Westmoreland boys basketball notebook: Michael Noonan steps into scorer’s role for Latrobe boys
Thursday, December 19, 2019 | 7:06 PM
Latrobe began the season looking for a scorer, the next go-to guy who could keep the high-scoring Wildcats in contention for a WPIAL playoff berth and maybe more.
While the team has started slow — 2-5 — with some painfully close losses along the way, senior Michael Noonan looks to have taken the reins as the main point-producer.
Noonan, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound center, scored 38 points Monday in the Wildcats’ 72-69 loss to Allderdice.
He is averaging 24.2 points.
“Michael is rounding out. Quite a start to the season,” Latrobe coach Brad Wetzel said. “I’m impressed with his tenacity and desire to become better every time he steps on the floor.”
Two other losses also have been white-knucklers for the Wildcats: They lost to Trinity, 80-77, and Central Catholic, 62-59.
Noonan had 27 against Trinity and 26 in a win over Perry.
Latrobe has had plenty of regular-season success since 2014.
It only lost three games all of last season (18-3), did not take its fourth loss in 2017-18 until January (16-8), picked up loss No. 4 in 2016-17 in the playoffs (19-5) and went 22-3 in 2015-16.
Latrobe hadn’t started 1-4 since 2013-14.
Still, it is too early for any team to panic.
“Losing three games by three points to good teams just is evidence that we are not where we want to be yet,” Wetzel said.
The Wildcats are scoring 71.8 points but giving up 70.5.
More close calls
Franklin Regional (3-4) also knows what it feels like to be on the wrong end of close games. Three of the Panthers’ four losses are by a combined 12 points.
They lost to Greensburg Salem (54-51), Hampton (42-38) and Mars (57-52).
Hitting the road
Latrobe and Penn-Trafford are in Orlando, Fla., for the KSA Tournament, which runs through Saturday.
On Thursday, the Wildcats lost, 83-43, to Broken Arrow (Okla.), and the Warriors defeated David Douglas (Ore.), 66-41.
Penn-Trafford faces Central (Va.) on Friday and Uniontown on Saturday. Latrobe will meet Spring Ford on Friday morning.
Parsons closing in
Greensburg Salem senior guard Dante Parsons is on his way to becoming the Golden Lions’ next 1,000-point scorer. Parsons has 910 points heading into Friday’s home game against Woodland Hills.
There are three undefeated teams left in WPIAL boys’ Class 6A. They all play in the same section. Fox Chapel (6-0), Norwin (6-0) and Penn-Trafford (4-0) are in Section 3-6A.
Greensburg Central Catholic was scheduled to play its home opener Tuesday against Propel Montour, but its opponent called to cancel. Propel reportedly did not have enough active players. GCC will have to wait until 2020 to play at home. The Centurions take on Propel Andrew Street on Jan. 7 in Carbon.
If it looks like more local schools are scheduling girls-boys doubleheaders, it is because that is the case.
Take Derry. The Trojans will host Freeport on Friday night at 7:30 after the girls team plays Homer Center at 5:30.
Jeannette will have back-to-back games Friday with the girls playing Carrick at 6 p.m. and the boys facing Bentworth at 7:30.
Norwin, more accustomed to doubleheaders, hosted one Tuesday with the boys playing Jeannette and the girls hosting North Hills.
Penn-Trafford, Latrobe and Hempfield also are known for hosting girls and boys games on the same night.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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