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Boys Basketball: High scoring comes natural for Monessen

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White profiles the Monessen boys basketball team.

2016 0203 Monessen BBasketball(Photo: Lavalle Rush, one of four Monessen players averaging at least 15 points per game, draws a foul on Clairton's Aaron Mathews in a recent WPIAL Class A Section 3 matchup. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"For the season, the Monessen boys basketball team is scoring at a rate rarely seen in the WPIAL.

For one half in a recent game, Monessen scored points rarely seen in the history of high school basketball in this country.

In a game Jan. 26 against Geibel, Monessen scored 97 points — in the first half. The Greyhounds went on to defeat Geibel, 120-29.

The 97 points didn't seem to get much attention, but the mark was a modern-day record for U.S. boys basketball. According to the National Federation of State High School Association record book, only two other teams scored more points in a half, and both did it at least 60 years ago. Loudon, Tenn., scored 158 in a 1956 game, and Gaston, Ore., scored 98 in 1955."

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Boys Basketball: Monessen continues to dominate

Written by Brad Everett on .

It's a good thing Monessen has played an aggressive non-section schedule that has included five Class AAAA teams. If the Greyhounds hadn't done so, they might be going into the WPIAL playoffs having been barely tested at all.

Monessen (13-3), ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL and No. 2 in the state, continues to have its way with Class A competition. The Greyhounds have won their eight section games by average of 69.2 points. They've broken 100 points in five of those games. Overall, the Greyhounds are 9-0 against Class A foes. They beat Clairton by 40 points, but Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic gave the Greyhounds a game on Dec. 16 before losing, 75-72.

The Greyhounds have played six games against non-Class A teams, including five against Class AAAA opponents. They went 2-3 against Class AAAA teams, beating defending WPIAL champion Chartiers Valley and Norwin. The three losses were all by single digits.

Four players average at least 17 points a game for Monessen, which leads the WPIAL in scoring with 91.3 points per game. The Greyhounds are led by Dwight Moore, Jaden Altomore, Lavalle Rush and Justice Rice.

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Boys Basketball: Monessen gets Moore from its lineup

Written by Ed Phillipps on .

Ed Phillipps profiles Monessen basketball player Dwight Moore.

2016 0122 Monessen BBasketball(Photo: Monessen's Dwight Moore has been a driving force for the Greyhounds, averaging 23 points per game this season. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"There are times when Monessen's Dwight Moore says he feels unstoppable on the basketball court. When you consider what the kid has been through, it's hard to argue with that.

After a tumultuous couple of years, Moore has settled in and thrived at Monessen, where he has become the surprising leading scorer for a team that returned three all-section players and is the defending WPIAL Class A champion.

Now a senior, Moore bounced around between several schools while growing up. He attended schools in Aliquippa while living with his father, but when that arrangement fell apart, Moore moved in with his mother and attended Ringgold High School. When their house flooded and was destroyed, Moore moved in with his 23-year-old sister, Brianna Stringa, and transferred to Monessen for his junior year.

Being the new kid got old pretty quick for Moore, who yearned for stability. He has found that at Monessen and renewed a bond with players Lavalle Rush, Jaden Altomore and Justice Rice, who Moore has played AAU basketball with over the years."

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Boys Basketball: South Feature Athlete - Monessen's Lavalle Rush

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Lavalle Rush
High School: Monessen
Grade: 12
Sport: Boys Basketball
Position: Guard

Background: Rush has been on the top scorers for a Monsessen team that is lighting up the scoreboard like no other WPIAL team. The Greyhounds (6-2 overall, 3-0 in Class A Section 3) are averaging 90.5 points per game, with Rush accounting for 21.3 a game. Rush is a four-year starter who primarily plays shooting guard for the Greyhounds. He averaged 18.1 points per game and was named all-section last season when he helped the Greyhounds win the WPIAL Class A title. Rush started off this season with a 28-point effort against Upper St. Clair and then made the winning shot just before the buzzer to give the Greyhounds a 96-94 victory against Chartiers Valley. Rush scored his 1,000th career point in a 75-72 win against Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic on Dec. 16.

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Boys Basketball: Monessen faces another big challenge tonight

Written by Brad Everett on .

Class A Monessen is no stranger to playing Class AAAA teams. The Greyhounds have already played four games against Quad-A opponents, and their fifth one tonight might be the biggest challenge of them all.

Monessen (6-2), ranked No. 1 in Class A, will take part in the North Allegheny tournament over the next two days. Its first opponent will be the host Tigers (5-2), who are ranked No. 4 in Class AAAA. The Tigers reached the WPIAL final last season.

There should be a lot of scoring, which is easy to say considering Monessen is averaging a WPIAL-best 90.5 points per game. North Allegheny is averaging 69.3 per game. Both teams boast guard-heavy lineups. North Allegheny is led by sophomore Curtis Aiken (22.1 ppg), while Monessen features senior Lavalle Rush (21.3 ppg).

Monessen coach Joe Salvino said that containing Aiken and playing well overall defensively will be key if the Greyhounds are to improve to 3-2 against Class AAAA opponents.