Trib HSSN boys basketball player of the week: Woodland Hills’ Keandre Bowles
School: Woodland Hills
Last year was a breakout season for Woodland Hills. The Wolverines were 20-3 after winning their section before losing back-to-back games in the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals and the first round of the state basketball playoffs.
Woodland Hills wants to repeat its dominance in the regular season with the hopes of more success in the postseason now that the Wolverines have dropped to Class 5A.
“After winning the section championship last year and advancing to the WPIAL semifinals two years in a row, we still have the same challenges in 5A,” Woodland Hills boys basketball coach Odell Miller said.
The biggest challenge for Wolverines’ opponents is trying to find a way to slow down Keandre Bowles, the Trib HSSN boys basketball player of the week.
Bowles scored 35 on Tuesday, including 15 in overtime, which ended with him connecting over two defenders on a buzzer-beating shot in a 66-63 nonsection victory over Fox Chapel.
He then added 25 points in only three quarters of play in the Section 1-5A-opening 77-53 victory over Gateway on Friday.
“His strengths are his shooting ability and finishing at the basket,” Miller said. “He has to work on seeing the whole court and getting others involved more. He’s a leader on the floor when playing. His whole demeanor is all about basketball come game time.”
The Wolverines are 3-1 thanks to Bowles and his hefty 30 points-per-game average.
Miller knows that just because they had success a year ago, they still have a lot of work to do to get to where they want in their new section and class.
“A lot of good teams came down to 5A, as well. Our old section is back and should prove quite challenging with Penn Hills, McKeesport, Gateway and Laurel Highlands. (Class) 5A will be just as challenging as 6A was.”
Ethan Morton, Butler
The standout junior began last week by scoring 25 points in Butler’s 78-60 nonsection win over Plum. In that game, he passed 1,000 points for his career in only the third game of his junior season. Then, in another nonsection showdown on Friday against fellow Division I prospect William Jeffress and McDowell, Morton scored 32 in the 85-72 Golden Tornado victory.
Jimmy Moon, Serra Catholic
Despite an out-of-this-world effort in a nonsection game Tuesday, Jimmy Moon could not lift Serra Catholic to an upset win. Moon scored 43 points, but it was not enough as Sewickley Academy beat the Eagles, 73-69. Serra Catholic bounced back big in its Section 1-2A opener on Friday as they rolled past Bentworth, 85-27, with Moon tallying 26 points.
Nate Meeks, Union
The Scotties lost a lot of firepower from a team that reached the WPIAL Class A finals a year ago, but they are not shy about contending again this season. Nate Meeks helped pave the way to a pair of wins last week, scoring 29 points in a 61-49 nonsection victory over Shenango, and dropping 31 points in a 73-41 triumph over Eden Christian Academy in the Section 1-A opener.
Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at [email protected] or via Twitter @TheDonRebel.