By Mike Longo Jr.
Our local boys' basketball entries in the PIAA State Playoffs have seen championship dreams come to a grinding halt. Some, earlier than others. The end result, was an end to their seasons. A difficult pill to swallow especially for the seniors whose high school hardwood careers are over.
The Chargers from Our Lady of the Sacred Hearts were victims in round two being ousted by Franklin 57-45.
Heartbreaking to say the least, especially for seniors who have been playing together on the high school level for four years, some even longer.
A third PIAA State Title has eluded this talented group led by Rocco Spadafora, Bryson Kirschner and B.J. Vaughn Jr. As four-year members of the varsity squad for Coach Mike Rodriguez, they along with four other seniors had one hell of a career.
Their feats of excellence on the court are nothing to hang their heads about.
How could it be with a resume as impressive as the one they have built?
Picture this in your basketball portfolio. This collective group of seniors has been a part of 100 plus wins, three WPIAL Championships, two PIAA State Titles along with a new Pennsylvania State record for 74 consecutive wins.
Two other local teams advanced to the quarterfinal round of play before bowing out.
Carlynton exited after a 20-point 75-55 loss to the Union Scotties. A sloppy, ice-cold shooting first quarter that netted only 9 points while yielding 24 was the Cougars' demise.
They failed to recover, unfortunately saving the best for last.
Scoring 21 points in the final stanza as they gave up only 13 was too little too late.
Bishop Canevin was also booted in quarterfinal play by Aliquippa, 56-43. Seniors Shea Champine, Geno DeFrank and four others saw their hardwood careers end.
Champine saw the fruits of his basketball labor pay off in round two. It was there in a 56-43 win over Mercer that he had his finest hour. The fleet-footed, slick Point/Shooting Guard eclipsed the 1,000-point scoring mark in his schoolboy career. A task many dreams of, but few achieve.