Alle-Kiski high school basketball notebook: Miller's return boosts strong Knoch lineup
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 10:24 p.m.
Knoch started the season with one of its key players in street clothes, but won the Keystone Tournament, which turned into a one-day affair due to weather postponements.
Two games, one day, zero senior point guard. Not a problem for the Knights (3-0).
Austin Miller is back in uniform and has returned to bolster an already strong lineup. Plagued by previous injuries, Miller had a sprained ankle — not the one he had broken about two months ago. He has had shoulder and wrist injuries in the past.
He came off the bench to score 19 points in his season debut against Ambridge.
“It was killing him sitting there and watching us,” Knoch coach Ron McNabb said. “We planned on working him back gradually. We had several guys give us major contributions. You never know with new kids, but they were great.”
Freshman Austin Hannes started in place of Miller, and McNabb said senior Jordan Hickey and sophomore Aiden Albert also played well in Miller's place.
Hickey missed most of last season with a broken wrist.
“You look at where those guys were a year ago,” McNabb said. “Hannes was in eighth grade and Albert was on the freshmen team.”
Miller returned to the lineup Tuesday against Ambridge.
“It wasn't the easiest thing to do, that's for sure,” Miller said. “But I did what I could do from the bench to help our team.”
McNabb said he remembers coaching two games in one day in the late 1990s when a snowstorm wiped out the opening night of a tipoff tournament.
Knoch had dinner in between games last week.
“My assistant Mike Gallagher and I scoured the second game (of the tournament) and (coaches) Brian Sharick and Mike Fantuzzo took the kids to Appleby's (before the second game),” McNabb said. “They relaxed and watched the Auburn game.”
Riverview sophomore guard Sadie Buchser missed practice time and a game this week after she injured both elbows on a hard fall in the second game of the Freeport Tournament, where she was an all-tournament pick.
Following a steal, a player from East Allegheny inadvertently bumped her and caused her to fall awkwardly on her back. Trying to brace herself, she landed on her elbows and the back of her head hit the floor.
Although she had no fractures, she was unable to maneuver her arms enough to shoot. The result was bruised elbows and neck soreness.
She returned Thursday night for a second meeting with East Allegheny.
Riverview junior forward Bree Patsey also has missed some time. She attended a Model UN Conference in Philadelphia last week, but was snowed in and had a delayed return home.
Fox Chapel senior guard Matt D'Amico needs one point to reach 1,000 for his career. The Foxes' standout guard scored 29 of the Foxes' 101 points against North Hills on Tuesday to get to 999.
Fox Chapel plays host to McKeesport on Friday night.
Their coaches weren't exactly lauding their performances at the foul line, but they weren't ready to give back wins, either.
The Apollo-Ridge girls and Highlands boys picked up victories with some unsightly free-throw numbers. Apollo-Ridge held off Deer Lakes, 39-35, but made only 9 of 25 free throws. Highlands slipped past Mt. Pleasant, 67-60, making just 10 of 41 attempts.
Freeport graduate Wayne Greiser, the boys basketball coach at Yough, finally will get to coach against his alma mater.
Freeport has added Yough to its nonsection schedule. The teams will play on Dec. 30 at Freeport.
Greiser has faced Freeport before, but as an assistant when he was at Valley.
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