Trib HSSN Boys Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 3, 2022

Monday, January 3, 2022 | 6:52 PM

Last year in 13 games for Propel Braddock Hills, Ben Mayhew scored a total of 77 points.

Last week in the two games at the Bentworth Holiday Tournament, Mayhew matched that total with 77 points as the Lions split two games against Bentworth and Waynesburg.

“Ben is constantly in the gym with his dad as well as working on his game to improve his weaknesses,” Propel Braddock Hills coach Damien Cornish said. “He has embraced the role of being the go-to scorer for us; however, he is very good at getting his teammates involved and distributing the ball when he needs to. He had the talent and ability last year, but this year he has the confidence and understanding of how to best utilize his skills.”

Mayhew began last week with a monster 44-point performance as the Lions knocked off the host Bearcats, 76-52.

“The performance was huge for us,” Cornish said. “There came a point where he was on fire and within our offense, we had to ride that wave. He can score in so many ways, so there wasn’t much that could be done to slow him down in that game. It gave him the confidence to be that scorer we knew he could be.”

In the tournament championship game, Mayhew scored 33 of his team’s 57 points in a loss to Waynesburg.

“Ben decided to be more aggressive attacking the basket rather than shooting 3s, which he did well against Bentworth,” Cornish said. “He took on the challenge of going against bigger defenders and wanted to prove he could score inside as well as outside.”

At 6-foot-4, Mayhew is working hard to improve his game on the blocks to add to his ability to score from the perimeter.

“To be honest, I think he still isn’t done growing,” Cornish said. “With his size and ability to handle the ball a lot for us, but also play in the front court when needed, gives us the versatility needed to make adjustments throughout games. It’s a luxury to have a young man with his size, skill and high basketball IQ.”

Now in his second year as coach of the Lions, Cornish knew what his star junior would bring to the table before this season began.

“My expectations for Ben were to take a step forward and be that reliable scorer for us that going into a game,” Cornish said. “I knew and could count on a certain amount of points from him every game.”

Cornish also realized the intangibles Mayhew brings every time he hits the floor would be big for Propel Braddock Hills.

“Leadership is first,” Cornish said. “He’s been a captain since last season, and it’s something he does not take lightly. As far as his game, his biggest strength is his basketball IQ. He knows where everyone should be on offense and defense. He tries to understand how an offensive set works thoroughly and also wants to know the responsibilities of all five positions on defense so that he can play there when called upon.”

The Lions have only won two of their first eight games, but all have been nonsection contests. PBH will open its tough Section 3-2A schedule Tuesday with a visit to Jeannette before hosting Greensburg Central Catholic on Friday.

“Our focus with section play coming up is on doing the three fundamentals we didn’t do well last year in section play, which is taking care of the ball, rebounding and making our layups and free throws,” Cornish said. “When we play our game and do the basics well, we will compete in every game.”

2022 Trib HSSN Players of the Week

Week 1 – Makhai Valentine, Steel Valley


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