Trailing top-ranked team in state provides motivation for OLSH boys
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Midway through the season, the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart boys basketball team is second in its section and looking up at the top team in not only the WPIAL, but the state.
The Chargers are right where they want to be.
On Jan. 14, OLSH separated itself from Western Beaver with a 74-65 victory. On Friday, top-ranked Lincoln Park — led by Pitt recruit Maverick Rowan — helped the Chargers' cause by dealing Western Beaver another loss. That left OLSH firmly in control of second place and its own destiny with an overall record of 10-4, including 4-1 in Section 1-A.
The Chargers pick up section play Friday against Rochester.
“I'd like to think a couple of section wins from here will get us a playoff spot,” OLSH coach Mike Rodriguez said.
Getting to the playoffs is a nice start, but the Chargers have more on their minds.
“Our goal for the season was to win a WPIAL championship and a state championship,” senior Cameron Johnson said. “We talked about it, and the whole team agreed on it.”
Knocking off Lincoln Park, while difficult, is not an impossible task. It was just last season when the Leopards were upset in the both the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs.
“I believe anyone can be beat,” Rodriguez said.
And he just might have the team to do it.
Johnson is a force and matchup nightmare as a 6-foot-7 guard. He is one of the top scorers in the WPIAL at 28 points per game, and netted a season-high 39 Friday night against Cornell. He also averages eight rebounds and five assists.
“Offensively, he's a very strong basketball player,” Rodriguez said. “His game is still growing, still developing.”
So is Johnson, who was 6-2 a season ago. He said the added height gives him an advantage over most Class A guards.
“It's definitely aided me in a lot of ways, like in scoring and getting my shot off,” Johnson said. “I usually have a smaller guy on me. I do a lot of posting up and pull-up jump shots.”
The Chargers have other scoring options in Kendall Paige (10 per game), Nick Metz (9), Hunter Szilagy (8) and Ian Schrenk (8). Metz is the team's leading rebounder with nine per game.
A well-rounded team is necessary if the Chargers want to finish strong. Section 1 boasts Lincoln Park and Western Beaver, giving it three of the top five teams in Class A. Clashes with Lincoln Park (Jan. 31) and Western Beaver (Feb. 4) loom.
“Our section is pretty tough,” Johnson said. “I'd say it's probably the toughest in single-A. You can't overlook anyone.
“We're going to fight for every win.”
Ed Phillipps 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.
- High school basketball notebook: Aliquippa motivated by loss in PIAA title game
- Mt. Pleasant, Frazier seniors to play in Roundball Classic
- Norwin’s Brozeski named Daily News Girls Basketball Coach of the Year
- Gorman: Rowan ready to make jump
- Gorman: Marotta a ‘tragic loss’
- Area players part of first Undergrad Challenge
- Penn-Trafford seniors take part in Hoops for a Cure