Penn-Trafford boys look to build off strong start to season

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Sunday, January 10, 2021 | 9:00 AM


Penn-Trafford boys basketball coach Doug Kelly learned a lot about his team during its first game of the season back on Dec. 11.

The Warriors used a late 13-4 run to upset No. 3 North Allegheny, 61-50.

After that game, high school athletics across the state were shut down by Gov. Tom Wolf until Jan. 4.

The Warriors were scheduled to resume their season Friday with a nonsection game at Peters Township, after deadline for this edition.

“We did some Zoom film sessions and sent the players different workouts they could do on their own,” Kelly said. “When they came back, we had to work out some rust.”

Kelly was pleased with the way the team played in the opener against a talented North Allegheny squad.

Ben Myers led the way with 14 points and Josh Kapcin added 13. Josh Schoffstall and Noah Wright each added eight points.

“The one thing I was pleased with was the way we handled North Allegheny’s pressure and trapping defenses,” Kelly said. “It’s something we have to continue to work on.

“Before the shutdown, we did a lot of good things in the fall and preseason. But you never know what’s going to happen when games are played. I was proud of how they played.”

Kelly said the players have shown a lot of resilience during the pandemic. He said they’re playing with confidence and improved a lot.

Two other areas the Warriors must continue to improve are defense and rebounding.

“We have to get better defensively,” Kelly said. “We have to continue on contesting shots. I thought we did a good job against North Allegheny.

“Rebounding, we haven’t been able to rebound as well on either end of the court. That’s another area we must improve on.”

Penn-Trafford returns home Friday when it hosts Hempfield. The Warriors also rescheduled section games against Central Catholic (Jan. 29) and Greensburg Salem (Feb. 2).

The WPIAL recently decided to allow teams to participate in an open basketball tournament, rather than the typical playoff format.

Kelly said he’s OK with the change, given the situation teams are in this winter.

“It makes sense,” Kelly said. “With what’s going on and the (unlikely) chance of teams playing all their section games, it’s fair. I like earning a spot, but for one season I’m eager to see how things go. I know it was a difficult decision for the WPIAL.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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