Allderdice is just one year removed from an impressive year in which they completed a late season charge, with eight consecutive wins, and eventually reached the City championship game. However, they’ve gotten off to a slow start this season. Their 2-4 record is their worst since December of 2007 when they lost three straight and fell to a mark of 3-5. They won the next three, but still ended up on the losing side of things, finishing the year 10-15 overall and experiencing an early exit out of the postseason with a 45-43 loss to Perry.
“Our defense definitely has to improve,” said Allderdice head coach Andre McDonald. “Even when we had our 10-15 year, we were still among the top teams in allowing the fewest points. We’re scoring in our sleep, that’s not a problem. We just have to get better attitudes out of our guys, namely our seniors, along with a better effort. That is what we need in order to get back on track.”
Westinghouse (5-1, 3-0) made those chances more likely when they handed them a 68-55 beating Jan. 5 which moved the Bulldogs up a spot to sit behind defending champion Perry for first place.
“Our guys are feeling really good,” said Westinghouse head coach Kenny Roebuck. “We’re happy about what we’ve done so far. All of our guys are from the Homewood community and they’ve been together for four years now. You used to see heads hanging and comments about ‘I can’t do this’ and ‘I can’t do that’ but that’s definitely not the case nowadays. Their skill level has risen and they’re beginning to be real consistent.”
The team has been on a roll, only losing to Indiana in its own tournament Dec. 29. With five wins, they are just one victory away from matching the six that they put up last year— finishing 6-19, overall.
Perry is enjoying a league-high seven victories, with just one loss. They have an undefeated 4-0 conference record and are looking to return to the big game—minus a real threat in the post. The other team of the North Side, Oliver, is currently in third place, with a 5-2 overall record (3-0 in the City) and is the only other team in the league without a loss in the conference.
Peabody (3-5) leads the rest of the pack, which (aside from the top three teams) lacks an overall winning record, going 3-1 in the City.
3:15 p.m., Langley at Brashear
3:15 p.m., Oliver at Allderdice
7:30 p.m., Peabody at Westinghouse
7:30 p.m., Perry at Schenley
Team Conf. Overall
Perry 4-0 7-1
Westinghouse 3-0 5-1
Oliver 3-0 5-2
Peabody 3-1 3-5
Schenley 1-3 3-6
Carrick 0-4 3-6
Allderdice 1-2 2-4
Brashear 1-3 1-8
Langley 0-3 0-8
defending champ Westinghouse
first conference loss
Perry (3-1, 3-7) got its opportunity to move ahead of Westinghouse in the conference standings, as a result of a 50-41 Westinghouse loss to Allderdice Jan. 5, even though they have an overall losing record.
“We just weren’t mentally prepared,” said Westinghouse head coach Phyllis Jones about her team. “Their guards were quick and they definitely had an advantage in the height differential. As I said before, the league is wide open this year. It will come down to the team that wants it the most.”
With the win, Allderdice moved into the second spot with its 3-2 overall record as well as in the conference with a 2-1 mark.
“It was a nice win for us,” said Allderdice’s head coach Dave Walcheskey. “They are a quality team. Some of our girls are really growing up quick. We start four sophomores and one junior and they’ve all come through in big situations.”
Allderdice was led by Janay Bottoms with 16 points and Lanise Saunders with 14.
“They played a pretty good game,” said Walcheskey. “As a young team, we just need to learn how to eliminate mistakes. The key to us beating Westinghouse was the fact that we stuck close to them at halftime which gave us some momentum going into the second half. We did that and came out with the win.”
In the three games that Langley has played, they are still right in the thick of things, they’ve attained a 2-1 record—in which all of their games have been played in the conference. Schenley, Carrick and Brashear all have matching 2-2 conference record, keeping them all close to the pack.
No team has been able to pull away from the pack making this week’s games critical.
3:15 p.m., Allderdice at Oliver
3:15 p.m., Schenley at Perry
7:30 p.m., Brashear at Langley
7:30 p.m., Westinghouse at Peabody
Team: Conf Overall
Perry 3-1 3-7
Westinghouse 2-1 4-2
Allderdice 2-1 3-2
Langley 2-1 2-1
Schenley 2-2 3-5
Carrick 2-2 2-5
Brashear 2-2 2-6
Oliver 1-2 1-6
Peabody 0-4 0-8
(Follow our continuing coverage and add your comments on City League Basketball to our website at www.newpittsburghcourieronline.com).
(D.W. Howze can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org).