Greentree summer league kicks off
The 2010 Pittsburgh Basketball Club Summer Pro-Am League got under way at the Sportsplex in Greentree on Monday night, with three games featuring nearly the entire Pitt roster. The evening saw a number of standout performances by Pitt players, and also witnessed the Pittsburgh debuts of freshmen like J.J. Moore.
Center Court 65, P & W 63
The 2010 edition of the Pro Am kicked off with two evenly-matched teams in a game that wasn't decided until the last possession. The Center Court squad got things rolling in the first half with Pitt sophomore J.J. Richardson (11 points, 5 rebounds), who was able to finish several midrange jump shots off of teammates' penetration.
P & W countered with a gutty performance on the glass. Although undersized, former IUP star Daryl Webb (6 points, 12 rebounds) was able to spark his team off the bench, resulting in a 30-24 lead at half.
The lead would get to 12 in the second half but P & W was persistent, and once some jump shots started going down, the game was back and forth for the majority of the second half.
A big key was that Ashton Gibbs (17 points, 3 assists) was finally able to convert from outside, hitting three crucial threes in the second half.
P & W had the ball to end the game down two but a three with four seconds left on the clock didn't fall for Robert Morris star Karon Abraham (13 points), who had a tough night from the field. Jimmy Sherwood also contributed 14 points and 5 rebounds in a losing effort.
Duquesne guard Sean Johnson produced 15 points, and Robert Morris forward Russell Johnson pitched in 11 for the winning Center Court team.
UPMC 75, The Lair 67
The second game of the evening was full of action, as the game was a bit more high-scoring and the action was at another speed. The two point guards in this game really set the tone. UPMC got out to an early lead which eventually became 21-12 at the 9:00 mark, with Duquesne guard T.J. McConnell (20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) dictating the play early in a variety of categories.
Pitt sophomore guard Travon Woodall (15 points, 5 assists) eventually responded, though, and his leadership helped UPMC take a 37-28 lead into the half. Then Pitt sophomore Dante Taylor (17 points, 13 rebounds) began to take over the game on the offensive glass, and the 6'9" center was just too much inside for the Lair.
Other than McConnell, Talib Zanna contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds through a lot of good work, which included several midrange jump shots. Senior Gilbert Brown was unable to find the touch for most of the game but still finished with 16 points.
Lamar Caskill contributed a surprising 15 points for the winners.
SPK 69, PGT 59
The finale on the first night was a competitive contest into the second half until SPK was able to pull away. Pitt senior Brad Wanamaker (17 point, 7 rebounds) set the tone early, as he was firing on all cylinders, knocking down outside shots and attacking off of the dribble.
The debut for Pitt freshman J.J. Moore (13 points) was quite impressive as well, as he came out aggressive and did not disappoint. The explosive athlete hit several outside shots to start his Pro Am career.
The PGT squad was able to come back and cut the score to a two-point deficit at half, 30-28, behind the play of three Pitt Panthers and former Robert Morris star Jeremy Chappell (9 points, 5 rebounds). Although undersized, the SPK squad got out on the break and used their speed to put the game out of reach. It became a 12-point game at the 11:00 mark, and the PGT team was unable to seriously threaten again. For SPK, Nasir Robinson and Lijah Thompson were also in double figures for the winning team, with 11 and 10 respectively.
Despite a losing effort, PGT got an impressive performance from a Pitt freshman in Cameron Wright, who slashed his way to 16 points and 6 rebounds. Pitt senior Gary McGhee recorded a double-double with 12 and 12, while also blocking plenty of attempts.
Monday's stat standouts
Dante Taylor - 19 points, 13 rebounds
Gary McGhee - 12 points, 12 rebounds
Brad Wanamaker - 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Ashton Gibbs - 17 points, 3 assists
Cameron Wright - 16 points, 6 rebounds
Travon Woodall - 15 points, 5 assists
Monday's top scorer
T.J. McConnell - 20 points
Monday's top rebounder
Dante Taylor - 13 rebounds
Monday's top assists
Travon Woodall - 5 assists