"We're a five-man rebounding team," Pine Richland coach Brian Gaetano said. "We don't have one guy who just collects boards for us. We don't have one guy with the strength to control the inside paint."
Wednesday's consolation game at 6:30 p.m. precedes the title game.
Pine-Richland has considerable experience to build on, with four starters returning in senior guards Eric Holmes and Chris Rader, senior guard/forward Ed Baranowski and junior guard Andy Andrle.
Andrle, a four-year starter, scored 26, 22 and 20 points, respectively, in his first three games. Holmes, who started the past two seasons, added 17, 15 and 11 points in the same opening stretch.
Gaetano also has some youth in the mix. Sophomore point guard Brock Baranowski started half the games last season and is considered the fifth starter.
Gaetano said he won't hesitate to use his bench.
"We have good depth, and we're at least nine players deep," he said.
"We knew we had an opportunity to get off to a pretty good start," Gaetano said.
"We knew Woodland Hills was going to be good, and they were. That was a very competitive early-season game. We've had a game that we've won handily. We've had a game that went down to the wire. And we have an overtime game. So we've built a resume.
"We've learned we can win any type of game, which is important when you're trying to get players accustomed to winning," he said.
If Pine-Richland has exhibited an overall team strength, it's been in the transition game.
"We're really getting up and down the floor, particularly with our big men," he said. "That puts a lot of pressure on the defense and allows our shooters to get to the open spots. We have a lot of guys in the 6-foot-3 and 6-4 range who are really mobile."
Pine-Richland has re-established its man-to-man, half-court presence on defense.
"We have to lock down, and if it's one possession to win the game, that's the defense we're going to be in," Gaetano said. "You have to be able to do that to win."
2010-11 Pine-Richland Boys Basketball Roster:
2010-11 Pine-Richland Boys Basketball Schedule:
Pine-Richland Tip-Off Tournament, W, 79-43, Summit Academy
|Dec. 11||Pine-Richland Tip-Off Tournament, W, 63-61, Woodland Hills|
|Dec. 14||@Ellwood City, postponed|
|Dec. 18||Ambridge PBC Holiday Festival, W, 62-57, Fox Chapel|
|Dec. 21||@North Allegheny, L, 72-58|
|Dec. 28||@Seton-LaSalle Tournament, 6:30 p.m., Keystone Oaks.|
|Dec. 29||@Seton-LaSalle Tournament, time and opponent TBD|
|Jan. 7||@Central Catholic|
|Jan. 14||@North Hills|
|Feb. 1||Central Catholic|
|Feb. 4||@Seneca Valley|
|Feb. 8||North Hills|
All games 7:30 p.m. unless noted.