North Allegheny in the WPIAL quarterfinals, before the eight-point setback to Bethel Park.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Franklin Regional boys basketball enters the season battle-tested
- WPIAL Class AAA boys basketball preview: Experienced lineup has Mars among title contenders
- Crop of young players bodes well for Springdale boys basketball team
- Woodland Hills’ plan starts to come together
- Springdale girls seeking fresh start after 0-19 year
- Connellsville girls ready to compete for playoffs spot
- Woodland Hills girls basketball team emphasizing attention to detail
- WPIAL Class AAA girls basketball preview: South Fayette using title-game defeat as motivation
- Division-I prospect Kalin leads up-tempo Pine-Richland girls
- Belle Vernon boys pushing for playoffs
- New coach ready to get started with Gateway girls basketball