Summer league down to 5 teams
Another Mon Valley YMCA Summer Basketball League season opens tonight.
It won’t have a familiar look, however.
The league, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, is down to its smallest number ever with only five high school teams entered: Ringgold, Charleroi, Serra, Thomas Jefferson and South Allegheny.
Missing are Belle Vernon Area, which remains coachless, and Monessen, whose coach Joe Salvino is still in the running for the vacant Leps’ post.
The five teams will play an eight-game schedule with contests on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. until July 7.
If the reduction of boys’ teams isn’t bad enough, the Mon Valley YMCA won’t have a girls’ league as it did in 2002.
The boys will get the floor the week of June 9 with the girls taking over the following week.
Phil Pergola and Skip Koskoski, the respective Ringgold High boys’ and girls’ coaches,and former Lady Rams’ mentor Joe Ravasio will serve as supervisors.
O’Toole, an assistant for the Clairton boys’ program which lost Corey Gadson to McKeesport last week, replaces Marsha Collins, who resigned after one year.
O’Toole becomes the Lady Bears’ sixth coach in 23 months.
Pat McGinnis coached the team two years ago before being followed by Rev. Lance Whitlock, O’Toole, Jess Hutson and Collins.
O’Toole served an interim coach for two games in the 2002 Monessen Christmas tournament which Clairton won.
Clairton captured back-to-back WPIAL Class A titles in 2001 and 2002 before Monessen ended the Lady Bears’ run in the semifinals.
O’Toole won’t be walking into an easy situation since Clairton gradutes four starters including all-time leading scorer Kamela Gissendanner.
Thursday’s PIAA Western Region Class AAA quarterfinal between WPIAL runnerup Shaler and Peters Township is scheduled there at 4 p.m. Thursday.
It will be a return trip for Peters Township, which clobbered Mt. Lebanon, 12-1, in five innings in the WPIAL quarterfinals two weeks ago.