CITY LEAGUE CHAMPS—Westinghouse boys show off their trophy after winning their first City League championship in 15 years. It was one of the biggest turnarounds in league history, from a cellar team to champs. See story and more photos in Sports section C3. (Photo by William McBride)
Much like senior Shaquan Johnson, Westinghouse (15-8) showed it has enough talent to surprise. Johnson scored 20 points and had four 3-pointers in Saturday morning’s 61-52 victory over Perry in the City league championship game. It was Westinghouse’s first City title since 1998.
“This means the world, it means everything to me,” said Johnson. “When our backs are against the wall, that’s how we always play our best.”
With star senior Robert Bailey held to ten points, the Bulldogs (15-8) relied on Johnson, Aaron Lyons, who added 15 points, and Affani “The Hammer” Brown.
“This means a lot,” said Westinghouse senior guard Bailey. “Not just to our team, but also to the community, to see that there is still Westinghouse basketball.”
Westinghouse has a great basketball tradition. Former Bulldogs Maurice Stokes is considered the greatest player in city league history. Chuck Cooper, was the first black player drafted by an NBA team, Ed Fleming and Junebug Howard. These former Westinghouse players are 4 of the top 10 greatest players ever in the city.
Westinghouse’s 6-foot-9 center Affani “The Hammer” Brown is unselfish, raw and one of the most intimidating inside presence since Armon Gilliam played for Bethel Park in the 80’s. Brown live by two commandments. Thou shall not get a rebound and Thou shall not get a layup.
Because of “The Hammer” Brown and his 7-foot-2 wingspan the Commodores had to rely on their outside shooters and it wasn’t meant to be. Perry shot for only 28 percent (19 of 68) for the game.
There was a delay to the start of the game because Westinghouse brought the wrong color uniforms to the City league championship game and I guess that East Liberty was too far away from Homewood to go back and get the correct jerseys. Both teams were hit with a technical.