Monessen boys ready for test against WPIAL champion Nazareth Prep in PIAA quarterfinals
By: Jeremy Sellew
Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 7:33 PM
Dan Bosnic won’t hide the fact his Greyhounds have been more successful than many predicted this postseason.
After a thrilling win over Bishop Carroll in the waning seconds Tuesday, the Greyhounds face WPIAL champion Nazareth Prep in a PIAA quarterfinal game Friday at Keystone Oaks. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
“No one believed we would be where we are right now,” Bosnic said. “But the thing is, the kids relish that. We like our position and where we’re at.”
The task for the Greyhounds won’t be easy, which they’re well aware.
The teams do share one common opponent, Vincentian Academy. The Greyhounds fell to the Royals, 61-49, in the WPIAL semifinals. The Saints knocked off Tim Tyree’s team in the WPIAL championship game, 69-62.
“They’re a really good team,” Bosnic said. “They can attack off the dribble and they’ve really shot the ball the last few games.”
The Saints are led by Tre Harvey, a 6-2 senior forward, and William Taylor, a 6-1 junior forward.
Harvey scored 31 points in the Saints’ WPIAL championship win.
“He’s shot the ball really well in the playoffs,” Bosnic said. “We’re going to have to get out and challenge everything with him. It’s a big task, hopefully our guys are up for it.”
Taylor was the team’s leading scorer in the regular season, averaging 19.1 points. Harvey was right behind him averaging 18.4.
“They do mirror us a little bit,” Bosnic said. “They’re really aggressive on defense, but they do it in different ways and with multiple looks. They’re very active in the zone with their half-court 1-2-2. It makes you work against many fronts.”
The Greyhounds will look to continue their winning ways the same way they always do. It starts with defense. But Bosnic warned his team can’t get into foul trouble the way they did against Bishop Carroll.
“That’s something we did again. We really put ourselves into a hole early on last game,” he said. “We had to overcome it. We still want to be ultra-aggressive, but staying out of foul trouble is going to be an important part of the game.”
The Greyhounds were led again by freshman Devin Whitlock. Whitlock hit the game-winning floater with 13 seconds remaining to put them into this quarterfinal matchup. He finished with 23 points against Bishop Carroll.
“It’s really impressive what he’s been able to do as a freshman,” Bosnic said. “Obviously, he’s playing beyond his years. He has no fear, and we drew that play up the other night to get exactly what we did. We wanted to get Devin going downhill and he was able to hit the shot.”
Dishon Howell, who’s been playing despite nursing a wrist injury, finished with 15 points against Bishop Carroll. He scored nine of those points in the final quarter.
“Dishon gave us a lift when he played (against Jamestown),” Bosnic said. “He’s a big part of what we do.”
Joining Whitlock and Dishon Howell in the starting lineup will be a combination of either Marquell Smith, Darnel Howell, Dawayne Howell, Elijahwa Payne and Jalen Brice.
With a thrilling win in their last game, Bosnic said his team isn’t worried about suffering a letdown in this one.
“They really showed me they were tough. They were able to withstand what we figured they would see and we prepared them for the ebb and flow of that game. It’s the same way we’re preparing for this one,” Bosnic said.
“For us, it’s business as usual. We’re going to go in there and put in the work to put ourselves in a position to be successful. We want to come out and show what our kids here at Monessen are capable of and what Greyhound pride is all about.”