Trib HSSN boys basketball team of the week for Feb. 19, 2024

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Monday, February 19, 2024 | 11:26 PM


Trib HSSN boys basketball team of the week: Woodland Hills Wolverines

CoachL Jared Zych (first season)

Record: 5-5 in Section 2-5A, 9-13 overall

#Earned: The Wolverines finished in fourth place in Section 2-5A behind Shaler, Fox Chapel and Penn Hills. They did not bring a lot of momentum into the postseason, having lost two straight and three of their last four regular season games. Under new coach Jared Zych, Woody High started slow, losing eight of its first 11 contests, but did go 6-5 the rest of the way. Playing in the 5A preliminary round game at Trinity this past Friday, Woodland Hills started strong, outscoring the Hillers in the opening quarter, 16-9. Leading by eight points after three quarters, Woodland Hills outscored Trinty 21-7 in the final quarter to cruise to an impressive postseason road win, 64-42. The win earned them the No. 16 seed and a date at top-seeded Moon Monday.

Scoring stars: As they have most of this season, the Wolverines used a balanced attack in the victory at Trinity with four players scoring in double-digit points. Senior Lamar Williams and junior Amere Brown each scored 14 points to lead the way for Woodland Hills. Sophomore Landon Akins scored 13 points and senior Jayden Hill added 11 points for the winning Wolverines. Zych also pointed out the contributions of another sophomore, Scoop Smith, who was the football team’s leading rusher and leading scorer this past season.

Last year: Like this season, Woodland Hills split its 10 section games, finishing tied for third place with Fox Chapel in 2023, two games behind Shaler and four behind eventual 5A champion Penn Hills. The Wolverines headed into the postseason as the No. 13 seed in Class 5A. Woody High lost at No. 4 Gateway, 55-40 in the first round, finishing with an overall record of 14-9.

Remember when: Woodland Hills is known more for its past successes in football rather than boys basketball, but the victory Friday was the first playoff win for the program since 2018. The 2017 and 2018 boys basketball seasons were two of the most successful in school history. Led by Keandre Bowles and Amante Britt, two 2018 graduates, the Wolverines defeated Mt. Lebanon and Fox Chapel in the 2017 WPIAL playoffs before falling to Butler in the district semifinals. The following season, Woody High won 20 games and after beating Canon-McMillan, again reached the WPIAL final four but lost to Pine-Richland. Both years, the Wolverines’ season ended with state playoff losses to State College.

2024 Trib HSSN Boys Basketball Teams of the Week

Week 6 – Beaver Bobcats

Week 5 – Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils

Week 4 – South Allegheny Gladiators

Week 3 – Central Catholic Vikings

Week 2 – Gateway Gators

Week 1 – Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions

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