South Fayette boys basketball playing the waiting game
TribLIVE Sports Videos
While the community watches with anticipation as the South Fayette football team makes its trek through the PIAA, Lions basketball coach Rich Bonnaure is holding his breath for a different reason.
Eleven expected members of the basketball program are currently involved with the football team. And while the Lions do have 14 players in practice, many of the missing players are expected to be staters or key contributors, including senior Justin Watson, junior Brett Brumbaugh and freshman Cameron Garland.
“It is a good problem if you can call it that,” the 12th year coach said. “It does throw a wrench into what we're doing. We have 14 guys now but we will have to cut some once the football players are back in the gym.”
While it honored its commitment to play in the Fort Cherry Tipoff Tournament this past weekend, South Fayette postponed its opening games of the season against Hopewell, South Park and Shady Side Academy until later in the season.
Once the football players do come back, it will take time for them to get their basketball legs under them. Bonnaure is hoping the transition will be similar to the 2010-11 season when several football players returned after the state title game and the Lions ended up going 25-3 and reached the WPIAL Class AAA title game.
“Conditioning-wise it takes about two weeks,” Bonnaure said. “We do have a lot of depth, so that should help that. You just never know if they missed too much skill work. It's hard to catch up.
“We do have great athletes that play hard. That always gives you a chance.”
Currently the team does have several players working hard in the gym and are expected to help guide the team, including junior Nick McKee, who will take over the point for the Lions.
“I told him this is your team,” Bonnaure said. “He is one of the soccer guys and has been very dedicated. They lost in the state tournament on a Tuesday and he was in the gym on Thursday.”
While they face an uphill battle, the Lions have missed the postseason only once since 2000, and Bonnaure isn't looking to have that change.
“We have a sense of pride and tradition,” Bonnaure said. “Playoffs is a realistic goal but we are not afraid to set it higher. We're in a different situation than most seasons and I don't know when we will peak. We didn't peak until playoffs last year.
“That is one reason players come in to the season excited. They know if they work hard they will get recognition in those big games.”
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.
- Leechburg girls set out to build on breakout season
- Pine-Richland boys charge into season with high hopes
- Leechburg boys set to go up-tempo
- Mt. Pleasant girls basketball to rely on experience
- Kiski Area boys a team in transition after graduation of top scorer
- TJ girls basketball to feature 10 enthusiastic underclassmen
- Hempfield boys take aim at 5th straight section title
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Parham set to lead Deer Lakes boys in challenging Section 1-AAA
- Fox Chapel boys look to define roles
- Knoch basketball team gets reinforcements