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Allderdice boys, girls hope to maintain spots atop City League

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who 2 watch

Boys preseason player of the year

SHAKEEM COX

Perry

6-1, Sr., Guard

19.4 ppg

Boys players to watch

DEANDRE BYRD

Obama Academy

5-10, Sr., G

JAVAUGHN MOULTRIE

Allderdice

6-3, Sr., F

DEYSHAWN MARTIN

Brashear

6-5, Sr., G

DONTE MARCUS

Perry

5-9, Sr., G

D.J. PORTER

Obama Academy

6-4, Jr., G/F

BOYSpreseason RANKINGS

1. OBAMA ACADEMY (17-6)

The Eagles return three starters for new coach Nate Lofton, who returns to City League head coaching after formerly leading Westinghouse.

2. ALLDERDICE (18-7)

Only one starter — point guard Cornelius Raye — returns from the three-time defending City League champion Dragons.

3. PERRY (5-17)

Buoyed by the addition of Shakeem Cox and Devin Lyles — among others — after the closure of Oliver, the Commodores will be a factor in the City League race.

4. BRASHEAR (6-16)

Talented and athletic senior Deyshawn Martin is playing for his third school in three years after having been at Langley at Chartiers Valley.

5. CARRICK (8-14)

The Raiders were a .500 team in the City League last season but lost their top scorer to graduation.

6. WESTINGHOUSE (7-18)

The Bulldogs' seven wins last season were their second-most since 2003-04.

who 2 watch

GIRLS preseason player of the year

SYDNEE ABERNATHY

Allderdice

5-6, Sr., Guard/Forward

8 ppg

GIRLS players to watch

KELSEY BROOKS

Carrick

5-8, Sr., G

BRITTANY JACKSON

Westinghouse

5-7, Jr., G/F

CHARDONNAY LITTLEJOHN

Carrick

5-6, So., G

JASMINE MYERS

Westinghouse

5-7, Jr., G/F

SAMONE RAINEY

Obama Academy

5-4, So., G

GIRLSpreseason RANKINGS

1. ALLDERDICE (21-4)

The two-time defending champion Dragons look to re-load behind Sydnee Abernathy and Sierra Fordham after losing four starters.

2. WESTINGHOUSE (19-6)

The junior duo of Brittany Jackson and Jasmine Myers look to lead the Bulldogs to their 19th consecutive City League championship game appearance.

3. CARRICK (3-16)

New coach Rob Tennant has arguably the City League's top sophomore in Chardonnay Littlejohn and added Kelsey Brooks, who was a big scorer for Neighborhood Academy last season.

4. OBAMA ACADEMY (11-11)

The Eagles return Alex Bowen, Aquila Youngblood and Tenisha Gibson as starters and add transfer Samone Rainey, who was a standout freshman at Brashear last season.

5. PERRY (3-18)

Senior guard LaTosha Fortson is a three-year starter, but the Commodores fell from league champions to 3-11 in league play over a two-year span.

6. BRASHEAR (11-10)

The Bulls have not had a losing record in City League play since 2008-09 but return no starters from last season.

Top high school sports
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 10:30 p.m.
 

The Buddy system is back at Allderdice.

Buddy Valinsky is about to embark on his second tenure as Dragons head boys basketball coach. An alumnus and teacher at Allderdice who was a star guard on the 1978 Dragons team that advanced to the PIAA semifinals, Valinsky coached them from 2001-2007.

Just like his ‘78 Allderdice team that had its postseason run ended by Schenley, Valinsky had some pretty good teams in the middle of this past decade that were blocked from winning City League titles by the likes of future NBA players DeJuan Blair and D.J. Kennedy at Schenley.

Now, he takes over a three-time defending City League champion — and he won't have to worry about Schenley. Schenley's school was closed in 2011.

“Schenley won't beat me this year,” Valinsky said with a laugh.

Allderdice has won 19 of its past 20 games against City League opponents, but much of last season's team graduated. Justin Dobbs (Grambling) and Ben Mickens (IUP) are playing in college, leaving senior point guard Cornelius Raye as the lone returning starter.

But the Dragons have a “virtual” returning starter in senior forward Jordan Smith, a Brashear transfer. Allderdice also has 6-6 center Matt Fidel and 6-3 senior forward Javaughn Moultrie.

Moultrie had a team-high 15 points off the bench in the City League championship game victory last season. His twin brother, Davaughn, also is a 6-3 forward on the team. Another projected starter is 6-2 junior Lavelle Segers, who is new to high school basketball.

“He's raw, but he's probably our most athletic kid,” Valinsky said.

Despite the attrition of last year's seniors, Valinsky sees enough depth on the roster that he envisions going nine or 10 deep.

Girls out for third straight title

Allderdice hasn't lost a girls basketball game — regular season or playoffs — to a City League opponent in 33 months.

Thirty-five wins and counting. Stay the course, right? Easier said than done, coach Dave Walchesky said. The Dragons lost two all-league talents to graduation and another who is playing college basketball this season.

“We're taking a fresh approach,” Walchesky said, “because we really don't know what to expect.”

Janay Bottoms and DaJai Beasley combined to score 23.4 points per game last season as seniors. Bottoms is playing at West Liberty and Lanise Saunders at Gannon.

Senior guard Sydnee Abernathy and junior guard Sierra Fordham are Allderdice's most experienced returning players. Senior guard/forward Brandy Pickett is also entering her third season of varsity basketball, and Walchesky said she had a productive offseason.

Junior guard Erin Yapsuga is projected to be in the starting lineup, and senior forwards Natalie Lamanna and Bre'Ana Garcia-Dixon are also expected to be significant contributors.

“Last year, we were wide open up-and-down the court and ran,” Walchesky said. “This year, hopefully we're more about controlling the ball a little more with a much more contained offensive scheme.”

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.

 

 

 
 


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