Quaker Valley boys basketball wraps up successful summer
By: Joe Sager
Friday, July 6, 2018 | 11:00 PM
The momentum continues for Quaker Valley's boys basketball team.
Coming off a 26-2 season that included consecutive appearances in the WPIAL Class 4A championship game and PIAA semifinals, the Quakers completed a busy summer of work. It culminated in an appearance in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Summer League championship game.
While Quaker Valley fell to Allderdice, 46-45, for the big school title at Montour High School, veteran coach Mike Mastroianni was pleased with what he saw from his troops.
“Competitiveness against high-level teams is what we were trying to get accomplished through the summer, and I think we did that,” he said. “We had really good success, in terms of wins and losses, but the level we were playing against was more important than the outcome. But having some quality wins is good sign, moving forward.”
Quaker Valley finished first in regular season play at Montour from a group that included Pine-Richland, Lincoln Park, West Allegheny, Aliquippa, Moon and Montour.
“That was one of the most competitive groups in the entire league,” Mastroianni said.
The Quakers received a playoff bye, then beat Canon-McMillan, Shaler and Moon to reach the championship. Allderdice pulled out the one-point win over Quaker Valley to finish with an 11-0 record.
“I am happy with how things are going. Our team bonding and playing for each other, and all those things that are very important to having a successful team are at a very good place, especially for the offseason,” Mastroianni said. “We got a chance to establish some roles. Everyone has a little better understanding of their fit, though those things can always change.”
The Quakers graduated three key seniors from last year's squad in Ricky Guss, Coletrane Washington and Alex Skowron. Ryan Stowers and Danny Conlan, who missed the championship game against Allderdice, are the team's two returning starters. They are part of a large senior group, which has a 73-13 record over the past three seasons.
“The rising seniors are very competitive and have an outstanding work ethic. They have been in the program for years and have been part of some pretty good teams,” Mastroianni said. “They work really hard and are very competitive as a group, but they play together as one. We'll have a bigger senior class this year, and we'll be counting on them.”
Quinn Hill, who will be a senior in the fall, is back on the court and having an impact for the Quakers. He was expected to be a contributor last winter, but injuries kept him sidelined.
“He got hurt during football season and missed the entire year for basketball. He's actually missed two of his three years of basketball with injuries, but he has recovered now and is ready to go. He's had a really good summer,” Mastroianni said.
Seniors Kyle Wolf, Jackson Zernich and Christian Johnston join Hill and junior K.C. Johns and sophomore Jordan Coury as players expected to see bigger roles this season.
“The seniors have a great work ethic, and it matches their competitiveness. The last three years, they have been on some really successful teams, and they understand what it takes,” Mastroianni said. “We have some younger guys who haven't played as much who have had really good summers, too. They've been in the program and have an understanding, too. We have a really big freshman class, which is nice.”
In the spring, Quaker Valley participated in an undergrad tournament at Bethel Park and went to Robert Morris for a shootout, as well. The Quakers will take a break in July and return to work in August.
“I am real pleased with everything,” Mastroianni said. “The turnout was good this summer. We have a lot of guys who continue to work on their games and who are committed to the program.”
Joe Sager is a freelance writer.
Tags: Quaker Valley