Summit Academy boys return to postseason
The Summit Academy boys basketball team is back in the WPIAL playoffs after a year layoff from postseason play.
For the Knights, Nov. 18 is a significant day — more than the day the school's gym floor renovation was complete.
A pair of seniors joined the program, bringing much needed varsity experience and leadership.
The duo — Devin Montgomery and Dasonte White — made an immediate impact that is prevalent at the conclusion of the regular season.
“Before they got here, we had a roster of first year players. … Don't get me wrong, they were good athletes, very skilled, but they lacked experience,” coach Adam Petrosky said. “Devin and Dasonte are seasoned City League players, so we made up some time with those two guards.”
Their arrival, combined with an inexperienced, yet talented group was the catalyst for a run to the Section 1-AA title. The Knights finished the regular season with a 15-5 record overall and 9-1 in the section.
“Having a backcourt with Devin and Dasonte is like having two quarterbacks running the show,” Petrosky said. “They did an excellent job for us keeping up the tempo, or at times when we needed to slow down, they pulled the ball out and got everyone composed.”
Juniors Donte Tyson and Lemuel McFadden were fixtures in the starting rotation. Tyson assumed the role of shut-down defender while McFadden — an all-conference selection in football — was the team's biggest surprise player, Petrosky said. Petrosky recruited him based on his body-type and he did not disappoint on the court.
Senior Micheon Anderson-Meade saw limited action last year, but he improved exponentially to secure a permanent starting spot this year.
“I'm very proud of the way we played from the beginning to now,” Petrosky said. “We don't have the luxury of having multiple gyms to practice on, so we've had to make the most of it when we got on the court.”
Petrosky isn't content on hanging his hat on the regular season success the Knights had. As the season progressed, so did his expectations and his now-experienced group will prepare for postseason WPIAL basketball.
In the coming games, Petrosky will rely heavily on the play of Montgomery and White. He does, however, understand that the magnitude of playoff basketball is nothing like what his group has seen this year.
“Many of our guys haven't seen the atmosphere of playoff basketball with the intensity and the psychological issues in those gyms,” he said. “They'll have to get over that and get over it quickly.
Brian Graham is a freelance writer.