Vincentian boys basketball team reflects on successful season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
There were not many teams that could withstand the furious play of the Vincentian boys basketball team this season. In fact, only one team had the answer for the Class A Section 2 and WPIAL champion Royals.
The Royals went 26-2, and both losses (83-81 in the regular season and 92-85 in the PIAA second round) came to Bishop Carroll.
Bishop Carroll sported a big forward, and his presence was one the Royals could not match up with.
“He played a wonderful game,” Vincentian coach George Yokitis said. “Bishop Carroll played only six kids, so I credit them with keeping up with us all game. They didn't get tired as we anticipated. They also made their free throws. They took advantage at the line — another credit to them.”
The Royals run a fast and furious attack, and Yokitis rotates in good players frequently. The result is a lot of points in transition, and with so few teams being able to match the fitness level and depth of the Royals, it is no surprise the team won 26 games.
Although the goal every year is the state title, Yokitis put the season in perspective for his players.
“We were one of eight teams between boys and girls in the entire WPIAL to win a championship,” Yokitis said. “Prior to the start of the year, we were picket to be the ninth- or 10th-best team in Single A.
“But anyone who knows us knows we believe in good, old-fashioned hard work, and our players love each other … That is a strong elixir, and I couldn't be prouder of our kids, the parents and our school.”
Being that Yokitis can't say when the last game of the year will be for his team, he quietly dreads it when the clock strikes 00:00 and the season is over. Not so much because there are no more games to be played, but because of the look in his players' eyes.
“It is so hard to let them go,” he said. “This group has won two WPIAL titles, two section titles, made the WPIAL semifinals last year and we have compiled the best record in that span.”
The little solace Yokitis does take comes from his belief these seniors will move forward and be better people thanks to their time together.
Guards Tony DiNardo, Sean Horgan and Matt Lang, centers Matt Rathz and Ryan McCann each put their mark on this team, but they leave passing the torch to a savvy crew of players including Kevin Fischer, Jim Kenna and Ryan Wolf.
“Wolf is great, Kevin is a great point guard and Jim was the star of the WPIAL championship. He has such a pretty shot,” Yokitis said. “We have players like Jay Cortese, who is our most athletic player and only scratched the surface of what he can do. Ian Taylor will be a force, Jack Monahan, Eric Fitzgerald, Ryan Battaglia and Jamison Nee (and others) will all help out.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or email@example.com.
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.
- Teams set mark for 3-pointers as East boys nip West, 110-109, in Cager Classic
- Bordonaro boosts East girls to 79-72 victory in Cager Classic
- Kittanning senior Kunst shoots lights out at Cager Classic skills event
- Division I-bound duo to lead East girls team at Cager Classic
- Cager Classic notebook: Highlands, Mars players bury hatchet for the weekend
- Basketball all-stars delay hanging up sneakers
- Ford City, Kittanning making final appearances at Cager Classic
- Tough seasons to end on high note for girls at Cager Classic
- Seton-La Salle girls win, reach PIAA title game
- Wise’s triple-double leads Vincentian to PIAA Class A girls title
- High school basketball notebook: Aliquippa motivated by loss in PIAA title game