NEW CASTLE —
LOVE FOR PEACE
Markel Peace claimed a career best for the Scotties with his 31 points last week against Quigley Catholic. The 6-1 senior forward leads Union at 19.1 points a game this season and will be asked to do the heavy lifting for the offense again in this matchup. Inside, he is complemented by forwards Benjamin Young and Tre Major. Young, a 5-11 junior, is second on the team at 13.2 points a game and has swished 20 3-pointers. Major, a 6-2 senior, chips in 10.2 points a game for the squad. “They have athletic ability and all their guys are able to knock down 3-pointers. Peace is very active. He’s all over the boards and gets out in transition,” Bears coach Matt Geletko said. “He runs with a lot of energy.
“Major has a little bit of length to him and is a good rebounder. He’s easily their best inside threat.”
Leading the team into the offensive zone is Joe Salmen. At 6-0, the senior has averaged 12.6 points a game.
“He controls their offense, it seems like,” Geletko said. “He has a nice jump shot. He gets them to where they want to be. Their offense really goes through him and Peace.”
Because of its athletic ability, Clairton doesn’t see much man-to-man defense against its offense. The Scotties won’t shy away from man coverage in this matchup.
“It looks like they like to match up the whole game that way,” Geletko said. “We didn’t see that a lot in our section, I think, because we can have matchup problems for some teams. A lot of our guys can do a lot of things on the floor.
“We’re going to need to take care of the basketball and play good, solid defense. We need to make good decisions on our offense and not rush shots. I think that’s something they weren’t used to doing in the past — being patience against the better teams you play.”
A key for Union is to neutralize the athletic ability of the Bears and keep them to the outside.
“If we can stop their penetration, we force them to beat us from the perimeter,” Smialowski said. “That’s easier said than done.
“We worked at it pretty good this week. We have to push the ball first, and we’re going to try to get the easy ones. We have to play a little disciplined on their end and make them work defensively.”
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