Trib HSSN boys basketball player of the week: Week ending Feb. 15, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020 | 11:35 PM

It was a big week for the Shenango boys basketball team. It began with a stunning win to end the regular season, then concluded with a big victory to open the postseason.

Leading the way was Colin McQuiston, as the senior scored 51 points in wins over Mars and California.

“He has gotten stronger and quicker since last year,” Shenango coach and Colin’s father, Bob McQuiston, said. “His scoring is about the same, but his assists have almost doubled. He went from averaging four assists a game to assists a game. I think his defense has gotten better as well.”

The Wildcats defeated two-time defending Class 5A champion Mars, 54-52, to conclude the regular season on Monday. McQuiston led the way with 25 points.

“The key to his performance was his confidence in himself,” Bob McQuiston said. “He is shooting the ball really well right now, but he is taking good shots. He is letting the game come to him and not forcing shots.

“I think the win was a huge boost heading into the playoffs. Mars is a 5A perennial team. They are back-to-back WPIAL champs with one of the best players in the WPIAL in Michael Carmody.”

Shenango was the No. 6 seed in the Class 2A playoffs and drew California and high-scoring senior forward Malik Ramsey. Ramsey had a game-high 34 points, but the Trojans were held to 51 points in a 20-point loss to the Wildcats.

Coach McQuiston believes his son’s all-around game with 26 points, 10 assists and five steals was a big part of his team’s success in their postseason opener.

“I thought he did a very good job of controlling the pace of the game. He distributed the ball to the open guys as well as scored when he had the opportunity,” he said. “I think the strength of his game is his court sense. He knows when to shoot it, he knows who to distribute the ball to and when to give it to them, as well as his ability to handle pressure. I think one of his biggest strengths is his ability to get to the rim.”

Shenango has now won seven of eight games and is 18-5 overall heading into a quarterfinals game Friday against No. 3 Jeannette.

“Jeannette is a very well-coached team,” McQuiston said. “Coach Batts always has those guys playing at a high level. From what we have seen so far, they are very athletic and run the floor. They get after it on the defensive end and get to the rim as well as shoot the three well.

“We have our work cut out for us.”

Honorable mention:

Isaac DeGregorio, North Catholic

DeGregorio, a senior guard, and his North Catholic team enjoyed a big week, but that has become standard fare this season. DeGregorio scored 28 points Monday as the Trojans edged 6A power Pine-Richland, 68-67, in the regular-season finale, then he scored a game-high 16 points in a balanced attack as No. 2 North Catholic steamrolled Shady Side Academy, 86-36, in a 3A playoff opener Friday.

Mark Phillips, Carlynton

The cardiac Cougars didn’t have any magic for the regular-season finale Monday, but they did what they do with another heart-stopping victory in their postseason opener Friday. Senior Mark Phillips led the way in both games for Carlynton, scoring 16 points in a regular-season finale loss to Sto-Rox, then scored 18 points in a 66-60 overtime triumph over Charleroi in a 3A first-round playoff dandy.

Matt Stanley, Union

Union won a pair of tight games to close out the regular season and open the postseason last week. Freshman Matt Stanley led the way in both, scoring 22 points in a regular-season-ending win over Riverside on Monday, then he had a game-high 13 points Saturday as the Scotties defeated Monessen, 46-41, in a Class A postseason opener.

Previous Trib HSSN Players of the Week:

Week 8 – Riley Comforti, Southmoreland

Week 7 – Rodney Gallagher, Laurel Highlands

Week 6 – Dylan Cook, Leechburg

Week 5 – Vinny Cugini, Aquinas Academy

Week 4 – Frank Stumpo, Keystone Oaks

Week 3 – Adou Thiero, Quaker Valley

Week 2 – Camden Polak, Steel Valley

Week 1 – Jake Hoffman, Mt. Lebanon

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