29 Mar March 2019 Team of the Month: Kennedy Catholic Boys Basketball Team
Gilbert’s is honored to name the Kennedy Catholic Golden Eagles boys basketball team, four- time PIAA State Champs, as March 2019’s Team of the Month for the second year in a row!
Coached by Rick Mancino, the Golden Eagles started off the month of March by defeating the Pittsburgh City League champions, the Allderdice Dragons. This PIAA Class 6A subregional game lead them on their “Road to Hershey” coming off a win. This was the first year the Eagles played in Class 6-A, the biggest classification of schools in PA. They won their previous three State Titles at Class 1A.
Kennedy Catholic dominated their first round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs, defeating Fox Chapel 55-28. Going into the second round, the Eagles faced Pine-Richland. Eagles senior, Oscar Tshiebwe, a blue-chip recruit for West Virginia, drained 14 points against the Rams just in the second half, adding to his game-high 24 points. Senior guard Maceo Austin, bound for Duquesne, also added to the win by scoring 20 points for the Eagles. After four quarters, the Eagles outplayed the Rams, leaving their second round game with a 82-63 win.
Mt. Lebanon proved to be no-match for the Eagles, as they faced off in the PIAA Quarterfinal game in Aliquippa. Although the Blue Devils led 22-18 going into the second quarter, Kennedy Catholic pulled through, and by the end of the third led the game 54-40. Tshiebwe broke his previous game-scoring high, leading the team with a double-double of 25 points and 18 rebounds, while Austin added 18 points to the 68-51 defeat over Mt. Lebanon.
The Eagles advanced to the semifinals, matching up against Coatesville Raiders. The Raiders had an incredible first quarter, leading 21-0. Kennedy Catholic bounced back in the second, pulling the game to within five points at the half. The Eagles then outscored the Raiders in the second half, ending the Coatesville’s season 75-69.
Kennedy Catholic finished their quest for a fourth state championship in Hershey, defeating District 1 contender Pennridge in double overtime 64-62. Pennridge led 50-45 with 2:50 left in regulation and the game was tight leading into the second OT, with Kennedy Catholic leading 61-57. Going into the last seconds of the game with a two-point lead, Tshiewbwe blocked a layup attempt by Rams’ Trent Fisher, securing their title as PIAA State Class 6A Champions. Tshiewbwe ended the championship game with another double-double of 16 points and 21 rebounds, Austin scored 19, and Toledo recruit, Mattia Acunzo, added 18 points to their 62 point game win.
Congratulations to our Team of the Month for an outstanding season!