Jon's Blog
Some Christmas gifts for local hoop teams
Dec 24, 2007
Well, it’s Christmas already.

Seems like just yesterday football camp was starting, but all of a sudden we’re a third of the way through basketball season.

Time flies, doesn’t it?

So this week, I’ve gone shopping for presents for the basketball teams in Lawrence County.

Here’s my list:

New Castle Boys — A pulse.

New Castle girls — Sunglasses. Their future is very, very bright.

Mohawk boys — Early Section MVP talk for Matt Lorello. (Cory Nesbitt isn’t far behind.)

Mohawk girls — A new schedule maker.

Neshannock boys — Tony Kirkwood’s health. If he returns to last year’s form, this can be the surprise team for the rest of the year.

Neshannock girls — A phone. It’s not too late to coax Kacey Gibson out of retirement.

Laurel boys — A win. They deserve it.

Laurel girls — A billboard for Lindsey Sauers. She’s a good player who nobody ever talks about.

Union boys — Nothing. They are doing great.

Union girls — Some points.

Wilmington girls — Cold medicine. The team is beat up.

Wilmington boys — For people to notice that Shane Wagner is just as good in basketball.

Ellwood City boys — Improvement.

Ellwood City girls — More Washingtons.

Shenango boys — For Rich Gaston to develop a short hook shot. He’d average 25 points per game.

Shenango girls — For Carly Senko to continue to develop into the star she will eventually become.


One of the crowds earlier this year referred to someone playing varsity as a “JV All-Star.”

So, here are my JV All-Stars

1. Dave McCowin, Shenango

2. Nick Klein, New Castle

3. Brandon Doran, Neshannock

4. Jordan Seager, Mohawk

5. LaShauna Brothers, New Castle


Isn’t it funny that the people who think they know the most are really the dumbest in the room?

I was sitting next to a WPIAL referee observer last week at New Castle when a gentlemen in a gray hat, about six rows behind us, says the following after the Lady ’Canes were called for a foul.

(A reminder: This is less than one minute into the game.)

GUY: “Aww, call it both ways! Let the kids play!”

I looked at the observer, he looked back, and we had to hear this guy the rest of the game.

On a side note, not many people go to the New Castle girls games, but anyone who goes knows the guy that sits opposite the visiting bench.

If the Cleveland Browns had a human mascot, he would be the guy.

And he does this when New Castle is winning in the fourth quarter: “It’s all over! It’s all over! It’s all over! It’s all over! It’s all over! It’s all over!”

I wonder if he gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror and thinks, “Hey, I’m going to heckle some high school girls today.”


Back to the topic at hand — ref bashing.

I was sitting next to a Shenango girls fan at Neshannock, where both teams had equal amounts of fouls and the game was being called rather loose.

GUY: “C’mon, girls, you know you’re playing eight-on-one. This always happens up here (Neshannock). Those refs are (expletive) cheaters.”

He complained about every call. EVERY CALL.

I overheard him explaining a rule to his female companion. He was totally wrong.

Wonder if he ever played basketball.

Probably not.


E-mail me at to complain, harass, compliment or just talk about high school hoops.

I will use your question or comment on here the week after I get it.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy Kwanza. Happy Hanukkah. Feliz Navidad.
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