Valley high school basketball notebook: Fox Chapel getting scoring from 3
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
It's not uncommon for teams to have a one-two scoring punch.
But Fox Chapel's scoring options this season are three-pronged.
Senior guards Matt D'Amico and Brian Papich have combined with junior guard Billy Urso to average an impressive 59.8 of the team's 74 points per game.
D'Amico, who has had games of 29, 35 and 34 points, leads at 24.8. Urso, who hit seven 3-pointers in a game, is next at 18.0, and Papich averages 17.0.
Coach Zach Skrinjar said there are plenty of points to go around because the trio shares the ball without tension.
“We practice a lot of passing and spacing drills, and we have a pretty wide-open offense that allows anyone to get a touch or a shot,” Skrinjar said. “We preach, on a daily basis, to share the ball and to move it on a pass and good things will happen.”
D'Amico is on pace to become Fox Chapel's all-time leading scorer. He has 1,074 career points, second on the school's scoring list. Dave Ostrosky, a 1989 graduate who played at Vermont, is first with 1,312 points.
The Foxes responded well from their first loss of the season. After dropping a 66-63 decision to unranked Franklin Regional, they ran past then-unbeaten Taylor Allderdice, 78-69, the following night. D'Amico and Papich posted double-doubles — D'Amico with 34 points and 10 rebounds, Papich with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Skrinjar didn't think defense was an issue against Franklin Regional.
“Defense hasn't been the problem as much as letting teams have second-chance points,” he said. “We actually focus much more on defense in practice and on stations and breakdowns than we do on offense.
“We are sill undersized, and if we don't box out, we are going to put ourselves in the position to have more nights like we did (against Franklin Regional).”
On a roll
The Apollo-Ridge girls began the season with a new coach and new offensive and defensive schemes, but it hasn't taken the team long to adjust.
It's early, but coach Jim Callipare has his 6-1 team thinking that a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 is a legitimate possibility.
“The kids are buying into our system and having fun in doing so,” Callipare said. “The willingness of the girls to learn a new approach and system has been critical to our success so far.”
Apollo-Ridge has yet to play a home game but will host its customary holiday tournament.
Apollo-Ridge junior Alex Smith missed three games (personal reasons) but made a strong return Wednesday. He scored a game-high 21 points in a 61-49 victory over Kittanning to push the Vikings' record to 6-0.
“We did pretty well without him,” coach Matt Gourley said. “Our bench stepped up and filled in nicely for him. But, obviously, I would much rather have him in the lineup.”
Ford City's rising 6-foot-6 sophomore forward, Brandon Heilman, has missed the Sabers' past three games with a stress fracture in his right leg. Sabers coach Greg Hutcherson said Heilman could be out another week.
Section 1 showdown
The Knoch boys have sprinted to a 5-0 start, holding teams to an average of 35.6 points in the process. But the Knights will face their first ranked opponent of the season Friday night: Class-AAA No. 3 Indiana (5-0, 1-0).
The Little Indians struggled against unranked Highlands on Tuesday before pulling out a 58-50 win.
The winner of Friday's showdown in South Butler County will remain on top in Section 1-AAA. Knoch is alone in first at 2-0.
Four Alle-Kiski teams began the week inside the Trib Total Media top five in their respective classes.
Fox Chapel was No. 3 in boys Class AAAA prior to a loss to Franklin Regional. In the girls rankings, Burrell is No. 2 in Class AA, Fox Chapel No. 3 in Class AAAA and St. Joseph No. 3 in Class A.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at 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.
- Kiski Area shrugs off 54-point semifinal loss, refocuses on PIAA playoffs
- Breaking down the PIAA boys basketball playoffs
- Trib Cup: Focused roster leads Vincentian girls to 3rd straight WPIAL title
- EF girls know it’s time to step up for PIAA playoffs
- Thomas Jefferson basketball team wants to erase sting of WPIAL loss
- Frazier, EF girls set to hit PIAA road
- High school notebook: Lincoln Park looking forward to rematch with Johnsonburg
- Lady Trojans set for PIAA playoffs
- After long layoff, Frazier, Mt. Pleasant girls set for PIAA tournament
- Fox Chapel star Mathias fired up for states
- PIAA doubleheader moved to Gannon