Created on Thursday, 07 March 2013 10:26 Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 10:26 Published on Thursday, 07 March 2013 10:26 Written by Bill Neal - Courier Sports Columnist Hits: 480
by Bill Neal
For New Pittsburgh Courier
:10 For starters, it doesn’t hurt if your dad could play…I mean really play. I can remember playing pick-up ball with Dennis Boyce Sr. down at Pitt University, Trees Hall Gym. (You brothers remember the good old days at Trees. Not a better time to be had playing ball back in the day, especially when Charles Smith, Demetrius “Freakazoid” Gore, Jerome Lane and Curtis Aiken and the boys from the Pitt team would come over and remind us of the difference between us and them.) But not to Dennis Boyce Sr. It was clear to me then that D.B. Sr. could play with those guys, or for that matter, with anybody. And for those of you that don’t know…know this, Dennis could fly and would dunk on you or anybody standing there with you in a heartbeat.
The hops notwithstanding, there’s little wonder that when I watch D.J. Boyce play, I see where the talent came from. The fundamentally sound game, equipped with first step explosion, the quick hands, the heads up / coach on the floor mindset and above all, the main thing…“heart”…“attitude”…you know that “I can do this man” attitude.
Come full circle now, D.J. is the unquestioned leader of the Gateway Gators as they went in search of their third straight WPIAL title. To do so would have made them the first team to do so since New Castle did it in ’97-’98-’99. By now, you know that was not to be. But at the time of this writing, the Gators were still in the hunt for the gold and ironically enough were going up against the power house that is New Castle…Did I mention Castle just completed their second undefeated season in a row???
As a bonafide leader and one of the WPIAL’s best point guards, D.J. is averaging 20 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals a game. Without the superior skills of former teammates and Division 1 recruits Tyler Scott and Barnett Harris Jr, the only returning starter D.J. had with him was Tom Kromka. But he also had help from seniors Deon Baker, Matt Shorr, Jordan Landfair and Steve Hartnett, all of whom are very good players and know what it takes to be champions.
And while you’re taking notes, know this, Tyler’s mom, Jennifer Bruce Scott, remains Pitt University’s women’s 2nd all-time leading scorer, and his dad, a Duquesne University grad, would play defense on you till your heart stopped. Barnett’s dad would rain 3 pointers down on ya until you got back on the bus…yes boys and girls, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
I know I gave you the DNA set-up early on, but it’s more than that. D.J. brings his own skill set to the dance. He’s the ultimate hard worker, never takes a day off the prize and trust me when I tell you, a 3.3 GPA doesn’t hurt either. When the time comes to put the final numbers in place, I put my money on the future accountant D.J. Boyce…and that you can take to the bank!!!
Editors Note: Top-seeded New Castle (24-0) ended Gateway's three-year run of appearances in the WPIAL title game following an 87-55 quarterfinal victory Feb. 23 at Ambridge.
:09 Speaking of New Castle, and I was, whatever kind of water they’re drinking in Castle and Clairton and Aliquippa, needs to be bottled and sold as “Small Town American Champion Water”—and why aren’t more Division I coaches recruiting these kids? Remember, is it size? Remember, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog. These kids are winners…they’re champions for a reason!!!
:08 I told ya twice already. The Pens are playing hockey and your Pirates are…well, they’re playing! That’s all I got.
:07 Ring…Ring…Rrriiinnnggg…Hello. Yea. Is Walt “Clyde” Frazier or “Earl the Pearl” Monroe there? Tell ‘em it’s Bill Neal from the Connie Hawkins League in Pittsburgh. Tell ‘em it’s urgent! Hello…Clyde and Pearl here brother Neal. How can we help you? Get dressed man. You guys are starting for the Knicks again. I need somebody right now who can pass the ball to someone other than the guys on the other team!!
:06 What about O.J. ???
:05 Trust me. The only people who “storm the court” or for that matter “the field” are people that never played. That’s the only way they can “feel the thrill.” I’m with “Coach K.” It’s stupid and should be outlawed.
:04 I guess you know Rayco Saunders is still knockin’ people out. He just came back from a 4th round K.O. in Indy. He’s still a bad man! And for some reason, remains one of Pittsburgh’s most underrated champions. C’mon man!
:03 So you really believe Joe Flacco is worth $120.6 million dollars? Then you should have no trouble believing that Jimi Hendrix, Jannis Joplin, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke and Michael Jackson are having a jam session at my house Saturday night. C’mon over about
8:00 p.m. Oh yeah, it’s BYOB.
:02 After a great opening turn-out and superior dress-up, Rayco “War” Promotions and Five Starr Corporation will bring you “Harlem Nights” once again, Friday, March 29. Yea, we know it’s Friday . . . don’t act funny. Ya’ll know how we do! More information next week. Just get ready to par-tay!
:01 The 38th Annual Champions W.Pa. High School All-Star Basketball Classic is set. Sunday, April 7th, 2013 at the new and magnificent Penn Hills Sr. High School.
9 a.m.-noon—Girls’ Middle School Tournament; noon-3 p.m.—Boys’ Middle School Tournament; 3 p.m.– H.S. Senior Girls City vs. WPIAL; 5 p.m.—H.S. Senior Boys City vs. WPIAL. Adults $5; children 12 and under $2 ~ one ticket good all day. Free parking. Refreshments. Slam dunk, 3 point, foul shooting contest and the McDonald’s “Big Money” half court shot for lucky you! Call the Champions for information (412) 628-4856. SENIORS, IT’S YOUR TURN…IT’S YOUR TIME !!!
~ GAME OVER ~
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