Moose playing big for Neshannock
By Corey J. Corbin
New Castle News
Some basketball players can put a lot of points on the scoreboard.
Others are good defenders or ballhandlers. Others, still, rebound and block shots.
Neshannock High’s Ethan Moose provided proof last weekend that he’s equally adept at scoring as he is handing out assists or picking off opponents’ passes.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore guard contributed 15 points, seven steals, seven assists and three rebounds in the Lancers’ 93-62 season-opening win over East Allegheny at the Neshannock Tipoff Tournament, while adding 11 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists against Mercyhurst Prep in the tourney-clinching 75-54 victory.
The performance earned him Lawrence County Athlete of the Week honors, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.
“That’s a complete box score,” Neshannock coach John Corey said. “That’s a complete contribution offensively and defensively. That’s what sticks out about Ethan. He can do it all — steals, assists, blocked shots and scoring. Overall, he’s very skilled.
“He just wants to win. He isn’t concerned so much with points and stuff like that. Ethan wants to win and whatever his team needs him to do, that’s what he’s going to do. That’s evidenced by his complete box score from this weekend.”
Moose said playing in an explosive offense with senior guards Ernie Burkes and Matt McKinney makes life on the court easier for him.
“Ernie and McKinney are great shooters and all-around basketball players,” Moose said. “Ernie is so fast and he’s always drawing double teams. He’s always getting a box-and-one. McKinney can shoot and he’s always got someone on him, so there’s always less help. Our big men are really solid and they can post up down low, so no one really focuses on me. That takes the pressure off me and I can focus on my game.”
With experienced players all around him, Moose can step on the floor and just play.
“It helps him relax a little bit,” Corey said. “With as good of a point guard as Ernie Burkes is and having a great off-guard in Matt McKinney, the pressure isn’t all on him as a sophomore. If it was, you’d maybe start to see more mistakes, but with him being on the floor with two other very good guards diverts some of that responsibility. We’re starting to evolve to the point where everyone can just relax, play and feed off one another.”
Moose’s strong suits seem to gel perfectly with the 3-point shooting Burkes and McKinney and big men Ty Haswell, Jimmy Medure and Matt Seltzer.
“I’m a pretty good slasher,” he said. “I’m working on my jump shot. It’s getting better. It’s not as good as it can be. My mid-range jumper is pretty decent. Most of the time, I try to get to the hoop, finish and hopefully, get fouled.”
Moose uses his long arms to create havoc on defense.
“The coaches told me to be aggressive,” Moose said. “Defense and rebounding are what I’m the best at. It’s my length. I’ve always had longer arms than everyone else. I can reach around and strip them. I can use my length to jump higher than people to get rebounds.”
Corey has been impressed with his sophomore’s work ethic.
“He’s usually one of the last kids to leave the gym,” he said. “He’s always working at the game. Ethan definitely loves this game of basketball. It’s good to see all his work — whether it’s here in the gym with us, in AAU ball or working out at the Y Zone — is coming to fruition. More importantly, it’s great for our team. Our team is starting to see what Ethan Moose is capable of doing and how he can help our team win. It’s great for us.
“He’s a basketball junkie. Basketball is the only sport he plays. He loves the game and he puts a ton of time in. It shows. It’s always good from a coaching standpoint when a kid shows that much dedication to a sport and the game that he starts to see some success.”
THE ETHAN MOOSE FILE
PARENTS: Ron and Jane Moose.
KNOWN FOR: Posting 15 points, seven steals, seven assists and three rebounds in the Lancers’ 93-62 season-opening victory over East Allegheny, while adding 11 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists in the tourney-clinching 75-54 win over Mercyhurst Prep.
FAVORITE PRO PLAYER AND WHY: Kevin Durant. “He’s such a good shooter and scorer. He’s becoming a better passer and all-around player like LeBron (James). He’s getting better and better each year.”
FAVORITE PRO TEAM AND WHY: Oklahoma City Thunder. “They’re so athletic. They create chaos on the court.”
FUTURE PLANS: “I’d definitely like to go to a four-year college. Other than that, I’m not sure, yet. I’m trying to get a scholarship for basketball.”