Southmoreland boys finding different ways to win

Thursday, December 22, 2022 | 11:01 AM

The Southmoreland boys basketball team put up 83 points in one game and 44 in another and won both games.

So what does that say about the Scotties, who had their best start since 2014-15?

“That’s a sign of a good team,” coach Frank Muccino said. “We want to be able to play (multiple) ways. We’re still working on some things and it’s a process, but we’re getting there.”

The Scotties (4-1) scored 75 points in their first two games — wins over Frazier and Greensburg Salem — before outlasting Derry, 83-80.

Then came a 44-36 win at Yough in which the speed went from 110 mph to a school crossing zone.

They were tripped up by rival Mt. Pleasant, 55-53, in a game that saw star junior guard Ty Keffer go down with an ankle injury in the second quarter.

The Scotties have spread the floor, fired up 3-pointers and triggered fast breaks with pressure. But they also have played a 2-3 zone.

“Yeah, we can score, but we’re more of a defensive team,” Keffer said. “We’re learning how to win games different ways. Freshman year was bad. Last year, we didn’t work as hard as we should have. This year, we’re ready and we want it.”

Keffer, who had 45 points and six 3-pointers against Derry, said the Scotties are willing to be patient when needed.

He has had help from a supporting cast that includes junior Ronnie Collins, seniors Kelvin Lin and Elijah Myers, junior Kadin Keefer and freshman Noah Felentzer, among others.

“We’re OK with grinding it out defensively if we need to,” Muccino said. “Defense travels with you. Offense doesn’t always do the same.”

Junior Wyatt Richter has missed time with an ankle injury, which prompted the team to scale back the pace some.

“Trust me, I’d love to go into the 80s every game,” Muccino said. “But we need to defend. I am proud of our kids for being able to tough it out. They play for each other. (Against Yough), we had to grind it out. It wasn’t our best, but we got the win against a good team.”

Southmoreland has seen fourth-quarter leads dwindle and teams have managed to hang around, creating nervous moments.

“We have some freshmen and sophomores out there who are learning how to play (at the varsity level),” Muccino said. “We’re trying to get them more comfortable in situations rather than playing with a hot potato.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .


More High School Basketball

Suspended Shady Side Academy coach Jonna Burke files lawsuit against PIAA
Westmoreland County Senior Spotlight: Greensburg Salem’s Ashlan Price
Hampton point guard Meghan Murray commits to Kent State
Westmoreland high school notebook: Znavor takes over Yough girls basketball team
Kiski Area’s Johns excited to commit to Shippensburg for basketball