Varsity Notes: Sportsmanship in question after 99-point victory
A triangle-and-two defense couldn't stop Highlands' Micah Mason Jan. 14 against Deer Lakes. The WPIAL's top scorer had 31 points in a 83-65 victory.
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The Seton-LaSalle girls' basketball team has been taking some heat since a 113-14 victory Jan. 13 against Brentwood, and the WPIAL is getting involved.
At a meeting Tuesday, WPIAL Board of Control members discussed the game and a perceived lack of sportsmanship from Seton-LaSalle coach Dennis Squeglia. Seton-LaSalle informed the WPIAL it will deal with Squeglia on an internal basis, but the WPIAL wants a report from Seton-LaSalle detailing what, if any, action will be taken against him. The league said that report will be addressed at a meeting next month.
If Seton-LaSalle takes action against Squeglia, the WPIAL might accept it and move forward. Or the WPIAL could impose a penalty of its own, such as probation.
The WPIAL's involvement raises the question about whether a league should get involved just because a team is accused of "running up the score?" Seton-LaSalle led, 68-4, at halftime and by 100-10 after three quarters. Squeglia has contended he was not running up the score. He said his starters played only the first three minutes of the third quarter.
"The general perception from this organization is that we would like that type of situation to never occur," WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said. "The fact that it did, we are looking for some feedback from Seton-LaSalle on what happened, why it happened and how will they make sure it doesn't happen again."
The PIAA and WPIAL have made a big deal in promoting sportsmanship in recent years. An announcement about sportsmanship is read before games across the state. The PIAA gives out sportsmanship awards to some schools across the state. The PIAA also has a program it promotes with a slogan: "Sportsmanship. The only missing piece is you."
"We think sportsmanship was totally absent in this case," O'Malley said of the Seton-LaSalle game. "We'd like to think our member schools can operate from the perspective of sportsmanship. We know everyone wants to win and do the best they can. At some point in time, what purpose is served to continue to pile it on somebody?"
Maybe you've heard of a triangle-and-two defense in basketball, where two players guard opponents man-to-man while three others play a triangle zone. It is designed to try and stop two players.
But how about a triangle-and-two ... against one player. That's what Deer Lakes did in a recent game against Highlands guard Micah Mason, the WPIAL's leading scorer at 34 points a game. Three Deer Lakes players were in a zone. The other two double-teamed Mason all over the court.
"That was the first time I ever saw that," Mason said. "Actually, the guy on top of the zone helped on me a lot, too. So three guys were on me a lot of the time."
Did the defensive strategy work? Well ... Mason scored 31 points, and Highlands won, 83-65. Mason was 12 of 15 from the field.
"We were still having a little bit of trouble scoring for some reason, so I just had to score somehow," Mason said. "I tried to get some things in transition. I didn't really have any open shots."
A few more Division I colleges are showing interest in Mason. Toledo talked with him recently, and East Carolina has shown interest. Coaches from Army came to practice last week.
They were known as "Nucci" and "Finny." But 10 years ago, Montour basketball players Brandon Chiarelli and Brian Finnegan were killed in a car accident on their way to a game.
Since then, the "Nucci/Finny Scholarship Fund" has raised more than $100,000. Before Montour's big game Tuesday against South Fayette, Chiarelli's mother addressed the crowd at Montour and gave an emotional speech. Montour sold baked goods and other items before and during the game to raise money for the scholarship fund. The game was dedicated to Chiarelli and Finnegan.
Jamie Chiarelli, near tears a few times, told the crowd that the pain from the loss of her son will never go away. But she said, "My biggest fear was that they would be forgotten after a while. But you all have made sure they will always be remembered."
Mrs. Chiarelli wore a sweatshirt with the words "We'll always love and remember."
There is one change in the City League's plan to possibly join the WPIAL.
Within the next few weeks, a City League athletics overhaul committee will submit a proposal to Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Dr. Linda Lane for the league to join the WPIAL for the 2012-13 school year. Under the proposal, the City would have nine schools in the WPIAL.
Current City League schools Allderdice, Brashear, Carrick, Langley, Oliver, Perry and Westinghouse would join the WPIAL along with two other schools.
University Prep and Pittsburgh Science and Technology would combine for sports under a cooperative sponsorship agreement.
The ninth City League school in the WPIAL would be Obama. Schenley is closing after this school year, and its students will be part of Obama, which will move into the Peabody High building for the 2011-12 school year. Peabody also is closing at the end of the school year.
Monessen boys' basketball coach Joe Salvino is closing in on 500 career wins. Salvino, Monessen's coach since the 1984-85 season, has a 490-201 record. Only a few active coaches in the WPIAL have 500 career wins.
Not even a court would let Brandon Camic on the basketball court.
Camic transferred from South Allegheny to Serra Catholic for this school year, but he was ruled ineligible to play by the WPIAL and PIAA. Both organizations claimed part of his transfer was for athletic reasons. Camic took his case to court, hoping to get a preliminary injunction that would allow him to play for Serra this season.
But, after a hearing into the matter, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Robert Gallo last week denied Camic's request for a preliminary injunction.
Camic averaged 21 points a game last season at South Allegheny, which has not finished above .500 since the 2002-03 season. Serra is usually one of the top teams in WPIAL Class A.
First Published January 21, 2011 12:00 am