Four years later, St. Joseph’s Andrew Sullivan continues to score
Thursday, February 18, 2021 | 8:22 PM
For the past four years, St. Joseph senior guard Andrew Sullivan has been a mainstay in the Spartans program and has given the team a leader to look to when things get tough.
Even as a sophomore, Sullivan helped the Spartans capture a Section 3-A title and make a run to the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals. As a senior, Sullivan has solidified his status as one of the best scorers in the A-K Valley, and possibly the WPIAL.
“The one thing that helps him more than anything is that he’s a quiet scorer,” St. Joseph coach Hart Coleman said. “His highs are never too high and his lows are never too low. He can take over a game and put the team on his back, but you’d never know that he’s actually doing it because he does it within the context of the game.”
So far this season, Sullivan has been averaging 22.3 points per game. He’s recorded six games with 25 points or more and has four games with 30 points or more. Two of those games came in St. Joseph’s last three, including a 36-point outing against Leechburg on Feb. 12.
On Wednesday, Sullivan had one of those moments where he completely took over. After a rough first half against Propel Andrew Street, Sullivan blew up to score 20 of his game-high 32 points in the third quarter.
“I was just missing layups, and there were easy things that I was messing up,” Sullivan said. “I was just pacing back and forth because I couldn’t really sit still. I came out in the third quarter and took out all my aggression. I just kind of went into attack mode.”
Sullivan took over so spontaneously, and quietly, that Coleman didn’t even realize that he had put the team on his back in the way that he had. But, in times like those, Coleman knows that he just has to let Sullivan play his game.
“I was in the moment coaching, but I know when that happens, there’s times where I’ll pull him over and just tell him you have to do what you do,” Coleman said. “Put them on your back and we’re going to come along for the ride, and he understands that. But he does it in a way where you don’t realize he’s taking over the game, per se.”
Although he’s always been effective for the Spartans, Sullivan’s game wasn’t always as complete as it is this season. As the years have gone on, he’s improved certain aspects to become a complete scorer.
“My freshman and sophomore year, I was more about getting into the paint and getting to the free-throw line,” Sullivan said. “But in the last few years, I’ve developed my jump shot more and have been able to do both. I haven’t really had to rely on one thing.”
As Sullivan’s game has improved, he’s started to draw more attention from other teams. At times this season, teams have thrown different types of defenses at the talented guard. He’s seen box-and-ones and has often drawn attention from multiple players.
Sullivan said it was a little difficult to get used to at first, but as time has gone on, he said that he believes it has helped the team get better as a whole.
“It’s been a little difficult at times, but it’s helped our team get better too,” Sullivan said. “The more they focus on me, the more I can find my teammates for open shots, which allows them to get better. It’s only going to help us win more games.”
Over the last four years, Sullivan has left a lasting impact on the St. Joseph program. He’s gone from a young and apprehensive freshman to a senior who does everything he can to bring the younger players along. Now, he’s looking to end his high school career on a strong note as the Spartans enter the open WPIAL playoffs.
“It’s really exciting because last year we didn’t do too well and it was more of a learning year for us,” Sullivan said. “So, I know I have a limited number of games left and it’s really pushing me to give it everything I have.”
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
Tags: St. Joseph
More Basketball• Cheswick Christian Academy boys vie for 1st SWCAC title since 2015
• A-K Valley high school basketball playoff preview capsules for Feb. 24, 2024
• WPIAL sets playoff sites, times for Monday’s basketball semifinals
• What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Feb. 23, 2024: Class 6A boys finally get postseason started
• Franklin Regional keeps rolling, beats Gateway in quarters