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Boys Basketball: Central Valley faces another challenge

Written by staff reports on .

It's not at all uncommon for a WPIAL champion to falter in the first round of the playoffs – the Penn-Trafford girls can attest to that. After playing in front of a packed house at a college setting, playing at a high school a week later doesn't always get the juices flowing as quickly.

Lincoln Park, in fact, trailed in the first quarter before blowing Johnsonburg away and Central Valley had a similar start. After one quarter, Central Valley was tied with Mars 16-16 and led only 29-27 at intermission.

Central Valley eventually took control in the second half with its senior leadership – seniors Mike Sims and Matt Kline led the way with 17 points apiece.

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Boys Basketball: Central Valley was well prepared to win WPIAL title

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Tri-State Sports & News Service writer John D'Abruzzo profiles the Central Valley boys basketball team. Click here to read his story.

2014 0306 CentralValley BBasketball(Photo: Central Valley teammates show off their gold medals and hoist the WPIAL championship trophy after defeating Chartiers Vallet in double overtime last Friday at Palumbo Center. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"Entering the WPIAL basketball playoffs, Brandon Ambrose had one last situation he wanted his Central Valley boys team to practice before facing West Mifflin in the first round.

"We used that last 10 minutes practicing winning at Palumbo Center," Ambrose said. "This is a confident group and they have felt they would win every game this season. All year, people had been telling them that this year was their destiny, it was their time and they were supposed to win.

"I wanted them to be prepared, know they were supposed to be there and know they were supposed to win [a Class AAA title]."

Ambrose's anticipation paid off."

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Boys Basketball: West Feature Athlete - Central Valley's Jacob St. George

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Name: Jacob St. George
High School: Central Valley
Grade: 12
Sport: Basketball

Background info: The leading scorer for Central Valley in its WPIAL championship win wasn't on the floor when the final second ticked off the Warriors' 70-69 win. Jacob St. George and his 17 points were on the bench, joining guards John George and Michael Sims after all three fouled out. St. George had done enough already, though, as he was playing just his second game back without a brace on his elbow. He had been the second leading scorer in the regular season, averaging 10.2 points per game, but is probably a better defensive player.

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Boys Basketball: Memory of playoff loss fires Central Valley

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Tri-State Sports & News Service writer John D'Abruzzo profiles the Central Valley boys basketball team. Click here to read his story.

"Last year's first-round WPIAL playoff loss wasn't easily forgotten by the members of the Central Valley High School boys basketball team.

Soon after winning a Section 2-AAA championship, the Warriors suffered a five-point loss against Kittanning in the first round and quickly saw its season come to an end.

"No doubt, they were hurt after that loss," Central Valley coach Brandon Ambrose said. "We played well [all season], but losing that game surprised and hurt.

"The boys focused on it during the offseason and worked on critical situations and worked to correct the mistakes we made in that game.""

 

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Boys Basketball: West Feature Athlete - Central Valley's Michael Sims

Written by staff reports on .

Name: Michael Sims
High School: Central Valley
Grade: 12
Sport: Basketball

Background info: As the senior point guard on one of the highest regarded teams in WPIAL Class AAA, Michael Sims has a lot of responsibility and he has jumped at the challenge. He doesn't score much – just about nine points a game – because he doesn't need to. But when game circumstances demand he score, he does. In a game against second-place Blackhawk, the Warriors had just 18 points at halftime so Sims scored 11 in the third quarter and had an assist on Central Valley's other basket. With a comfortable lead, he didn't score in the final frame.