Pine-Richland’s Petcash makes name for himself

Saturday, December 30, 2017 | 11:00 PM

The Pine-Richland boys basketball team is off to a 5-1 start, and it's becoming clear Dan Petcash is a backcourt threat opponents must account for in order to beat the defending WPIAL Class 6A champions.

Petcash scored 21 points in a season-opening 81-26 win against Summit Academy. The junior guard followed with a career-high 27 points in the Rams' third game, a 70-55 victory against Upper St. Clair.

In Pine-Richland's first two section games, Petcash continued his statistical assault, dropping 25 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Butler and collecting 16 points, six rebounds and five assists in a win against North Allegheny.

“He's playing very well. He's averaging between about 16-17 points per game right now,” Pine-Richland coach Jeff Ackermann said. “What makes Dan good is that he can score in a variety of ways.

“He can definitely go off the dribble, and when he goes to the basket, he finishes well. You can't sag on him because he can shoot the three, but he can also post up and use his height and his athleticism to finish it well. He's a really good rebounder, too.”

Petcash started a few games as a sophomore last season, but it was his older brother, Andrew, now at Boston University, who held the spotlight. The younger Petcash said he enjoyed watching his brother, but he can't hide his excitement now that he has an opportunity to run the show.

“It's awesome,” Dan Petcash said. “Last year, and in years prior to that, I was always watching my brother, and he always balled out.

“Now, it's my turn and following in his footsteps. It's really great feeling getting to play in all of these games, it's really fun.”

Petcash is aware his sibling's on-court accolades might cast a shadow over his own game, but that has helped fuel the younger brother's desire to make an impact on the program.

“Andrew was always a player that other teams looked out for. It was always, ‘Oh, we're playing Petcash tonight,' ” Dan Petcash said. “Now it's, ‘We're playing little Petcash tonight.' So, yeah, it gives me a little bit of a chip on my shoulder to want to go out and do the same things Andrew did on the court.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.


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