TribHSSN boys basketball player of the week: Jordan Albright of North Hills
School: North Hills
He is one of the leading scorers the WPIAL, but he flies under the radar as his team has its back squarely against the wall as it fights to stay alive in the Class 6A playoff chase.
Senior Jordan Albright has averaged nearly 25 points this season, but victories for North Hills have been tough to come by as it enters the final two weeks of the regular season with a 5-12 overall mark.
“Jordan has had an outstanding season,” said 13-year North Hills coach Buzz Gabos. “He’s been very aggressive going to the basket while creating open shots for his teammates. Each game presents a new challenge for him as teams try and take him away on the offensive end. He continues to adjust and improve.”
The Indians began last week still searching for their first Section 1-6A win, but they were only two games behind Seneca Valley for fourth place.
In a must-win game at home against Central Catholic, Albright scored 35 points to lead North Hills to a 71-68 overtime win to keep the Indians playoff hopes alive.
“In the win over Central Catholic, he was impressive in the second half and overtime with his decision-making,” Gabos said. “He stayed patient and took what they gave him. For the amount of points he scored, it was the assists late that were the difference.”
North Hills played a strong game Friday but lost to second-place Butler on the road 72-59 despite 25 points from Albright.
“Against Butler, he did a little of everything,” Gabos said. “He attacked the basket, knocked down midrange jumpers, and made some 3s. He was all over the floor, making steals and blocking shots. It was an amazing effort.”
The week ended Saturday with Albright scoring 32 points in the Indians’ 65-61 nonsection loss to Blackhawk.
Gabos feels size matters and has played a part in Albright’s terrific senior season.
“Jordan has grown a few inches since last year and gotten a lot stronger. He realizes he needs to be a leader and competes at a high level every game. We couldn’t ask for anything more from him.”
The hill to climb for North Hills to reach the postseason is steep. They face the two teams they are chasing in the next week. The Indians visit Seneca Valley on Tuesday and are at North Allegheny on Feb. 8.
“Our guys are still battling,” Gabos said. “They know the challenge ahead of them. I loved our effort in the second half against Butler. If we can play with that kind of energy and confidence for 32 minutes on Tuesday, we should be right there.”
Keandre Bowles, Woodland Hills
The former Trib HSSN Player of the Week continues to dominate as he scored 80 points over three games last week. Bowles was a model of consistency in two section contests, scoring 22 in a Tuesday home victory over Laurel Highlands and 22 again three days later in a win at Greensburg Salem that kept the Wolverines a half-game behind section leading Penn Hills in 1-5A. On Saturday, Bowles scored 36 points in 66-64 triumph over Seneca Valley at the PBC Hall of Fame event.
Lucas Garber, Waynesburg
Waynesburg is in a fight for its postseason life. The Raiders enter the final two weeks tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in Section 3-4A. Garber, a junior, is doing everything he can to help the Raiders into the playoffs as he began last week scoring 27 points in a tough loss at Belle Vernon. He then scored 25 points in an upset of second-place Ringgold. On Saturday, Garber scored 19 points as the Raiders cruised to a 57-44 nonsection win at Fort Cherry.
Dusan Krivokapic, Winchester Thurston
There has been very little separation between the top six teams in Section 1-2A all season. But with two weeks left, Winchester Thurston has put itself in good shape for a playoff berth and a possible run at the section crown thanks to the scoring touch of Krivokapic. On Tuesday, the junior scored 30 points in a rout of Northgate and followed with 26 points Friday as the Bears cruised to victory at Springdale. The two wins gave Winchester Thurston four straight as they trail first-place Summit Academy by one game.
Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at [email protected] or via Twitter @TheDonRebel.