ONE FOR THE THUMB…Allderdice boys squad wins fifth straight City League basketball title

(Photo by Courier photographer Will McBride)

Allderdice defeated Westinghouse, 66-46, at the Petersen Events Center for a fifth consecutive City League boys title, Feb. 17. That accomplishment hasn’t been done since Westinghouse ran off a title run spanning 1950-1954.
It was the third time this season that the Dragons (22-2) had defeated the Bulldogs (16-6). Obviously, this time around, the Bulldogs were hoping the third time would be a charm for them, in front of hundreds of spectators on the court where the college men usually play. But it wasn’t to be.
Jackson Blaufeld knocked down a trio of 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 21 points for Allderdice. Bobby Clifford was right behind with two 3s and 18 points total.
WESTINGHOUSE’S BIG MAN, JAMES ELLIS, grabs a rebound over Allderdice’s Bobby Clifford. The Bulldogs fell to the Dragons of Allderdice, 66-46. (Photos by Will McBride)

“We focus on sharing the ball. We focus on making sure the right people get the right shot. Whoever has the hot hand is the player that gets the ball,” said Allderdice coach Buddy Valinsky. “Shawn Morris doesn’t get the ball very often, but he sets the best screen possible and at 6’4” and 220 pounds, he rebounds for these guys. Rob Jones is only a sophomore but has played well. Tyler Williams and Tavonne Davis are our senior leaders. We have six to eight very good players on this team.”
The Westinghouse Bulldogs center, 6-foot-11, 235-pound senior “King” James Ellis had a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds, but sophomore Troy Lanier was their leading scorer was 13 points.
Point guard play has been more important than anything else for Allderdice during its five-year reign as City League champions.
ALLDERDICE’S TYLER WILLIAMS drives to the rim on Westinghouse’s Troy Lanier.

Ramon Creighton and Jahi Ogbonna were the last two standouts, and Williams is the latest star point guard for Coach Valinsky, who himself played the position in high school and in college.
Williams is a 5’10” senior who is in his first year as a starter. He’s averaging 14 points, six assists and four rebounds per game.
From sixth through eighth grades, Williams was on teams at Sterrett Classical Academy that won championships, and he won four City League championships at Allderdice.
ALLDERDICE’S BOBBY CLIFFORD, guarded by Cameron Gloster of Westinghouse.

Blaufeld was voted the game MVP and won the Steel City Sports World MVP Trophy.
Two years ago, the Allderdice Dragons’ motto was “Fear Nobody.” This year’s motto was “Strive for Five.”
Next year the Dragons will return Clifford, Blaufeld, Jones, and Terrell Childs. So, expect the ‘Dice to be in the “Mix-for-Six.”
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