Kiski Area boys put last season behind them in quest for section title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Forget pressure, potential or past experiences that might follow them, Kiski Area's boys are entering this basketball season with a live-in-the-present mentality.
Even when times get tough, the Cavaliers plan to casually shrug their shoulders, go with the flow and move on.
They anticipate that could translate into some good times ahead.
“We're super excited,” Cavaliers boys basketball coach Harry Rideout said. “This is going to be a fun year.”
An athletic team that has shown it can run and gun or lull in halfcourt sets, Kiski Area returns four starters from a playoff team. They include key seniors Nick Stone and Adam Robison, who are frontrunners to be the A-K's top scoring tandem.
The 5-foot-10 Stone averaged 15.2 points per game and hit a team-high 42 3-pointers. A 6-foot-4 forward, Robison averaged 12.4 points per game.
Replacing standout point guard Alex Lamendola, now at Washington & Jefferson, will be a tall task.
Stone and Robison will share the responsibilities often shouldered solely by Lamendola, a true point guard.
“Those two will play very important roles,” Rideout said. “Nick will play our lead guard position; he'll be a scoring point guard. Adam will be a point forward for us. He is a very unique type of player.”
Players who were freshmen when Rideout took the reins of the program now are seniors.
“They're my guys,” the fourth-year coach said. “When I first got here, they didn't know what to expect. Now they have a much better understanding.”
Another key returnee is 6-2 junior swingman Joe Brungo, along with 6-5 senior forward Mitch Murdock and 6-1 sophomore guard Mike Simmons.
Last year seemed to end in a flash for the Cavaliers (16-7), who averaged 61.7 points per game. Robison was ejected from a late-season Section 1-AAAA game after getting a pair of technicals for hanging on the rim after a dunk. He had to serve a two-game suspension — one per PIAA rules and the other school-imposed — and his absence showed as Kiski Area fell to Norwin in the next-to-last section game.
Feeling it was denied a shot at the section, the team never regained its balance and fell, 61-57, to Plum in the first round of the playoffs.
“It's a great lesson learned,” Rideout said. “We were thrilled to be in that position. At the moment it, was devastating to not be able to share the section title.”
Robison doesn't want the team to develop an ego.
“We have to play like we are the underdogs every night,” Robison said. “If we get too ahead of ourselves, we will get beat, and we know that.”
Rideout calls this team “an unselfish group” and said anyone in his core bunch could erupt for a 20-point game.
“I think we'll finally look like a Quad-A team with our length,” Rideout said.
Reserves include 6-1 freshman Lincoln Clayton, junior guard Ryan Sciullo, sophomore forward Jake Reid (6-6) and sophomore guard Tre Talton.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or email@example.com.
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.