Boys Basketball: Central Valley's landmark season comes to a close

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Craig Meyer's feature on the Central Valley boys basketball team.

"With his team a game away from playing for the state championship, Brandon Ambrose had already seen what the Central Valley boys' basketball program could accomplish.

But on Monday, walking into the school's gym, he saw the sort of impact that his team has made this season, the kind that perhaps even he hadn't anticipated.

Ambrose was doing a workout with a group of seventh, eighth and ninth graders getting ready for AAU ball and was surprised to see about 30 of them in the gym. To him, that unusually large turnout happened for a reason.

"That says a lot about the way they're inspired by what the older kids are doing," Ambrose said. "Typically, you don't have that type of attendance in the offseason and already, you've got young kids ready to play because they watch these guys. They want to be a part of it and hope that someday, that might be them.""



Boys Basketball: Central Valley getting the job done late

Written by staff reports on .

Tonight, Central Valley takes on Susquehanna Township at Altoona in the PIAA Class AAA semifinal and the Warriors have gotten there the old-fashioned way – they've earned it. In both games last week, Central Valley came back from big first half deficits to win.

Against Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday, the Warriors trailed by nine in the first half and seven in the second to win 61-51 and that was the easy game. Friday against Farrell, Central Valley trailed by 16 at the half before coming back to win, 69-62.

Susquehanna is more of an unknown for Central Valley than any opponent since the season opener against Damascus (MD), so it may be a good time to stop spotting their opponents points. The Warriors' opponents, though, probably has more of a problem preparing for them.


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.


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."


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

Written by staff reports on .

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.