By Pete Chiodo
March 13, 2013 7:00 a.m. SHARON —
The Lakeview boys basketball has already made history once this season, recording the program’s first ever win in the state playoffs this past Friday in a 44-40 victory over Quaker Valley.
Why not make history again?
That’s the goal as the Sailors (22-4) go head-to-head with WPIAL sixth seed Greensburg Central Catholic (23-2) in the second round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs today at 7:30 p.m. at Sharon High School.
Two main obstacles are standing in the Sailors’ way, however. And that’s the Centurions two main guards: Senior Zach Herman and junior Brian Graytok.
“Those two guards, they’ll just give you a headache,” said Sailors head coach Gary Burke. “They can do it all. Herman, the two-guard, he’s great at penetrating, a great slasher, unlimited range. He’s kind of like that (Andy) Niland at Fairview. ... He really makes things go for them, not just himself.
“Graytok is a bigger guard, probably about 6-2, strong, physical. He’s great in transition. He gets to the hole very well in transition. And he’s even strong enough to sit down in the post. If he has a mismatch, he’ll make them pay for it. He’ll make moves and put the ball in the hole from five feet. He’s their best inside-out player.
“They both put 20 points on the board every night. It’s going to be heck of a challenge for us.”
Herman and Graytok both scored 21 points as Greensburg defeated District 6 champion Penn Cambria 66-56 in the opening round of the state playoffs.
The Centurions — ranked fourth in the state by the Harrisburg Patriot-News — were saddled with a sixth seed out of District 7 after getting upset by non-seeded Burrell 67-63 in overtime in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
Graytok scored 22 in the Burrell game. Herman was held under double digits.
Lakeview will need to slow one or both of those players down to have a shot at a win.
“You look at their 40 points a night, and I guarantee that 20 of those 40 are scored in transition,” said Burke. “One of the keys of slowing each one down is controlling them in transition and making them set up and make them work their offense. You do that, you have an opportunity to make them use the other kids on their team.
“Off a made or an unmade shot, they’re pushing the ball down the court and trying to get to the rim with one pass, maybe two, maybe no passes, a guy just going coast-to-coast. After we shoot the ball, make or miss, we’ll have to have guys sprinting back, matching up and stopping them from making one or two passes and getting to the rim.”
Greensburg also presents a bit of a problem at the post with 6-foot-7 junior forward Collin Bisignani.
Burke is hoping his front-court duo of Coty Gander and Brandon Rice can out-physical Bisignani and win the battle of the boards, limiting the Centurions’ opportunities and keeping possession in the hands of the Sailors’ main scoring threats — Casey Greggs and Dalton Boggs.
Boggs is averaging 20.8 points per game this postseason. Greggs follows with 12.8 points per game.
“You know, Lakeview basketball doesn’t score much more than 40 points a night,” said Burke. “Hopefully we can slow (Herman and Graytok) down, keep them off balance and give ourselves a chance.”