Allderdice boys claim 6th straight City League basketball title

Saturday, February 23, 2019 | 1:30 AM

Allderdice boys basketball coach Buddy Valinsky felt pretty confident about his team winning the City League boys basketball title. He walked out of the Dragons locker room wearing a brand new Nike hat with “City League Champions” embroidered on it.

“It was something that I’ve never done before,” Valinsky said. “I had them made. No one knew about it. It was a secret that I had.

“If we didn’t win, they would’ve been sent to another country I guess, along with the Super Bowl t-shirts they make for the losing teams. It’s a little cocky, but I had a good feeling and had them made. It’s just the confidence I had in this group.”

Valinsky’s box of hats was safe from being sent away to another country. It only took his Dragons a little over 4 minutes to run up a double-digit lead as Allderdice rolled to a 60-24 win over Brashear to claim a record sixth consecutive City League championship Saturday afternoon at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center.

“The best thing is, we were able to write history today,” Valinsky said. “Not many people can say they can write history and be a part of it. The City League has been around for (106 years), and we’re the first team to win six in a row.”

Allderdice (20-4) moves on to the PIAA Class 6A bracket where the Dragons will face Erie (12-12) next Wednesday at Obama Academy in the four-team subregional. Erie beat Altoona, 78-62, to advance.

Brashear (9-10) wrapped up the season having returned to the City League championship for the first time since 2008.

“We had to get through that first quarter and that initial push from them, and we didn’t do that,” Brashear coach Carey White said. “We were down 12 or 13 (points) quickly. We knew they were going to press, and we didn’t handle it well at all.”

The Dragons were breathing fire out of the gate and started the game on an 8-0 run. Senior Bobby Clifford paced the offense early with with a couple of buckets, and senior Dalen Dugger added a turnaround jumper. Clifford finished with 13 points and Dugger chipped in with 10.

Brashear junior guard Cheron Collington provided the Bulls with all of their offense in the first quarter, connecting on two free throws and a layup. It was clear early on that Brasher would need more than that to stay in the game.

“After the middle of the first quarter, it just seemed to carry on, and we didn’t shoot well,” White said. “With 24 points, you’re not going to win very many high school basketball games.”

Allderdice senior Jackson Blaufeld, a Dartmouth commit, added a layup, a free throw and drained a 3-pointer to lead the Dragons on a 6-0 run to start the second quarter.

“You can’t start fast enough in our case,” Blaufeld said. “For us, that’s been something we’ve been working on, which is coming out with a sense of urgency. In games like these, they make it a long game or we come out and punch them first. That was one of our points of emphasis.”

Blaufeld finished with a game-high 24 points and his second consecutive championship game MVP trophy.

The Bulls put together a 6-0 run midway through the second quarter. Brashear senior Rason Connor hit a short jumper and Collington added a basket, along with a two free throws, to draw the score to 25-10.

Clifford, a Slippery Rock commit, came out of halftime and led the Dragons on another 6-0 run before Bulls’ senior Maurice Dumas scored on a layup and fellow senior Jarrell Stevens added a 3-pointer from the right elbow to cut into the Dragons lead at 37-20. With the sizable lead, Valinsky began to work his bench players into the game during the third quarter.

“Bobby (Clifford), Terrell (Childs), Dalen (Dugger), Sean (Graves), we’re just an all-around good team right now,” Blaufeld said. “People know their roles.”

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