Boys Basketball: Veteran backcourt duo leads Sewickley Academy to golden season

Written by Brad Everett on .

Sewickley Academy coach Win Palmer said that seniors and guards make the difference in the postseason.

Well, the Panthers had two very good senior guards, and that played a big role in them winning WPIAL and PIAA Class 2A championships this season.

Chris Groetsch and Justin Pyror had outstanding careers and headlined Sewickley Academy's backcourt their final three seasons. Both were three-year starters, both all-section honorees as juniors, and both finished their careers as 1,000-point scorers.

"It's a real bonus when you have two three-year starters used to playing together. Chris and Justin are both aggressive athletes, but manage to play under control," Palmer said earlier this season.


Boys Basketball: Sewickley Academy overcomes Philly mystique to take PIAA Class 2A title

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White covered Friday's PIAA Class 2A championship between Sewickley Academy and Constitution.

2017 0325 Sewickley BBasketball(Photo: Sewickley Academys' Nate Ridgeway drives to the net against Constitution's Tamir Green and Youssef Diabate in the PIAA Class 2A championship Friday at the Giant Center in Hershey. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"HERSHEY, Pa. — After the starting lineups were introduced, every Constitution player got close together in front of their bench and one teammate acted like he threw a bowling ball at the group. The entire team fell in unison like pins and broke into laughter.

Then Sewickley Academy went out and threw a strike at Constitution. The Generals wobbled, fell at the end — and Sewickley Academy laughed.

"This is so fun. I love it. This is the best thing in the world," Sewickley Academy coach Win Palmer said Friday after the PIAA Class 2A boys championship.

Sewickley Academy gave a shot in the arm to the WPIAL's reputation and won a state title in the process when it knocked off Constitution, 68-63, in overtime at Giant Center. The Panthers, champions of the WPIAL, were sparked by forwards Nate Ridgeway and Justin Pryor, who scored 20 of the team's 25 points in the fourth quarter and overtime."


Boys Basketball: 2017 PIAA Class 2A Championship Preview - Sewickley Academy vs. Constitution

Written by Brad Everett on .

The game: PIAA Class 2A championship
The teams: Sewickley Academy vs. Constitution
Where and when: Giant Center, Hershey, Friday, 2 p.m.

Sewickley Academy Panthers
Record: 24-4
District finish: WPIAL champion
Coach: Win Palmer
PIAA titles: 2 (1997, 2010)
Last time in the final: 2010
How they got here: (First round) Rocky Grove, 60-47; (Second round) Bishop Guilfoyle, 70-58; (Quarterfinals) Greensburg Central Catholic, 61-46; (Semifinals) Bishop Canevin, 50-48.
Scoring offense: 73.7 points per game
Scoring defense: 55.2 points per game
Probable starters: Declan Hickton, F, 6-5, Sr.; Nate Ridgeway, F, 6-5, So.; Chris Groetsch, F, 5-10, Sr.; Dave Groetsch, G, 6-1, Jr.; Justin Pryor, G, 6-3, Sr.
What you should know: Sewickley Academy has not lost since January. Since losing to Bishop section rival Bishop Canevin on Jan. 31, Sewickley Academy has reeled off 11 wins in a row. The two biggest victories in that span actually came against Canevin -- in the WPIAL championship and PIAA semifinals. The second of those wins took place Tuesday, and it was a thriller. With the game tied, 48-48, Chris Groetsch rebounded a Nate Ridgeway miss and was fouled. Groetsch stepped to the free-throw line with 25 seconds left and made both shots. He wasn't done yet, either, as his steal in the final seconds sealed the win. The Panthers are now in the championship game for the fourth time and are shooting for their third title. Their last title came in 2010 when they defeated Reading Central Catholic, 43-35, in the 1A final.
Player to watch: Chris Groetsch. An outstanding point guard, Groetsch teams with Justin Pryor to give Sewickley Academy a talented and veteran backcourt duo. Both are three-year starters, two-time all-section picks and 1,000-point scorers. Groetsch averages 19 points per game and had 25 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in the WPIAL championship.


Boys Basketball: Sewickley's Groetsch commits to Johns Hopkins

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Sewickley Academy’s Chris Groetsch has committed to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. to continue his basketball career.

The Blue Jays compete in the Centennial Conference at the Division III level.


The 5-foot-10 guard has had a historic senior season. On Jan. 17, Groetsch became a member of the 1,000 point club in a 70-45 win vs. Our Lady of Sacred Heart.


Two games later, he was a part of giving Sewickley Academy head coach Win Palmer his 600th win with a 68-39 victory at Neshannock.


Groetsch will play in his final regular season game as a member of the Panthers (16-4, 11-2) on Friday at OLSH.