Trib HSSN Boys Basketball Player of the Week: Lincoln Park’s Keeno Holmes

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Monday, February 18, 2019 | 5:44 PM


Keeno Holmes

School: Lincoln Park

Class: Senior

The Path to the Pete has been a completed march for Lincoln Park the last three years.

The Leopards lost to Aliquippa in the 2016 finals, fell to North Catholic in the 2017 title game and beat Seton LaSalle in the 2018 championships at Pitt.

The common denominator for Lincoln Park in these title game runs has been Keeno Holmes.

Now a senior, Holmes ended the regular season and began the postseason with a bang for the top seed in Class 3A boys basketball.

“Keeno assumed a leadership role last year as a junior, and he’s kept that up through this year,” Lincoln Park coach Mike Bariski said. “He’s just grown as a leader. He and Casey Oliver are our two seniors who really control the heartbeat of the team.”

Lincoln Park began the week suffering only its fourth loss in 22 regular-season games when it lost to Erie, 63-53. Despite the loss, Holmes scored 21 points.

“Erie was unbelievably athletic, but Keeno was the best athlete on the floor,” Bariski said. “That’s what stood up, his speed and athleticism.”

The WPIAL Class 3A bracket had a full 16-team playoff field, so the Leopards did not receive a first-round bye like the other 11 top seeds and went right to work Saturday in a game against Shady Side Academy.

Holmes once again led the way with 26 points as Lincoln Park jumped out to a 45-18 lead by halftime and never looked back in a 72-38 runaway win.

Bariski said the team was taking nothing for granted against the Indians.

“He knows this is his last run and doesn’t want to end prematurely. He’s extremely focused and he’s making sure everybody else is as focused as he is. Even though he scored 28 points, defensively is where he excelled, which translated to his offensive success.”

While defense is a big part of Holmes’ game, Bariski knows he is at his best when he has the basketball in his hands.

“He is so smooth in transition that sometimes he’s impossible to find and guard,” Bariski said. “He has a great first step, gets to the basket with strength but also shoots at will from the outside.”

Thirty-four point wins will not be the norm for Lincoln Park as it hopes to pull off a double golden postseason with district and state titles.

“Tradition and history is big for our guys,” Bariski said. “We have played in a lot of big games over the years, and the experience that each of these guys has helps time and time again. Everybody gives us their best game so we have to be ready game in and game out.”

Honorable mention

Logan English, South Side

What a weekend for South Side basketball. On Friday, the Rams girls program won its first playoff game in 15 years. On Saturday, the boys claimed their first basketball postseason win ever. Logan English played a big part as he scored a game-high 26 points, with 18 of those points coming in the second half as South Side eliminated Brentwood, 64-59, in a Class 2A first-round contest. The Rams get their first taste of the quarterfinals on Friday against Winchester Thurston.

Geoff Helm, Greensburg Central Catholic

Greensburg Central Catholic ended the regular season last week by beating Charleroi, 64-56, with Geoff Helm leading the way with 27 points. Wash, rinse and repeat for the Centurions to start their postseason on Friday with the senior leading the way in another win. Helm had 29 points for GCC in a 62-35 rout of Geibel Catholic in a Class A first-round victory that moved the Centurions into the quarterfinals against No. 2 Cornell.

Seth Pinkerton, Union

Union reached the finals of the WPIAL Class A boys basketball tournament a year ago and got off to a good start to the 2019 postseason Friday. Senior Seth Pinkerton had success driving to the basket and hitting from the perimeter in scoring 26 points as the Scotties outscored Clairton, 29-18, in the third quarter after trailing by three at the half in a 76-69 first-round win. Union advanced into the quarterfinals against a Nazareth Prep team that beat the Scotties twice in the regular season.

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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