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Sudden impact

| Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006

PITTSBURGH - All season long, Monessen had shown itself to be a young, hustling, scrappy team.

While the Greyhounds have more than their share of guards, the missing ingredient from Coach Joe Salvino's smallish team was an inside presence. After all, none of the Greyhounds' top players are taller than 6-1.

Until now.

Kaleb Kolbeck, a 6-5 senior transfer from Washington, made his debut Friday night in a Class A Sec. 3 contest against host Trinity Christian.

And what a debut it was.

Kolbeck came off the bench and gave the Greyhounds a huge lift in a 98-45 rout. The newest Greyhound scored six points in the first quarter and eight more in the second as Monessen rolled to a 56-24 halftime lead.

Kolbeck had a double-double by intermission with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He ended the night with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

"He was a little rusty since he hadn't played in a game in four weeks," said Salvino of Kolbeck, who began the season as a member of Wash High's squad.

"He was trying hard. He's trying to fit in. Hopefully, he is what we needed with his size. But the players need to understand that it's a plus for us. He can only make us better if we play as a team.

"Still, he has a lot to learn."

Kolbeck wasn't the only Greyhound to have a big night as junior Joe Heath had what Salvino called "probably his best game of the season."

Heath scored 23 points, including 16 in the second half.

"Joe did a really good job all the way around," said Salvino. "We have the kind of team where it could be a different kid who leads us every night. We just all have to play well and good things can happen."

Also hitting for double figures for the Greyhounds (4-3, 9-10) were senior Justin Floyd and junior Josh Arnold with 18 and 14 points, respectively.

Floyd, who made seven of eight shots from the foul line, tallied 13 points in the first half when the Greyhounds seized control of the game.

"Overall, I thought we played pretty well," said Salvino. "Sometimes when you play a team like this, you tend to play down to their level. We didn't do that. I thought we played well."

Trinity Christian (0-6, 2-16) was led by Phil Spina with 13 points and Chris Morschl with 11.

Monessen has an exhibition game tonight at California (7:30 p.m.) before having a big section contest Tuesday at home with second-place Clairton (5-1, 13-2).

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