Holding Court: Pressure will be turned up in this 1 vs. 2 showdown

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The 1 vs. 2 showdown tonight between New Castle and North Allegheny will have a lot of pressing defense, but also a plethora of 3-point shots.

New Castle, the Post-Gazette's No. 1-ranked WPIAL Class AAAA team, plays at No. 2 North Allegheny tonight in what figures to be one of the best games of the season. Both teams are 11-0 and like to play pressure, full-court defense the entire game. But both love to shoot 3-pointers.

It wouldn't be surprising to see 25 to 30 3-pointers made in this game and perhaps 50 attempted.

Over the past seven games against WPIAL teams, North Allegheny has averaged 30 3-point attempts. It attempted at least 31 3-pointers in five of those games and made an average of 10 per game, with a high of 14 against Seneca Valley. Only once in those seven games was it held below 11 baskets from beyond the arc.

New Castle, on the other hand, made 14 3-pointers against Shaler Tuesday night. New Castle averages 22 3-point attempts a game and nine makes. For the season, New Castle is shooting 42 percent (103 of 247) from 3-point range.

But the difference in the game could come down to which team handles defensive pressure the best.

Big man develops

A junior big man at Connellsville is starting to open some eyes.

Trent Bauer is a 6-foot-10 center who is a "double-double" player now, averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds a game. Bauer has improved his game greatly in the past year after missing much of his sophomore season because of a concussion.

"You can just see him developing, and it is exciting," Connellsville coach Dan Bosnic said. "He's doing a much better job of finishing."

A few colleges expressed interest in Bauer last summer.

"If you look at his size and growth in the past year, and, if he continues developing, I would hope he would get some college interest," Bosnic said. "He just needs to continue to develop, and I think that might happen."

Keeping their balance

The Seton-LaSalle girls are the No. 2 scoring team in the WPIAL, averaging 71 points a game heading into the game Thursday night against Steel Valley. But talk about a balanced scoring attack, Seton-LaSalle has four players averaging between 11 and 13 points a game.

Naje Gibson entered the week averaging 13.8 points. Nicolete Newman was next at 12.8, Cassidy Walsh at 11.9 and Natalie Piagessi at 11.3.

Check this out

• Through Wednesday, Vincentian was the only school in the WPIAL that has undefeated boys and girls teams. The boys are 10-0 and lead the WPIAL in scoring (82.6 points a game). The girls were 11-0 heading into the Thursday night game against Eden Christian.

• Clairton football star Tyler Boyd said he plans to join the Bears' basketball team in another week or so. Boyd helped Clairton win WPIAL and PIAA football titles, then played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl all-star game in San Antonio Saturday. Boyd said he wanted to take a week or two off before playing basketball.

• The Cornell boys were in the WPIAL Class A championship game last year, but the Raiders are 3-8 this season, 0-2 in section play. Monessen was in the Class AA final last season, but is 3-8 this year. Monessen, though, played a tough non-section schedule, and is e 2-0 in section play.

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Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com


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