Friday, December 14, 2012

More on PT's loss to Lebo

The Peters Township boys basketball team’s locker room was a quiet place to be tonight – looks of frustration everywhere, all keenly aware of the opportunity the Indians let slip through fingers with a 48-45 loss Friday at Mt. Lebanon.

I know Mt. Lebanon is a good team, one that won WPIAL titles in 2006 and 2010, but make no mistake: This was a game Peters Township thought it could – and should – have won.

The Blue Devils are a young team, with a freshman, sophomore and junior in the starting lineup and another sophomore who came off the bench to score 10 points. Put another way: a team that was still finding itself … and thus beatable.

I asked head coach Gary Goga the clichéd question, whether this loss was made easier because it’s early and the team still has time to improve.

Goga wasn’t having any part of it.

“Losses are never easy,” Goga said. “When they become easy, I’ll quit. I take every loss hard. The kids are the same way. We just have to battle back, learn from it and get better.”

Guard Dakota Norton said the loss will serve as a bit of a wake-up call for Peters Township, which returned a lot and is expected to compete with Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair, Mt. Lebanon, Trinity and Canon-Mac for the Section 4-AAAA title.

“It’s definitely a wake-up call,” Norton said. “It's going to make us better if we work hard in practice.”

What went wrong? Well, lots of stuff, according to Goga, Norton and senior leader Gabe Pritz.

Goga counted six offensive rebounds for Mt. Lebanon on free throws.

“That’s unacceptable,” the coach said. “It can’t happen, and it did – over and over and over again. Just didn’t get it done.”

Pritz said Peters Township gave up 20 points on “stuff that we talked about at practice.” He also blamed himself for missing four of 11 free throws.

“My free throw percentage was horrendous,” Pritz said.

A tough loss, I agree. They all are. But trust me: Peters Township will be there in the end, even if it doesn't seem like it after a night like tonight.

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