Florida trip beneficial for Sewickley Academy boys
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Sewickley Academy Panthers saw a little bit of everything during their recent trip to Florida.
And with the start of Section 2-A play just days away, that's exactly what coach Win Palmer wanted.
The Panthers (5-2) cranked up the pressure on both ends of the floor in a 73-50 win over A.N. Meyer (Ontario) in their first game, then slowed the pace in losing a 48-44 decision to St. Stephen's Episcopal (Texas).
“We played a nice mixture of talent,” Palmer said. “We got to see just about all of the styles we're going to see the rest of the season.”
Sewickley Academy's varsity squad finished the KSA Classic — played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando — with a 2-1 record. The team's third game against Fleetwood was won by forfeit.
Junior forward Drew Johnson was named to the all-tournament team at the event.
Along with Johnson, sophomore forward Luke Vith has been playing well in the early going.
“They've been coming on,” Palmer said of Johnson and Vith. “They've added a tremendous dimension to our team.
“They can shoot, and they can rebound.”
The Panthers' junior varsity team also made the trip to Florida and registered two wins in its three contests.
Sewickley Academy's depth and talent have served the team's up-tempo style of play quite well in the early portion of the season.
After topping the 70-point mark just once all of last season, the Panthers have done so three times already in this season's opening month while getting double-figure scoring from a handful of players.
But it may have been the four-point loss to St. Stephen's Episcopal that was the Panthers' most impressive performance so far in the eyes of their head coach.
“They were a fast team,” Palmer said. “They had a talented point guard, a shooter on the wing and a 6-9 big man.
“We slowed them down.”
Upon returning from Florida, Palmer gave his players a week off to spend the holidays with their families, but they were back in the gym Monday preparing for the section opener at Quigley Catholic on Friday.
“I've never done that before,” Palmer said of the seven-day break.
Palmer is comfortable shuttling as many as 10 different players in and out of his lineup, which is an asset in Sewickley Academy's fast-paced system. The added depth will also help because the Panthers will play four games in six days starting with the Quigley game Friday night.
“We're a different Sewickley Academy team than the one the rest of the section is used to seeing,” Palmer said.
The Panthers' competition for playoff berths in Section 2-A figures to be fierce. Vincentian and North Catholic are among the top teams in all of Class A.
Quigley Catholic has qualified for postseason play the past three seasons, and Eden Christian figures to be in the playoff hunt as well.
“Our kids are having fun,” Palmer said. “They're really excited.
“This team really enjoys being together.”
Kevin Ritchart 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.
- After struggling in Class AA, Serra boys basketball welcomes move down in classification
- Kiski Area boys ready for encore
- Class AAAA girls basketball preview: Penn-Trafford welcomes doubters as it begins WPIAL title defense
- High school notebook: Apollo-Ridge’s Tipton named conference dual-award winner
- Ford City boys basketball coach brings winning personality for final season
- Brentwood Boosters’ annual tip-off tournament set for Dec. 5-6
- Steel Valley plans to play up-tempo under 1st-year coach Schifino
- Southmoreland girls hoops team optimistic
- Fox Chapel boys out to replace pair of 1,000-point scorers
- Norwin boys basketball looks to use fast pace, deep bench
- Fox Chapel girls prepare for life without state’s player of the year