Jeannette boys' season ends, coach proud of great year
Jeannette boys basketball team faced some long odds last Saturday when it travelled to Slippery Rock to face District 10 runner-up West Middlesex in the first round of the PIAA Class-AA playoffs.
The house covered.
West Middlesex took advantage of a large free-throw disparity, something Jeannette head coach Adrian Batts expected, and some offensive inconsistency by the Jayhawks to hold serve and knock out the Jayhawks 55-50 in overtime.
West Middlesex took 25 free throws in the game compared to 10 trips to the line for the Jayhawks. The District 10 officiating crew sent West Middlesex's Trey Staunch to the line 18 times — a number WPIAL teams rarely see for one player.
“For one kid to shoot 18 free throws just doesn't happen in our area,” said Batts. “For example, Duke Brown and Julian Batts have 18 free throws combined in three games for us.”
Batts was quick to downplay the free-throw disparity, though, and was proud of his team's effort.
“We really played great. We had a great year,” said Batts.
Jeannette struggles shooting the ball in the first half, shooting under 30 percent, and trailed West Middlesex by five at the half. The Jayhawks held the Big Red's leading scorer, Matt Dogan, the leading scorer in District 10, to 12 points in regulation. The Jayhawks used tenacious defense to tie the game at 43 and send it to overtime.
Unfortunately, things broke down quickly in the extra period and the Jayhawks were forced to foul.
“We had a mix up on defense and they hit a three,” said Batts. “We missed a front end of a one-and-one, and then missed two layups.”
Missed opportunities have defined a large portion of Jeannette's season, but Batts lauded the efforts of his senior class.
“I am proud of the seniors,” said Batts. “I wish them all the best.”
Senior Duke Brown was selected to play in the Roundball Classic at Geneva later this year.
Dave Moio is a freelance writer.