Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Future is bright for Wash High basketball

Nate Swart and DeQuay Isbell 
Wash High’s season ended on Wednesday night with a 75-65 loss to Summit Academy at West Allegheny High School.

I received shocking news prior to the game that senior guard Dupree Jenkins would not play because of academic issues. It was a huge loss for the Prexies, but more importantly, Jenkins. You could see how badly he wanted the chance to play and I don’t care what team you root for, it’s never a good situation when you see a teenager forced to watch his teammates compete in a playoff game.

Jenkins was unable to play in his final game, which ended in a dramatic defeat. The chip on senior Quorteze Levy’s shoulder got bigger and it showed in his play. He was relentless on the boards and while the shots did not fall the way he had hoped, he left it all out on the court.

The Prexies finished their season with a 17-7 record, which tied for most wins in Washington County with Chartiers-Houston, and the future is extremely bright for Wash High. Once again, a senior class departs for the program and another waive of talent is prepared to fill the void.

Junior DeQuay Isbell was the most improved player for Wash High with his post play becoming more polished and his offensive game steadily improving. At the beginning of the year, I noticed Isbell was too deep in the paint; making it difficult for him to use his 6-2 frame to grab rebounds. Now, his positioning is precise and his rebounding ability keeps getting better.

Sophomore Nate Swart was Wash High’s steady offensive presence all season long. His size allows him to match up against opposing forwards while his outside shooting makes him a nightmare to guard for an inside player.  People rave of his jump shot and for good reason. Like Isbell, it will be exciting to see the strides Swart makes next season.

Junior Jon Spina has proven to be a solid point guard for Wash High. He made several terrific passes tonight and as the quarterback of the Prexies’ football team, is accustomed to assuming a leadership role. That will help next season when the team is without Levy and Jenkins, who were leaders in their own right.

How about Matt Popeck? The freshman hit two huge three-pointers in the second half tonight when he came off the bench. He also showed tremendous skills in other areas of his game, which bodes well for Wash High.

The talent keeps flowing at Wash High and to no surprise. The school has produced top-notch athletes for decades and once again, look for that reputation to become reality on the basketball court next year.

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