Archive

ShareThis Page
Kittanning boys basketball shoots for 4th straight playoff trip in program’s final season | TribLIVE.com
News

Kittanning boys basketball shoots for 4th straight playoff trip in program’s final season

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, November 27, 2014 9:42 p.m.
DCMtPKittboys0215143
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Noah Kunst (right) is one of three returning starters for the Kittanning boys basketball team. Kunst was an all-section pick after averaging 16 points per game.

Kittanning is aiming to add one more year to its recent good run in boys basketball.

With three starters, including top scorer Noah Kunst, back from a season ago, Kittanning wants to make the final season for its program end with a fourth straight trip to the playoffs.

The Wildcats move into a new section, Section 3-AAA, led by senior guard Kunst, who was an all-section pick last year after averaging 16 points per game. Junior guard James Webb and senior guard Noah Spang also bring experience, but the Wildcats lack a second player who scored more than four points per game last season.

“We’ve got guys back who started and guys who played off the bench and have been in a couple playoff games,” Kittanning coach Bill Henry said. “But if you look at Triple-A, the best teams in the playoffs are scoring in the 60s or more, so we need a better distribution of points.”

Henry’s other experienced players include senior guard Logan Slagle, who was the team’s sixth man, and junior forward Tanner Witenski, who saw his minutes increase during the course of last season.

“We’re coming along real well, and I think we’re doing a lot better than in the summer,” Kunst said. “I know I can’t do all the scoring, so I’m going to have to look to get the ball to other guys in a good position. I think we have guys that can make us achieve our goals.”

At 6-foot-3, Witenski is the Wildcats’ tallest player, but the Wildcats have good height at the guard positions to help rebound. Junior forward/guard Zach Young also adds solid height to the lineup, and senior forwards Nathan Falchetti and Brenton Pless add depth to Kittanning’s front court.

“We’re a little bit shorter than we’ve been in the past, but (Witenski) is one of the more athletic big men we’ve had,” Henry said. “We’re not incredibly deep, but we do have a little depth off our bench.”

Adding to that depth and rounding out the rotation are a pair of sophomores, athletic combo guard Zane Dudek and shooting guard Joey McCanna.

With that group of players, the Wildcats hope to make noise in their new section, in which trips south replace the old road trips down Route 28.

West Shamokin joins Kittanning moving to Section 3-AAA, which also includes Indiana, Derry, Greensburg Salem, Southmoreland, Yough and the team that knocked the Wildcats out of last year’s postseason, Mt. Pleasant.

Henry doesn’t know what to expect with so many new opponents, but the goal is for the Wildcats to again reach the playoffs and try to emulate its run to the quarterfinals two years ago.

“Our goal is definitely to make the playoffs and try to get the highest seed possible,” Kunst said. “If we make it there, we’re going to try to win some playoff games this year. I think if we play well and everything falls right, we could advance pretty far.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.