Similiarities exist between PIAA basketball opponents Monessen, Bishop Carroll

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Monday, March 11, 2019 | 7:24 PM


It will be a “Dog Day Afternoon” tonight at Greensburg Salem as Monessen takes on District 6 runner-up Bishop Carroll in a PIAA Class A second-round game.

The Greyhounds (16-9) and Huskies (20-5) have plenty of tradition in the state playoffs, with both having made deeps runs in the past. In fact, the Huskies reached the semifinals last season, losing to eventual state champ Kennedy Catholic, 77-30.

This season, Bishop Carroll lost in the District 6 title game to undefeated Juniata Valley, 55-45.

Monessen coach Dan Bosnic said when he looks at the Huskies on tape, he sees a team that plays similar to his.

“They like to play fast, bring the pressure and have good outside shooters,” Bosnic said. “In that regard, we are somewhat similar. But there are plenty of differences, as well.”

Bishop Carroll is led by 5-foot-10 junior Tristan Mcdannell (19 ppg), 6-5 junior Nolan Burk (12.1), 5-10 senior Carson Ertter and 6-3 junior Scott Semelsberger.

Rounding out the lineup is 5-7 senior Alex Karlheim (7.1).

The Huskies defeated North Clarion, 68-58, in the first round of the states as Mcdannell scored 22 points, Ertter 15 and Karlheim 11.

“They are a good team,” Bosnic said. “They play well together, they hustle. We’re going to have to bring our best, no question about that.”

The Greyhounds are coming off a 75-54 win over Jamestown in the first round. It was a good start for a team that has hopes of making a deep run in the tournament, Bosnic said.

“I thought we played well, and what really pleased me was we had a lot of players contribute in key roles for us,” Bosnic said. “I think in the end, we kind of wore them down, and that’s the kind of effort we are going to need (Tuesday).

“We are going to have to handle the ball with their pressure, get in their way and challenge their outside shots and rebound the basketball. Rebounding will be key on both ends as we have to limit them to one chance, and we will need multiple chances on our end when we miss.”

The Greyhounds have a size advantage as freshman standout Devin Whitlock is the only Monessen starter under 6-2, but Bosnic said the Huskies have size on the bench that coach Cosie Aliquo can call upon.

“They have the two big kids who start, but they have a couple other nice-sized kids they bring off the bench,” Bosnic said. “Still, their three guards will see the majority of the minutes.”

The 5-7 Whitlock leads Monessen in scoring at 18 ppg, followed by 6-4 Elijahwa Payne (13), 6-2 Dishon Howell (10) and 6-2 Darnel Howell (10). Other key players for the Greyhounds include 6-3 Marquell Smith, 5-8 Jalen Brice and 6-2 DaWayne Howell.

After making a long trek to Edinboro for the first-round game, Bosnic admitted he was pleasantly surprised to find out the next game would be played in Greensburg.

“We’ve gone from one end to the other,” he said with a smile. “I didn’t expect to have the game this close to Monessen, but I’m certainly hoping our fans will take advantage of the location and show up and support the kids.”

Speaking of those kids, Bosnic said the players aren’t thinking of seeing the season end.

“They have kept their focus through the entire season and I don’t sense anything different now,” Bosnic said. “They want to keep playing. They want to win.”

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