Penn-Trafford boys learn from opening losses
By Justin Criado
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Penn-Trafford entered this season young and inexperienced, knowing every game would be pivotal to cohesion, and ultimately, success.
As host of an opening weekend tipoff tournament, the Warriors faced different challenges over the first two nights, finishing the weekend with a tough one-point loss to Mt. Pleasant after falling to Hampton, 74-53, in their opener.
“I thought we had a very good weekend aside from one quarter of basketball,” coach Ryan Yarosik said. “That quarter cost us (against Mt. Pleasant).”
Against Hampton, Penn-Trafford (0-2) hung tough early before falling into foul trouble in the second half. Opening with the top-ranked team in Class AAAA, according to the Tribune-Review, would be a challenge for any team, and Yarosik felt the game was closer than the final score indicated.
“We had them on the ropes there for a while and we got in to some foul trouble, which put them on the line and stretched out the lead a little bit,” Yarosik said. “I was completely pleased with our team's effort against Hampton.”
The play of 6-foot-7 senior center Sam Kavel pleased Yarosik the most against Hampton. Kavel recorded a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds playing against fellow big man Ryan Luther, a 6-foot-8 Pitt commit.
“(Kavel) was the best big man on the floor against Hampton, no question,” Yarosik said. “He was a breath of fresh air for us.”
Saturday night against Mt. Pleasant, Penn-Trafford looked to be on its way to its first win of the season, as the Warriors led by 13 points at halftime. But a shaky second half cost the Warriors the game.
“In the second half, Mt. Pleasant went to a little bit of a zone defense, and we weren't able to knock down some shots,” Yarosik said. “I think we showed a little bit of our youth in the fourth quarter there. Ultimately, you lose on a shot at the buzzer that's 7 feet behind the 3-point line and it banks in at the buzzer.”
Kavel added another 16-point performance, while Timmy Vecchio and Dom Conconcelli had strong outings.
“Timmy's like our Energizer bunny out there,” Yarosik said. “The kid makes plays out there for us. We go as Timmy goes.”
Yarosik added: “Dom Conconcelli really had a great weekend defending the ball. He's our lockdown defensive guy.”
While teams want to win every game, Yarosik said dropping the first two non-conference matches provided his youthful squad a learning experience before opening section play with a home game at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Albert Gallatin.
“It's important for our team to realize right now that this season is a marathon, not a sprint,” Yarosik said. “We constantly tell our kids that the section games are what matters most.”
Drawing from last year when Penn-Trafford finished with a losing section record and missed out on the WPIAL playoffs after finishing fifth, Yarosik is hoping to avoid a repeat.
“We won a lot of non-section games and struggled within our section, and we ultimately missed the playoffs last year,” Yarosik recalled. “You have to learn from your mistakes that you make in these games so in section games you are prepared.”
Justin Criado is a freelance writer.
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.
- New Castle’s Hooker, Vincentian’s Wise named Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Basketball Players of the Year
- Alle-Kiski Roundball Classic notebook: Luther twins playing last games together