The Dribbler: Honoring Mr. Jordan
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Michael Jordan turned 50 Sunday.
How crazy is that?
It's been 31 years since he hit the winning shot in the national championship, 26 since his first slam dunk title, 22 since he won his first NBA title and 10 since he played his final game.
The Dribbler has never met MJ, yet still held out hope he would somehow get invited to his birthday party.
The invitation never came.
The Dribbler needed to find some other way to pay homage to the greatest player of all time. So, on the final day of the WPIAL regular season, he went to see Michael Jordan play. Well, kind of. The Dribbler attended the Chartiers Valley-Upper St. Clair game, which featured two of the top players in the area: Michael (Boulos) and Jordan (Grabowski). And wouldn't you know, the two combined to score 49 points.
Not quite 50, but The Dribbler thought it was a fine tribute in itself.
The Dribbler surely didn't put up a Jordan-like performance in the first week of his playoff picks going 8-6. That brings his season record to 74-41 (.643). Here's his breakdown of this weekend's games.
Top boys games
Upper St. Clair vs. Seneca Valley, Saturday, 3 p.m. Saturday at North Allegheny -- If, as the baseball saying goes, chicks truly dig the long ball, then Upper St. Clair must be one of their favorites. The Panthers have been on a 3-point tear recently, making 24 in their past two games. They needed 14 of them to edge Norwin by one point in the first round. A week after thumping Central Catholic by 31, No. 12 seed Seneca Valley will continue to thrive in the darkhorse role. Winner: Seneca Valley.
Hampton vs. McKeesport, Saturday, noon, Saturday at North Allegheny -- The Dribbler is a big Al Pacino fan. One of his favorite Pacino flicks is from the early 1990s, Carlito's Way. McKeesport has its own Carlitto -- spelled with two "Ts." Carlitto Acie scored 28 against Bethel Park in the first round. Ryan Luther and Hampton have won eight of nine. Make it nine of 10. Winner: Hampton.
Westinghouse vs. Perry, 11 a.m., at Obama Academy -- A shout out to the 'House, which is playing in its first City League championship since winning the title in 1998. Perry beat three-time defending champion Allderdice in the quarterfinals, then upset top-seeded Obama Academy in overtime in the semifinals. That's some heavy momentum right there. Winner: Perry.
Other top boys games
Mars over Uniontown (8 p.m., Friday, at Baldwin); Montour over Thomas Jefferson (8 p.m., Friday, at Bethel Park); Clairton over Union (8 p.m., Friday, at North Hills); Vincentian over Monessen (8 p.m., Friday, at Keystone Oaks).
Top girls games
North Allegheny vs. Gateway, 8 p.m. Friday, at Fox Chapel -- The Dribbler sees this being decided in the final minute. The teams are a combined 39-7, with six of the losses coming by five points or fewer. If either team is going to get a key defensive stop, it figures to be North Allegheny, which has the best scoring defense in Class AAAA (33.3 points per game). Winner: North Allegheny.
Deer Lakes vs. Jeannette, 6:30 p.m. Friday, at Fox Chapel -- No player in the WPIAL -- boys or girls -- fills the basket as much as Jeannette's Ciara Gregory, who averages 30.9 points per game. Gregory netted 41 in Jeannette's playoff opener and 32 in a 76-56 loss to Deer Lakes Feb. 1. Mark her down for about 36 in the rematch, a Jayhawks win. Winner: Jeannette.
Westinghouse vs. Allderdice, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, at Obama -- Westinghouse is to City League championship games what The Dribbler is to Pirates home openers: They're there every year. This is the 19th season in a row -- yes, 19th -- the Bulldogs are in the final. They've lost the past two years to Allderdice, but will get the Dragons back this time. Winner: Westinghouse.
Other top girls games
Mt. Lebanon over Fox Chapel (6:30 p.m., Friday, at North Allegheny); Chartiers Valley over Upper St. Clair (6:30 p.m., Friday, at Canon-McMillan); Bethel Park over Penn-Trafford (6:30 p.m., Friday, at Baldwin); Seton-LaSalle over Greensburg Central Catholic (6:30 p.m., Friday, at Bethel Park).
First Published February 22, 2013 12:00 am