• Brentaro Yamane

At Least Moon Won a PIAA Title In 2019


Moon Area Boys basketball head coach, Adam Kaufman, yells coaches his players during a basketball game.

SOURCE: Beaver County Times

You can basically say that the whole Moon Area School District was pumped after the 2018-19 Moon Area Boys basketball team won the PIAA 5A Boys basketball championship back on March 22, 2019 when they defeated Archbishop Wood by a score of 74-64. That season, Moon had an overall record of 28-2 as their only two losses were against Chartiers Valley and against Mars in the 2019 WPIAL 5A Boys basketball championship game, in which NFL players Tyler Boyd and James Conner attended.

The 2018-19 Moon team had a total of six seniors and had one super star junior in Donovan Johnson, a 2018-19 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Boys Fab 5 selection. Johnson was not allowed to play at Moon for his senior year because of the fact that he already played six years of a sport after sixth grade in the PIAA. The PIAA does not allow an athlete to play in a sport for more than six years after the sixth grade. So, the 2019-20 Moon team lost seven key contributors that helped bring home a PIAA title last season. The only other player that really got some playing time in the 2018-19 season was junior Cameron Goble, as he got more playing time this season.

Out of the six seniors that were on the 2018-19 team, three of them went on to play NCAA Division 3 Men's basketball. Jioni Smith, Connor Ryan, and Austin Ryan were the seniors that all went on to play Men's basketball at the collegiate level. Jioni Smith now plays LaRoche College, Connor Ryan plays at Case Western Reserve University, and Austin Ryan plays at Penn State Behrend.

This year's Moon team did not have any star players that were covered by the media every single day compared to last year's team. I am being serious, it seemed that the media covered every single Moon Boys basketball game from last season, and you cannot blame the media due to the fact that they started 18-0 before losing Chartiers Valley on February 1, 2019.

With all the happiness, fame, glory, and trophies that Moon's basketball team received last year, they did not seem to repeat the success that they had this season. After having a 13-1 section record in 2018-19, this season's Moon's Boys basketball season finished with a 3-11 section record, 6-16 overall record, and did not qualify for the WPIAL 5A Boys basketball playoffs. The team finished second to last in their section. This season's Moon team also had six seniors, but this 2020 senior class did not have that much success compared to the senior class from 2019.

The highest amount of points that this season's Moon team scored was 62 when they defeated Brashear back on December 27, 2019 in the PBC Holiday Festival at Moon by a score of 62-52. This was the only time this season that Moon scored 60+ points in a game. The 2018-19 Moon team was able to score 60+ points in 20 games. The offense really showed up last year compared to this year.

Next year, 2020-21, will be once again an all new season for Moon's Boys basketball as a lot of the team's in their section will lose key players due to high school graduation. If every player, that is not a senior, returns for Moon next season, they would have a total of 11 players. There will also be incoming eighth graders that will try out for the team in Fall 2020. Moon currently has nine sophomores on their team that will be juniors next year. So, if you think about it, the Class of 2022 has two years to try to win a WPIAL championship again. Moon might be good next year due to the fact that most of their underclassmen players have another year of experience under their belt.

Brentaro Yamane: bythebossandgoat@gmail.com and Twitter @BYHilton13

#MoonArea #WPIAL #WPIALBasketball

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