Hampton boys basketball squad looks back on successful Class AAAA run
By Jerry Clark
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
At the outset of the season, it appeared a lot was going against the Hampton Talbots' boys basketball team. A bump into the toughest section, Section 3-AAAA, coupled with early injuries to starting forward Collin Luther and the usual bumps and bruises that can sideline players for a few games here and there all hit the team.
But, in spite of it all, Hampton rallied and showed why it is one of the best programs in the WPIAL in recent history.
The Talbots regrouped and advanced to the WPIAL title game for the fourth time in the past five years. Hampton fell to New Castle in the finals but regrouped to win its first round PIAA game before losing a competitive 58-50 contest against Erie Cathedral Prep.
Although Hampton coach Joe Lafko is a competitive guy who coaches an equally competitive team, he said the season is one to be proud of, even if the team did not reach every goal it set fourth.
“We competed in an extremely good section and played a lot of good out-of-conference teams like Mars, Penn-Trafford and Kiski,” Lafko said. “We played in a lot of close basketball games. The kids got experience in a lot of big environments against extremely good competition that made our team grow and forced us to play at a high level night-in and night-out.”
The physical and mental grinds are other aspects Lafko said could not be overlooked, and he was proud of how his players responded. His players' response to adversity impressed him.
Due to injuries early in the season — sidelining starters as well as players like Jake Adams, Jon Floss, Rich Ford and Tom Radziminski — Jack Obringer, Trace McConnell and Hayden Seserko were called on to start and play quality minutes.
“They stepped in and played well, which is a tribute to their willingness to work and play at a high level against high-level competition,” Lafko said. “They are winners, they are competitors and they bring it against quality teams.”
Hampton loses only three seniors — Radziminski, Adams and Ford — and the starting five will be back.
Guards Joey Lafko and David Huber were sophomores this season, and Collin and Ryan Luther were juniors along with Floss.
The Talbots are looking forward to the next season, but Lafko said there still is a sting in the air.
“We are highly competitive and don't like to lose,” Lafko said. “But this will make us strive to get better. You can't rest on your laurels, and we need to continue to get quicker, stronger and more skilled and that is how we will approach the offseason.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or 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.
- A-K Valley PIAA girls basketball playoff preview capsules
- Thomas Jefferson, Central Valley prepare for rematch
- Greyhounds again in underdog role
- Serra Catholic’s PIAA path and foe familiar
- West Mifflin ponders late breakdowns in PIAA playoff loss
- Hampton, Luther prove too tall a task for Allderdice
- Seton-La Salle basketball teams share WPIAL Class AA limelight
- Greensburg Central Catholic boys roll past Bald Eagle in PIAA opener
- Charleroi’s Woytovich makes 5-AA first team
- Lincoln Park’s Minnie to face former Monessen teammates
- Defensive stop sets tone in Erie McDowell win over Kiski Area