Baseball: Monessen pulls stunner, has playoff berth in sight

Written by Brad Everett on .

When most think of Monessen athletics, the highly-successful boys basketball program likely comes to mind first. If not, it's probably football.

In other words, Monessen and baseball aren't typically on the tips of peoples' tongues.

Lo and behold, it was in fact the Monessen baseball team that generated some buzz last week.

In one of the most surprising results of the WPIAL baseball season, Monessen went on the road and upset Greensburg Central Catholic, 7-1, last Monday. To say Greensburg Central Catholic was a heavy favorite would be an understatement. The Centurions had not lost a Section 3 game, were ranked No. 2 in Class 1A, and had won their last three games against Monessen by scores of 15-0, 16-0 and 22-1.


Boys Basketball: Monessen wins eighth WPIAL title

Written by Brad Everett on .

Monessen was the WPIAL's No. 1 ranked team in Class 1A in the preseason and earned the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL playoffs.

The Greyhounds finished the WPIAL season No 1, as well.

Monessen was the only team from Sports Town's South coverage area to win a WPIAL championship. The only one to make it to the final, as well. The Greyhounds make the most of their opportunity, beating Imani Christian, 74-59, last Thursday to claim its eighth WPIAL championship. They also won titles in 1919, 1923, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2011 and 2015. It was the sixth title for coach Joe Salvino.

Monessen has two terrific senior guards and both came up with excellent performances against Imani Christian, the No. 3 seed which was appearing in the title game for the first time. Justice Rice continued his sizzling postseason by scoring 30 points and Jaden Altomore added 17. Rice averaged 30 points in three WPIAL playoff games.


Boys Basketball: Monessen putting all the pieces together

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles the Monessen boys basketball team.

2017 0210 Monessen BBasketball(Photo: Monessen's Justice Rice, right, joined the 1,000-point club this season. Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

"Putting together a puzzle starts with two pieces that need to fit together seamlessly. Joe Salvino and the playoffs are just that.

Salvino is in his 33rd season as the coach of the Monessen boys basketball team. Throughout his tenure, he has witnessed many star players come and go, but there is one thing that has never changed — he has never missed the playoffs.

"Monessen is a good basketball school and takes a lot of pride in winning," Salvino said. "Monessen is the No. 1 school in playoff appearances. That is an accomplishment."

The No. 1 Greyhounds (15-6, 10-0) will once again be the team to beat in the WPIAL Class 1A playoffs. They will be entering the playoffs as champions of Section 2 after earning a 90-52 win against No. 4 Clairton (14-5, 8-2) on Tuesday."


Boys Basketball: Monessen can extend section win streak to 40 games tonight

Written by Brad Everett on .

Monessen typically plays one of the most aggressive non-section schedules in the WPIAL. The Class 1A Greyhounds take on teams from much higher classes, including 6A opponents.

This season, Monessen has not had much success out of section, going just 3-5. But in section play, Monessen has been its dominant self.

Monessen carries a perfect section record into tonight's Section 2 game at Avella. The Greyhounds (8-5 overall) are looking to improve to 6-0 in section play. If they do, they would extend their section winning streak to 40 games. They did not lose a section game the previous three seasons and have not suffered a section defeat since 2013.

Only Clairton has given Monessen a competitive game in the section. Monessen topped Clairton, 77-63. The other four games resulted in blowout wins of 48, 30, 84 and 68 points.


Boys Basketball: South Feature Athlete - Monessen’s Justice Rice

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Justice Rice
School: Monessen
Grade: 12
Sport: Boys Basketball
Position: Guard

Background: Rice's twitter handle is @ChiefJustice12, which is appropriate because Justice has been sort of like the chief for the Greyhounds the last few seasons, helping run the team's high-scoring offense and proving himself to be one of the best players in Class 1A. A 6-foot-2 guard, Rice has helped Monessen -- ranked No. 1 in 1A -- to a 1-1 start. The Greyhounds lost to 6A Upper St. Clair last Friday, but got 20 points from Rice to bounce back with a win against 2A No. 2 Bishop Canevin. Rice, who is nearing 1,000 career points, was named all-section and third-team all-state last season when he averaged 16.3 points per game. The Greyhounds averaged a WPIAL-best 90.3 points. Rice helped the Greyhounds win a WPIAL title his sophomore season.