Gideon Deasy makes quick impact in return to Riverview lineup

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Saturday, January 23, 2021 | 8:01 AM


Gideon Deasy experienced pain in his left ankle through much of his fall cross country season.

The Riverview senior multi-sport athlete missed several races but was able to run at the WPIAL championships. He said despite not running his best time, it was a decent performance.

Deasy, an all-section performer for the Raiders boys basketball team last year, said he hoped a period of rest after cross country would be the remedy for his ailing ankle as he looked forward to starting preseason basketball practices with his teammates.

But that wasn’t the case, as continued discomfort while going through those early workouts prompted Deasy to get a medical assessment.

“It was really affecting the way I played,” Deasy said.

An MRI revealed a broken ankle. It put him on the shelf for several weeks. He wore a boot as the ankle healed and was limited to various dribbling drills.

Now, Deasy is back on the court and is excited to see what he can do for a Raiders team hoping to turn around a tough start to their season.

“I had just been watching practice and games for a while, and all I wanted to do is play,” said Deasy, who returned to practice Jan. 18 and was cleared to play against Springdale the next night.

“I felt good in practice, and finally being able to be out there with my teammates for a game, it was awesome.”

Riverview, which came into the game with the Dynamos at 0-4 but had played a couple of games down to the wire, gave its rivals all it could handle.

However, Springdale, No. 3 in the Trib HSSN Class 2A rankings, prevailed in overtime, 55-50. Deasy finished with a team-best 16 points and nine assists in 24 minutes. He had to sit early with a couple of fouls and also left the game for a few minutes after bumping his knee in a collision.

“I wasn’t sure going in how I was going to feel with my ankle, but it felt good. I was just ready to play,” said Deasy, who averaged 15.2 points last year and set the Riverview record for single-season assists (157).

“Everyone was ready to go and excited to have a full team again. We were able to build a lot of excitement and energy, and we translated that to the game.

“We were upset with the way the game turned out. We needed a win. It just didn’t go our way. But we’re really hoping we can carry a lot of the good things forward into the rest of our games. We have a lot of positive energy.”

Riverview, which lost its season opener to South Side in overtime and suffered a one-point loss to Aquinas Academy, hoped to pick up its first win of the season Saturday as it was scheduled to play at Burrell in nonsection action.

The Raiders also were slated to take on Propel Braddock Hills on Tuesday. Both games were to be contested past the deadline for this week’s edition.

Riverview returns to section play Friday at home against Sewickley Academy.

Raiders coach Paul Sapotichne said he was pleased with Deasy’s first taste of game action this season.

“He was a little rusty and clearly had nervous energy,” Sapotichne said.

“At one point, when he was sitting out after he bumped his knee, he was saying how he didn’t feel in shape. But he’s in great shape. I am sure, not running like that for a while, he was a tad winded, but he played very hard and did a good job considering he came from not being allowed to do anything to being thrown right into a game.

“He didn’t shy away from contact. He took a charge, something as a team we had not done in the first four games. He was 100% into the game and was all over the floor.”

Sapotichne said having Deasy back on the court and in the lineup brings a lot of energy to the team.

“Practice (Jan. 18) was the most energy we’ve had in the gym all year,” Sapotichne said. “His teammates recognize what a good player and hard worker he is. They want to work as hard as he does.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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