The Update On Central Catholic Boys Basketball
Central Catholic's Boys basketball team has a lot to be excited about as postseason play starts in a little less than two weeks. They currently have a section record of 5-4 while having an overall record of 12-9. The team will make the postseason this year. The question is, "What seed will they be in?"
Last season, the 2018-19 WPIAL basketball season, Central Catholic's Boys basketball team finished with an overall record of 5-17 and finished with a 2-8 section record. The team was very young in the 18-19 season as they only had three seniors on the team.
This season, the team is more experienced. There are nine seniors on the team and one of them is Ben Sarson, one of the team's forwards and star players. He is the "Big Name Player" on the team and I think the rest of his teammates are aware of that. Central Catholic's new head coach, Brian Urso and new assistant coach, Matty McConnell, both have a lot of basketball experience under their belts as they are doing a good job leading this team. Urso played high school basketball at Fox Chapel and played college basketball at Point Park University. McConnell played high school basketball at Chartiers Valley while he played college basketball at Robert Morris University.
Matty has brought energy to this Central Catholic team as his father, Tim McConnell, saw in a game against North Allegheny on January 28, 2020. "I am helping the boys on my team in any way I can. With the knowledge I have from playing I see the game differently and just trying to give back to them," Matty said.
When Matty was playing in his senior year of high school at Chartiers Valley in the 2014-15 season, you could say he was one of the primary leaders on the team. Matty might see a version of himself from his senior year of high school in Ben Sarson, who is now a senior on the team. "Me and Ben have a love and hate relationship in a good way though. I get on him when I need to, but I also joke around with him a lot. He is a tough kid and knows why I’m hard on him sometimes," Matty said.
Sarson has been able to put points for Central Catholic. One of his best performances of the season was when he scored 42 points against Butler on Friday January 10th. I think he is one of the most underrated players in the WPIAL. Shippensburg University offered Sarson to play college basketball on December 3, 2019. The Shippensburg University offer was the only offer that Sarson posted on his Twitter page.
Sarson is not the only Viking making an impact. Colin O'Toole is another player making an impact for the Vikings as he seems to be relied to shoot from 3-point range, and he is pretty good at making 3-pointers.
Even though Central Catholic has lost their last two games against Butler and North Catholic, they have a chance to claim second place in WPIAL Class 6A Section 1 at home on Tuesday against Pine-Richland. Pine-Richland's section record is currently 6-3 while Central Catholic's 5-4. The Vikings already beat the Rams, at Pine-Richland, earlier this season on January 14th when they won by a score of 78-69. So, for Central Catholic, a win against Pine-Richland on Tuesday guarantees them second place in the section which means they could get a better spot in the WPIAL playoffs.
Central Catholic is in the conversation to win in WPIAL 6A. However, they are going to take one game at a time. "I think in the beginning we would look a head a little to some games. But as the year goes on, we have been more mature and just have been taking one game at time, basically playing a one game season every night," Matty McConnell said about his team.
For the Vikings, their focus is on Tuesday's game against a team that has a lot of postseason experience and success in Pine-Richland. It would mean the world to the Vikings if they won a WPIAL basketball championship this season. This is the first time in 39 years that Central Catholic's Boys basketball team was coached without legendary head coach Chuck Crummie as he was fired in February 2019.
Central Catholic has had twice as many wins this season than they did all of last season. Things are starting to look up for the Vikings as their team is getting better and their student section continues to be on top as one of the most hyped student sections in the WPIAL. A WPIAL championship for Central Catholic would be amazing as they had not won one in Boys basketball since 2008 when they were in 4A.
Brentaro Yamane: email@example.com and Twitter @BYHilton13