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P-R's Petcash heading to prep school to further basketball possibilities

| Sunday, July 9, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Pine-Richland's Andrew Petcash pumps his fist as Latrobe's Austin Butler walks away after time expires in the Rams 83-82 win over Latrobe in a thriller at Baldwin High School in the first of the PIAA Boys Class 6A playoff game on Saturday, March 11, 2017.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Pine-Richland's Andrew Petcash pumps his fist as Latrobe's Austin Butler walks away after time expires in the Rams 83-82 win over Latrobe in a thriller at Baldwin High School in the first of the PIAA Boys Class 6A playoff game on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

When it came to choosing a college and furthering his basketball career, recent Pine-Richland graduate Andrew Petcash had several options.

A number of Division I and Division II schools came calling, but the former Rams point guard decided prep school was the right path for him, and New Hampton School in New Hampshire provided him with the right opportunity to excel.

“I visited a few of the prep schools, and I just really liked the feel of it there and with coach (Nick) Whitmore, the head coach, too. They have really good players, a good community and a good school,” Petcash said. “A place like this will help me improve and do well academically and then also give me some more exposure in basketball.”

In recent years, New Hampton School has helped produce college stars and NBA draft picks such as Rashad McCants (North Carolina), Noah Vonleh (Indiana) and Tyler Lydon (Syracuse), the 24th overall pick in the 2017 draft.

New Hampton's track record is there. From here, said Petcash, it's about his ability to work hard and improve. Fortunately, his destination for next year has the resources to help him get where he needs to be.

“Their facilities are really modern, and they're completely up-to-date,” Petcash said. “They have a great training program with lifting and conditioning that can help me get more athletic. I'll get a chance to get better on the court and then a great chance to excel with my schoolwork, which is important to me.”

The 6-foot-4 guard finished as Pine-Richland's second all-time leading scorer. He also led his team in scoring in each of the last two seasons, both of which ended in WPIAL championships. This year, Petcash averaged 20 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

Now, Petcash said, he is looking forward to the next challenge.

“High school was awesome, and I loved it, but it's going to be cool to go play every day against D-I guys in practice,” he said. “Then, we get to play 40 games, and it's going to be like college games with the rules and the shot clock.

“It will be a nice gateway before going on to the college game, but it's going to be more competitive, too, going up against really good players every day. I'm really looking forward to it.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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