Mount Pleasant basketball: Liprando caught pneumonia just before playoffs

Written by Cara De Carlo on .

The Vikings (13-10, 8-4) posted major improvements this season. But they suffered some tough luck in the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs preliminary round.

Head coach Tony Splendore explained. “Going into the [prelim game with Knoch] we had been playing a rotation of seven players. Two days before the game, I found out that one of my players had pneumonia.” That player was 6’1” junior Luke Liprando, a key rebounder for Mount Pleasant.

Liprando was not able to play any sports until February 25.

“So the rotation was at six,” Splendore continued. “In the first quarter, we had a boy get hurt and were down to five in the game. .. I had to move a guard into a post position, and it was an unfamiliar situation for him. As a unit, offense-wise we were not running on all cylindars. The difference in the game was that we got out-rebounded.”

The cool thing for Mount Pleasant is that the 2012-13 season brought signs of things to come. Splendore elaborated.

“I think we’re going in the right direction – the team last year won 4 games under head coach Jeremy Yetter. This season, we won 13 games. That’s a substantial improvement. In the games we lost, we’ve had the ball at the end.”

 “We’re learning how to win and gaining confidence,” said Splendore. “Out of the top seven players, the boys have six coming back.”