Boys Basketball: Monessen coach proud of his team's strong season

Written by Brad Everett on .

Monessen players and fans were understandably upset after the Greyhounds saw their season end with a PIAA Class A quarterfinal loss last Friday, but what the team accomplished this season was not lost on Greyhounds' coach Joe Salvino.

"We can't be displeased how we did this year," Salvino said. "We won the WPIAL championship and we went to the third round of states. I can't take anything away from those guys. They never quit."

It was yet another terrific season for Monessen, which won a WPIAL title for the sixth time in school history. The Greyhounds also won the Section 3 title with a perfect 12-0 record. They had won 11 games in a row – all by double digits – prior to losing to District 10 champion Kennedy Catholic, 81-63, in the quarterfinal at Moon.

The highlight of Monessen's season was a 73-57 win against Jeannette in the WPIAL championship at Petersen Events Center. That victory came after beating perennial power Vincentian in the semifinals.


Boys Basketball: Monessen eliminated by District 10 champion

Written by Brad Everett on .

Prior to this season, Monessen's most recent WPIAL title came in 2011, a season which saw the Greyhounds eventually reach the PIAA semifinals.

The Greyhounds won another WPIAL championship this season, but were stopped one win short of equaling that previous PIAA success.

Monessen lost to Kennedy Catholic, 81-63, in a PIAA Class A quarterfinal last Friday at Moon.

The Greyhounds, who topped Jeannette to win the WPIAL title, finished 22-7.


Boys Basketball: Senior has vital role in Monessen's success

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

John D'Abruzzo profiles Monessen basketball player Noah Rullo.

"There were many times this season when longtime coach Joe Salvino has reached out to Noah Rullo.

As a senior member of Monessen's boys basketball team, Rullo welcomed his role as Salvino's "go-to" veteran player regarding issues both on an off the court.

"Noah has been the guy I've relied on," Salvino said. "Whether it's getting something across to the team on the court or if we have to change practice, Noah is the guy I go to.

"For a coach to have someone like that on their team means a lot. He makes sure everyone is on board with what we need to get across to the team. They listen to Noah and understand he's our captain.""



Boys Basketball: Monessen draws Portage in second round

Written by Brad Everett on .

Four days after winning its PIAA playoff opener, Monessen will shoot for another victory tonight when the Greyhounds square off against Portage in a Class A second-round game at Hempfield at 7 p.m.

Portage (20-6) was the District 6 runner-up. The Mustangs are coming off their first ever PIAA win, beating McConnellsburg, 50-48, in overtime. Portage had sent the game to overtime after making a layup at the regulation buzzer. Michael Bryja led the Mustangs with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

While Portage is new to state playoff success, WPIAL champion Monessen (21-6) is not. The Greyhounds reached the second round for the fourth time in five years by blowing out Venango Catholic, 76-41. Winners of the 10 games in a row, the Greyhounds were led by Lavelle Rush's 21 points.

The Monessen-Portage winner will take on the Cameron County-Kennedy Catholic winner in Friday's quarterfinals.


Boys Basketball: Coach inspires Monessen team

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White profiles Monessen boys basketball coach Joe Salvino.

"Coach Joe Salvino has been trying this week to get his Monessen boys basketball team "up" emotionally for the PIAA playoffs, after coming off a thrilling ride to a WPIAL championship.

"I'm hoping my competitiveness rubs off on them," Salvino said.

Salvino exudes competitiveness. It is a trait that has helped him win 583 games as coach, 18 section titles and five WPIAL championships. Few coaches in WPIAL history can flash such an impressive resume.

But Salvino's winning and competitiveness is about so much more than basketball games. He battled back from a stroke 10 years ago. And he also owns a victory against cancer."