The Dribbler: He picks, rolls way to fame

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It's called the "triple threat position," a basketball stance in which the offensive player takes possession of the ball, establishes a position square to the basket, and chooses from three options: shoot, dribble or pass.

The Dribbler -- the Post-Gazette's legendary basketball prognosticating extraordinaire -- also utilizes the triple threat, albeit a different one. The difference is, The Dribbler uses his three options every time: study, select and bask in the glory of selecting another winner.

Yes, The Dribbler is back again. His unrivaled knowledge of local scholastic basketball and overall brilliance will be showcased here each week of the season. The Dribbler will dribble his way around the WPIAL and City League scene, pass off his knowledge to his faithful readers, and flaunt his uncanny ability to knock down shots from all over -- from 3-pointers (long-shot underdogs) to slam dunks (surefire winners).

Back in his high school days, The Dribbler was an 80 percent free-throw shooter. Don't be surprised if he matches that mark in his picks this season.

Here is his take on some key games scheduled through Thursday:

Top boys games

Hampton at Shaler, tonight, 7:30 p.m. -- In the eyes of The Dribbler, this is a matchup between the WPIAL's top senior (Shaler's Geno Thorpe) and top junior (Hampton's Ryan Luther). It only makes sense that a sophomore (Hampton's David Huber) will be the difference. Winner: Hampton.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at Serra Catholic, tonight, 7:30 p.m. -- A pair of teams with perfect records meet in what should be an entertaining non-section game. The Fumbler is eager to see Serra's George Prota, a 6-foot-9 sophomore who is off to a great start. Winner: Serra Catholic.

Clairton vs. Gateway (Gateway tournament), Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. -- Fresh off its fourth PIAA football title in a row, Clairton doesn't catch a break, as the Bears open their season against two-time defending WPIAL Class AAAA champion Gateway. Winner: Gateway.

Beaver Falls vs. Montour (Montour tournament), Thursday, 7:30 p.m. -- If you like strong point guard play, this is the game for you. Montour senior Devin Wilson and Beaver Falls junior Elijah Cottrill both have Division I offers. Wilson just has a better supporting cast. Winner: Montour.

Other top boys games

BROWNSVILLE over California (tonight, 7:30 p.m.); Trinity over UPPER ST. CLAIR (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.); Beaver Falls over BEAVER (Saturday, 2:30 p.m.); Fox Chapel over Hempfield (Montour tournament; Thursday, 6 p.m.).

Top girls games

Plum at Gateway, tonight, 6 p.m. -- Gateway hopes to contend for the Section 2-AAAA title despite the graduation of first-team all-state pick Destiny Brown. Plum is the favorite, however, and has maybe the section's best player in junior guard Krista Pietropola. Winner: Plum.

North Catholic vs. Penn-Trafford (North Allegheny tournament), Thursday, 1:30 p.m. -- Class A power North Catholic has lost to Class AA title contenders Seton-LaSalle and Bishop Canevin. Its next test against Penn-Trafford, one of the top teams in Class AAAA, will end with the same result. Winner: Penn-Trafford.

Other top girls games

Bethel Park over OAKLAND CATHOLIC (tonight, 7:30 p.m.); Blackhawk over MERCYHURST PREP (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.); HAMPTON over Burrell (Hampton tournament; Thursday, 6:30 p.m.); Seton-LaSalle over Northland, Ohio (Pickerington North, Ohio, tournament), Thursday, 4:45 p.m..

mobilehome - fumbler


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