Archive

ShareThis Page
New coach, same expectations for Monessen boys basketball | TribLIVE.com
News

New coach, same expectations for Monessen boys basketball

483192GTRMonessenbbb01112818
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Monessen head coach Dan Bosnic works with Marquell Smith during practice Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in the high school's gym.
483192GTRMonessenbbb02112818
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Monessen's Vaughn Taylor works out during practice Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in the high school's gym.
483192GTRMonessenbbb05112818
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Monessen's Dishon Howell takes a shot during practice Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in the high school's gym.
483192GTRMonessenbbb03112818
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Monessen's Elijhah Payne works out during practice Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in the high school's gym.

There’s a good chance any early season conversation regarding Monessen boys basketball is going to involve three possible topics.

· Legendary coach Joe Salvino, who guided the Greyhounds to six WPIAL titles, a pair of state championships and more than 600 wins in his 34 years as coach, left to take over at neighboring rival Belle Vernon. Both teams likely have a Jan. 19 nonsection game at Belle Vernon circled.

· Lyndon Henderson, last year’s leading scorer at 22 points per game, moved to Michigan to live with his brother, Elijah Minnie, a Monessen native who plays basketball at Eastern Michigan.

· Because of a February brawl at Clairton involving players and spectators, Monessen’s athletic department — and Clairton’s — is on a five-year probation. A violation in any sport could deny the school championship rights and leave the program out of the next two-year scheduling cycle.

The Greyhounds hope it won’t take long for talk to shift toward a positive relationship developing between the players and new coach Dan Bosnic and a championship-caliber product.

“(Henderson) was obviously a good player, but our focus is on the guys who are here,” Bosnic said. “I think some of these guys are ready to step up and show how they’re ready to make an impact for this program. We have a lot of guys battling for playing time, and they’ve been competitive and coachable.

“Regardless of the probation, I expect the players to act like young men and compete hard, and I expect them to do it the right way probation or no probation.”

The “right way” at Monessen often leads to deep postseason runs, which did not happen last season.

The Greyhounds breezed through Section 2-A with a 9-0 record, but a trying nonsection schedule did not pay dividends come playoff time as Monessen lost 61-59 to Imani Christian in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

Monessen believes this season will have a different ending.

“We want to get that ring,” senior forward Elijahwa Payne said. “We want to be WPIAL champs and get to Hershey this year.”

Championships are always an expectation at Monessen, but Bosnic cautions this group isn’t ready yet.

“Obviously, there’s a high expectations here, and that’s something that interested me. I wanted to be part of a program that expects to win every year,” said Bosnic, a former teacher at Monessen who last coached at Connellsville from 2009-14. “Coach Salvino had a great deal of success, and, at Monessen, championships should be the goals.

“But we have a lot of work to do. We have to get better to put ourselves in the position we want to be in.”

Expect Monessen to continue to press on defense and run on offense. Some things never change.

But practices have a different feel this season.

“Last year, we scrimmaged a lot more. There’s more drills this year,” senior DiShon Howell said. “It’s different, but we’ll all come together and adjust. It’s just taking more time for some guys than others.”

Howell, Payne and senior Vaughn Taylor will be counted upon to help ease the coaching transition and help get the younger Greyhounds such as freshman point guard Devin Whitlock — already a standout on the football team — ready for the season opener Dec.7 against Greensburg Central Catholic at home.

As usual, Monessen faces a tough nonsection schedule, which includes a spot in the Mike Rettiger Tournament at Franklin Regional and against North Catholic. Monessen hopes it provides the type of competition that section play does not.

“Our kids expect to win,” Bosnic said. “What we have is an opportunity that coming up through this program has created. They’re very competitive, and, if we expand on what they already have, we could meet our expectations.”

Mike Kovak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mike at [email protected] or via Twitter @MKovak_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.