Allderdice boys look to fend off upset-minded Brashear in City League championship game

Friday, February 18, 2022 | 8:13 PM

Devin Crummie, a Central Catholic graduate, never played for a City League championship, but is well aware of the importance. Crummie, now in his third year as Allderdice head coach, yearns to help his kids earn the feeling he heard so much about growing up in the city.

“There’s a lot of pride in the City League,” Crummie said. “A lot of my friends went to Oliver and Perry and talked about the importance of winning that title. As long as I’ve been at ‘Dice, it’s important to get to the City League final and win it. A lot of these kids grew up watching the teams Buddy Valinsky coached and want to continue that legacy.”

Allderdice (16-7) is eager to get back in the top spot and will meet third-seeded Brashear in the final at 4 p.m. Sunday at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center. The Bulls (7-8) surprised Obama Academy in the semifinals to reach the finals for the second straight season.

Brashear coach Carey White feels circumstances made the Bulls reaching the finals unlikely. In the past two seasons, Brashear has played 21 games combined. The Bulls’ younger players had virtually no JV season in 2021 to provide seasoning and this year was marred by two shutdowns due to covid-19.

“This is one of the crazier seasons I’ve been a part of,” White said. “We didn’t play any out-of-league games. We were concentrating on the City League and we started 0-4 in those games. We had to beat Perry on the last night of the regular season to make the playoffs.”

While the Bulls suffered 11- and 14-point losses in the regular season to Allderdice, White believes Brashear has found themselves since the two teams last met. Rasheed Saunders is among the Bulls’ leaders in scoring and assists, while Kameron Cheatom also helps contribute with scoring and rebounding.

Being able to win the city will depend on execution.

“It’s all about being confident in our gameplan,” White said. “If we can execute our gameplan on Sunday, we may be able to get the pieces falling in the right direction.”

Allderdice was undefeated in league play last season but had to forfeit in the City League playoffs due to issues with covid-19. With this year’s team, Crummie noted the Dragon don’t have a dominant scorer. Allderdice has a number of players averaging between seven and 11 points per game.

Sophomore Logan Golle and senior Isiah Brown help handle the point for the Dragons. Allderdice also has size underneath, getting major contributions from 6-foot-3 sophomore forward Major Rainey and 6-4 junior forward Sam Kelly.

“We want to push the ball in transition and get out in the fast break,” Crummie said. “We want to spread the floor and create spacing for our shooters.”

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