Section 5-AA champion Brownsville aims to avoid another early playoff exit
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Cole and Ryan Novotney might possess opposite games, but they're united by one thing.
Both members of the Brownsville boys basketball team want to win a playoff game before their careers are over.
Preferably a few of them.
Because of the Novotneys — fraternal twins — plus a more methodical pace and an acknowledgement that the playoffs are different, the Falcons might be ready to snap a stretch that has included one-and-done trips to the postseason the past three years.
“That's what we always talk about,” Cole Novotney said. “We won the section. But we don't want to be another one-and-done.”
Brownsville (13-7) went 12-2 in Section 5-AA to edge second-place Charleroi by a game. The Falcons will play Brentwood on Saturday in a preliminary-round game at Peters Township, the winner assuming the No. 13 seed and taking on No. 4 Beaver Falls on Wednesday.
While knocking off the defending WPIAL champs would be nice, the first step is handling Brentwood.
“They know what's on the line,” Brownsville coach Brian Brashear said. “They don't want to go home early.”
Cole Novotney is the lone returning starter from last season. The 6-foot guard excels at shooting mid-range jumpers and 3-pointers. Ryan Novotney, meanwhile, is 6-2 and prefers to drive and draw contact.
“That's a good thing,” Brashear said of the Novotneys' divergent styles. “It can confuse defenses because they don't know which is which.”
Nick Despot, a senior forward, averages 12 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Carl Dellapenna averages three assists and is the team's top defender.
Senior guard DeShawtae Bell has been a pleasant surprise this season, Brashear said, especially for his work on the defensive end.
Sophomore guards Marcellous Grooms and Travis Bevard are the first two off the bench depending on matchups, Brashear said.
Brownsville dropped a 44-38 decision to Northgate in the playoffs after finishing 16-6 a season ago. That followed postseason losses the previous two years to Wilkinsburg and Neshannock.
One common denominator? The Falcons struggled to turn things around when things didn't go their way.
“We have to react to adversity in a positive way,” Ryan Novotney said. “Any time adversity strikes, we get down. We think, ‘We're down six, we have to shoot 3s.'
“This year we're a lot more patient.”
The Novotneys aren't going to change how they do things. Same socks, same arm sleeves, same brother-to-brother conversation before they're announced as starters — always last.
But Brownsville certainly wouldn't mind reversing its playoff fortunes and advancing past the preliminary round, a place the Falcons haven't been since winning a WPIAL Class AAA title in 2001.
“We want to make a run this year,” Brashear said. “This will be our fourth consecutive year in the playoffs. We want to establish ourselves with a win. We were section champs this year. Hopefully that gives us the confidence we need.”
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.
- First quarter nightmare for Monessen
- Mars girls basketball team goes on defensive
- Penn-Trafford boosts playoff hopes with win at Connellsville
- High school roundup: WPIAL coaches reach milestone victories
- McCallister’s 14 points lead Steel Valley past Thomas Jefferson
- Monessen cruises to 63-point win over West Greene
- Area basketball teams embrace opportunities to play for championships
- Underclassmen standouts help Sewickley Academy
- Gorman: Quips finding victory amid great loss
- Health the key to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic girls’ season
- Norwin’s Perz scores 32 in nonsection win over McKeesport