East Xtra: Memorable season closes for 'Dice

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This past basketball season was pretty memorable for the Allderdice boys program.

Besides the team's roster featuring three sets of identical twins, which gained national media attention and forged the phrase "Twinsanity," the Dragons also knocked off heavy favorite and undefeated Obama Academy to capture the City League championship.

Coach Buddy Valinsky certainly won't forget what his team was able to accomplish.

"This year was the best," said Valinsky, who is a 1978 graduate and former standout at Allderdice. "When I played we won two state tournament games. I got to the City championship in 2006 as a coach and that was exciting, but this season trumps them all."

Following a two-week layover from the City League title game, the Dragons (19-6) saw their season end Saturday after losing a 58-43 decision against Hampton during the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA tournament.

"We played a good team," Valinsky said. "They were tough and better than us. We shot the ball poorly."

Allderdice, however, not only hung with but beat many WPIAL teams during the course of the season. Before jumping into their league schedule, the Dragons earned victories against Woodland Hills, Summit Academy, Blackhawk, South Fayette and Peters Township. They also beat West Allegheny, Keystone Oaks and Bethel Park later in the year.

"We weren't the only team in the City to do that, either," Valinsky said. "Beside Obama, Perry was playing very well and Carrick had a competitive schedule. We all played and competed well to win some good games. The City League is always losing kids and keeps shrinking, but is still competitive in basketball."

James Jackson, a 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, paced the Dragons in scoring with 15.1 points a game. He and his twin brother, Tim, as well as twin seniors DaVaughn and JaVaughn Moultrie and sophomore twins Keith and Kenny Robinson highlighted the "Twinsanity" moniker that was coined by Valinsky at the start of the season.

"There was a lot more than the 'Twinsanity' this season," Valinsky said. "That was just a fraction of the puzzle. This team really bonded well and worked together.

"I have to credit our seniors, especially the Moultries. Those two were the glue that kept this team together. They were able to keep the younger kids grounded and showed them they could compete to win a City championship."

Ramon Creighton, a sophomore point guard, averaged 14.2 points, while DaVaughn Moultrie followed with 12.2 points a game. Junior forward Alex Bell, who scored the winning free throw against Obama Academy in the City League championship game, also was a key starter.

Seniors Caleb Stotz and Jordan Owens as well as Kenny Robinson and sophomores Jordan Rawls and Tim Pugh each added depth off the Dragons' bench.

"We had so many different guys step up, and I think that made it tough to defend against us because we didn't have just one player doing it all," Valinsky said. "We should return a lot of points next season."

Next year, however, remains a question mark for Valinsky.

"We had a lot of good, promising young players, but in this day and age of kids getting hurt or transferring to other schools, you never know," Valinsky said. "You read about in the paper every year and you can't stop kids from going to other places."

Valinsky, though, won't worry about anything he can't control.

"Winning a City League title raised the program another notch for us," he said. "We should have some young talent and kids coming up from the elementary school.

"This was a great year and I'll be excited come next year. We want to go further [in the state playoffs]. I hope we stay hungry."

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