Leechburg boys riding high after Jeannette upset

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Monday, January 22, 2018 | 11:16 PM


The congratulatory text messages and phone calls spilled in to Corey Smith's phone for much of the weekend after Leechburg's 47-42 upset of Class 2A No. 3 Jeannette on Saturday.

The victory meant a lot for Leechburg, which currently is fighting for a playoff spot in Section 1-2A boys basketball. And it also marked the second season in a row that the Blue Devils upset Jeannette.

Last season's 48-45 victory helped propel Leechburg into the playoffs. Saturday's firmed their fourth-place position as the Blue Devils (9-4, 4-3) seek to return to the playoffs.

“The confidence, the energy, is really up right now,” Smith said. “What I keep telling my guys is you can never get too high or too low. You've got to take one game at a time and concentrate on the next opponent.”

While it would be too soon to label Leechburg “Jayhawk slayers,” Smith said he was proud of the way his team followed the game plan against Jeannette. The Blue Devils slowed the pace, used pinpoint passing and held Jeannette star Robert Kennedy to seven points.

“When these kids trust their coach first of all, and when they execute the game plan, good things are going to happen,” Smith said. “Not that they don't trust me, but when they execute the game plan on what we practiced for two weeks — we had two games get canceled with Jeannette — they went out and executed the game plan to a ‘T.' When you do that, good things happen offensively and defensively.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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