Undefeated Uniontown keeps rolling right along
By Gary Horvath
Published: Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, 9:36 p.m.
Since the start of last season, Uniontown has been taking its show on the road.
Last season, the Red Raiders finished 17-4, 10-2 in Section 3 while leading Class AAA in scoring at 71.5 points per game.
It's no wonder they've faced hostile road environments.
“(The players) know how tough it is when we go to other gyms,” Uniontown coach Rob Kezmarsky said. “When you're ranked, teams want to beat you, and we have to be prepared for that. In the last couple years whenever we lost a game, the other team stormed the floor.”
Uniontown is back for an encore this season, averaging 75.8 points through its first seven games. Kezmarsky's squad has topped 80 points twice and has scored at least 70 in every game so far. The No. 5 Red Raiders (7-0, 2-0) are undefeated, winning by an average of 30 points per game.
Much like last season, senior Jordan Pratt is leading the way, scoring 20.6 points per game.
It's a luxury to have a player like Pratt, who can score 30 on any given night like he did earlier this season against Connellsville.
But Uniontown has been far from reliant on its player of the year candidate. More often, the box scores have looked like that from Tuesday's 79-34 section win over Yough. Pratt finished with 12 points and was one of five Red Raiders who scored at least 10.
“It's just how the night goes,” said junior forward Joe Campbell, second on the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game. “We all accept that if somebody scores 30, then somebody scores 30. As long as we win, none of us really care.”
That unselfish attitude has manifested itself in plenty of ways, the biggest one being the willingness to pass and move the ball, Kezmarsky said.
With a core that has been together since sixth and seventh grades, the idea of team success has been with the Uniontown players for some time.
“This team's been playing together for so long,” Pratt said. “Ever since we were younger we've talked about what we can do as a team if we keep our heads together and work hard every day.”
One of the new wrinkles for the Red Raiders is having the 6-foot-6 Campbell playing alongside 6-4 Jeremy Perkins. Last season the forwards mostly split time in the starting lineup and didn't share the court often.
The tandem brings a lot more to the team than just interior defense and rebounding, Pratt said.
“It's definitely helping us underneath, but they even run the floor well,” Pratt said. “The main thing we try to do is fast break, get turnovers and score off of turnovers.”
Last season ended in disappointing fashion when Uniontown was eliminated by Mars in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
But with the way the offense has responded to Campbell and Perkins fitting into the flow of the game, the longtime teammates can't help but have high hopes for the season.
“Of course we realize that we do (have a chance to improve on last year),” Campbell said, “and we take one game at a time and focus on what we have to do and do our best to make it further than we did last year.”
Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
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