Penn-Trafford boys look to build off late-season success

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Saturday, November 25, 2023 | 11:01 AM


A late-season surge, which included close wins against McKeesport and Latrobe, has Penn-Trafford boys basketball coach Doug Kelly excited about the upcoming season.

The Warriors won four of their five Section 3-5A games to end last season and were able to qualify for the WPIAL playoffs.

Penn-Trafford played well in its playoff loss to Peters Township and provided Kelly a glimpse to this season.

The Warriors finished 7-16 overall and 4-6 in the section. They return four starters and others who played key roles off the bench.

The starters back are senior Ty Freas (15 points per game), senior Jason Sabol (9 ppg), senior Ian Temple (7 ppg) and junior Brayden Stone (5 ppg).

Kelly will be counting on the four starters to lead the way.

“We have more depth this season,” Kelly said. “The four starters back need to be more vocal leaders on the floor. We had a good summer and I’m confident in this group. I feel good about what lies ahead. Hopefully the late-season success carries over to this season.”

Kelly said there is a battle for the fifth starting spot. In fact, he expects different players could fill that role.

Those battling for playing time include senior Carmen Metcalfe, sophomore Zach Feldman, junior Ty Anthony, senior Keith Otto, sophomore Ty Boss, junior Jack Weishaar, junior Connor Evangeliste, junior Dom Smith and junior Evan Gross.

One player who will miss the season is junior Derek Carr, who is recovering from a football injury.

“Derek was having a good summer,” Kelly said. “Ty had a good season shooting the ball, so we’re counting on him to contribute.”

Kelly said he expects the section to be as tough as ever.

“All the teams are going to be good,” Kelly said. “Gateway and McKeesport return athletes, Franklin Regional has four starters back, Kiski is improved, and Latrobe will be better. It’s going to be a battle every game.”

Kelley said Penn-Trafford had a good summer with a lot of the players improving their skills and developing chemistry.

One area that Kelly said the team must improve is defense.

“I feel the players are committed to playing better defense,” Kelly said. “That, taking care of the ball and rebounding is the key since we don’t have a lot of size.”

The Warriors graduated Ethan Kane and 6-foot-6 center Andrew Kessler.

Kelly said he’ll find out a lot about his team in its tri-scrimmage against Montour and Hampton.

The Warriors open the season Dec. 1 at Hempfield against Greensburg Central Catholic. They’ll play Hempfield on Dec. 2.

Penn-Trafford boys at a glance

Coach: Doug Kelly

Last year’s record: 7-16 (4-6 Section 3-5A)

Returning starters: Jason Sabol (Sr., G), Ty Freas (Sr., G), Brayden Stone (Jr., G) and Ian Temple (Sr., F)

Top newcomers: Carmen Metcalfe (Sr., G) Zach Feldman (So., F), Ty Anthony (Jr., G), Keith Otto (Sr., F), Ty Boss (So., G), Jack Weishaar (Jr., G), Connor Evangeliste (Jr., F), Dom Smith (Jr., F) and Evan Gross Jr., G)

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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