Friday, December 14, 2012

Pregame: Bentworth at Charleroi

Matt Shetler will get this one, I'll be heading to Mt. Lebanon to check out Peters Township. Follow Matt on Twitter at @buccos12. You can follow me at @mackey_jason.

Bentworth (0-0, 2-0) at Charleroi (0-0, 0-2), 7:30 p.m.

Last game: Charleroi lost, 63-55, to Burgettstown on 12/11 ... Charleroi erased a seven-point halftime lead and led, 52-49, when Jonathan Sabo made a 3-pointer that forced overtime -- his fifth in six attempts -- with 12 seconds left. Eric Johnson had 21, Matt Indorante 11.

Bentworth beat Avella, 57-42, on 12/12 ... Cody Levine scored a game-high 23 points in only three quarters.

Up next: Charleroi plays at Beth-Center (0-0, 2-1) on Tuesday in a Section 5-AA game.

Bentworth plays at Carmichaels (0-0, 4-0) in a non-section game on Monday.

What to watch: Charleroi returns two guards and a forward with significant experience. Matt Indorante is back after averaging 10 points per game as a sophomore; Jim Diaz averaged eight points per game a season ago as a junior; and Eric Johnson, who's 6-2, put up eight points per game as a sophomore last season.

The Cougars bring back six letterman but lack height; they do, however, have plenty of quickness. They must replace two key starters in Tony Bristol (17.4 ppg) and Santino Taruinio.

Bentworth lost four starters; the Bearcats top returner is senior guard Chris Blackburn. They also bring back their sixth man, guard Cody Levine.

One of the biggest losses is Gannon Walls-Mitchell, who was a second team All-District pick and averaged 12.1 points per game.

Last year: Charleroi went 7-14 and finished next-to-last in Section 4-AA. Bentworth went 18-4 and won Section 3-A, but the Bearcats lost to Union, 88-74, in the first round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs.

Coaches: Bill Wiltz is in his 12th year at Charleroi and has made the playoffs in eight of 16 years overall.

Bob Kennedy is in his 11th season as Bentworth's coach. 

Tough to make anything out of Charleroi's winless start, with two losses against fairly good teams in Ringgold and Burgettstown.

In talking with coaches for season previews, many pointed to these two as teams that could possibly compete with California in Section 5-AA -- at least solid playoff contenders.

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