Quaker Valley basketball coach Mike Mastroianni chasing win No. 500

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Friday, December 6, 2019 | 4:37 PM


During his time at Quaker Valley, boys basketball coach Mike Mastroianni has built a culture that has allowed the program to reach new heights of success.

In the past three years, the Quakers have played in three WPIAL Class 4A title games, made a run to the PIAA semifinals twice and produced an overall record of 72-11.

Mastroianni has been around the Quaker Valley program for longer than the past three years, but its recent success is just an example of the impact that he’s had.

In fact, he’s had enough of an impact that in the 28th year of his head coaching career, Mastroianni is approaching career win No. 500. Entering this season, the longtime Quaker Valley coach has an overall record of 498-205 and a .708 win-percentage.

Mastroianni said he didn’t get into coaching to chase numbers; he just wanted to have an impact on his players.

“Basketball is a connection I have with players that gives me an opportunity to be a life coach for them,” Mastroianni said. “It’s a passion for the sport I still have, and they are young guys that have a passion and love for the sport. The connection is basketball, to teach life lessons for them.”

That connection gives him the opportunity to help players through a sport he loves and fulfill a passion he’s had since he was a college student.

“It’s just been a passion and I’ve been fortunate enough to coach this long, and I still enjoy it as much as I did when I first started,” Mastroianni said. “It’s really a number, it’s not anything I’ve put a whole lot of thought into, and maybe it just means I’ve been doing for quite a while.”

In 1998, Mastroianni hit the century mark with a 20-point win over Avonworth. Eight years later, he got No. 200. Since then, it’s been about a four or five-year gap between 100-mark wins.

He got No. 400 on Jan 30, 2015 against South Side. So, when will No. 500 come?

Well, the Quakers start their season with the Lincoln Park Hall of Fame tournament at Geneva College on Saturday. Then, they are on the road for two games at Albert Gallatin and Bishop Canevin before their first home game of the season against Beaver on Dec. 17.

With the team Mastroianni has, that milestone marker will assuredly come in the first part of the season because despite the loss of big time scorers like Ryan Stowers (22.8 ppg) and Danny Conlan (16.7 ppg), the Quakers still return a plethora of talent this season.

“Our make-up will be different, our approach will be different, but that’s what makes it fun,” Mastroianni said. “We still have a lot of guys that were in the program that were on varsity. We’ll definitely be a little younger, it will definitely be a challenge, we’ll have to play different, but we’re definitely excited.”

A senior class of K.C. Johns, Jonathan Weir, Nathan Blackmer and John Auth provides stability across the roster. The Quakers will also have a few underclassmen, such as sophomores Adou Thiero, Jack Gardinier and Markus Frank, who will provide youth and talent to build for the future.

But the Quakers’ roster also gives them an opportunity to do something they’ve always done.

Run.

“We always want to do that, we always want to create that,” Mastroianni said. “To be honest, we are probably built for that. We have three guards that could really play point at any time. So we definitely want to continue to play that way when the opportunity presents itself.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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