Mt. Lebanon coach Joe David has schooled a lot of talented guards in his more than a decade as head coach of the Blue Devils, but this year's backcourt might be unique.
His sons, Jonny and Justin, are starters.
Jonny, a sophomore, is the point guard. Justin, a senior, is the shooting guard.
"It's been a pleasure," Joe David said. "It's going quickly. We're halfway through the season. I'm enjoying it. Both are great young men. I'm blessed to watch them play the game that I love.
"They've been around the team as long as I can remember. I've been doing this for 12 years. Seeing them in Mt. Lebanon jerseys playing for me has been special."
Both Justin and Jonny were primarily junior varsity players last season, but Justin did see some minutes on the varsity team. Jonny took over the point guard duties from former star Luke Hagy, a four-year starter and the school's all-time leader in assists and steals.
This season, Justin is averaging about 12 points per game and Jonny about 10. They team with leading scorer Tyler Roth (16 ppg) to give Mt. Lebanon a strong trio of guards.
"[Justin and Jonny] complement each other very well," said Joe David. "Both are smart and do what we need. And then we have Tyler Roth, a three-year starter. It's some nice chemistry that those guys have."
Mt. Lebanon is 6-6 overall (3-2 in Class AAAA Section 4) after losing, 59-46, at Bethel Park Tuesday night.
Peters Township is expected to compete for a WPIAL playoff berth, but the Indians find themselves in an early hole due to some hard-luck losses.
The Indians (4-7, 1-4) dropped four of their first five Class AAAA Section 4 contests, the defeats coming by a combined 12 points. They lost at Mt. Lebanon, 48-45; at Trinity, 53-51; home against Bethel Park, 61-59, andhome against Upper St. Clair, 67-62 in two overtimes.
Three of the losses were absolute heartbreakers. Bethel Park's Rohan Young hit a shot with three seconds left in overtime to down the Indians, this after the Black Hawks trailed by six in the extra period. Against Trinity, the Indians missed a game-tying shot at the buzzer and, of course, the double overtime loss.
Overall, Peters Township is 1-5 in games decided by six points or fewer. The Indians were 5-4 in such games last season when they advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals.
The Indians continue to get solid production from 6-foot-4 senior guard/forward Gabe Pritz, who leads the team in scoring for the second season in a row.
Senior guard Dakota Norton and junior guard Nick Parello have been shooting the ball well from the perimeter.
Girls teams earn high marks
Each Friday, the Post-Gazette releases its rankings of the top five teams in each class.
So far this season, South Xtra area girls teams are at the head of the class.
Of the 20 teams in last week's rankings (Class AAAA through Class A), nine are in the South coverage area. Through Tuesday, those teams were a combined 81-13.
In Class AAAA, Section 4 dominates the landscape. Bethel Park is No. 1, Mt. Lebanon No. 2, Chartiers Valley No. 3 and Upper St. Clair No. 4.
In Class AAA, South Park is No. 3 and Elizabeth Forward No. 5.
In Class AA, Seton-LaSalle is No. 1 and Bishop Canevin No. 2.
In Class A, Serra Catholic is No. 2.
Here are a couple boys games to keep an eye on this week.
Friday: Serra Catholic at Greensburg Central Catholic, 7:30 p.m. -- Winning at Greensburg C.C. will be a huge task for Serra. Sure, the Eagles are good, but so is Greensburg Central, and the Centurions have dropped just one game on their home floor in three years. Serra's guards will need to play well, as Greensburg C.C. features a high-scoring backcourt tandem in Brian Graytok and Zach Hermann.
Tuesday: Upper St. Clair at Mt. Lebanon, 7:30 p.m. -- There are few rivalries in the south suburbs as big as this one. Mt. Lebanon has owned the series in recent years, winning eight of the past nine meetings. Both teams have been playing well over the past few weeks. Upper St. Clair coach Danny Holzer and Mt. Lebanon's Joe David both lean on solid guard play.hsbasketball