Bires: Lincoln Park's Hosack makes most of second chance
Posted Mar 10, 2012 | Sports
Posted: Saturday, March 3, 2012 9:32 pm | Updated: 12:02 am, Sun Mar 4, 2012.
Bires: Lincoln Park's Hosack makes most of second chance By Mike Bires Times Sports Staff Timesonline.com
PITTSBURGH — Unlike his teammates who proudly walked off the court with shiny gold medals dangling from their necks, Trey Hosack is a back-to-back champ.
A year ago, he starred for the Sewickley Saints, a powerhouse that won it all in the Diocese of Pittsburgh's Catholic Youth Organization.
This year, he's playing a leading role for the Lincoln Park Leopards, a WPIAL Class A dynasty in the making.
Everyone associated with Lincoln Park basketball basked in the glory of Friday's 74-57 romp over Cornell in the WPIAL final. But it's hard to imagine anyone feeling happier and more fulfilled than Hosack.
That was obvious with the way he pumped his arms in the air in the game's final seconds in front of a section of Palumbo Center stands filled with Lincoln Park fans.
It was obvious when Hosack beamed with pride while accepting his gold medal from coach Mark Javens. It was obvious when Hosack clutched his hands on the championship trophy, the first in the five-year history of Lincoln Park basketball.
"It feels amazing that this gold is hanging around my neck," said Hosack, a senior guard who scored a game-high 27 points against Cornell.
Exactly one year ago today, Hosack wasn't exactly feeling so good about himself. Yes, he was smiling on March 4, 2011, while posing for a team picture after the CYO championship. But deep inside, Hosack felt bad that he wasn't at the Palumbo Center. That's where Lincoln Park was losing in the WPIAL Class A final for the second year in a row.
If Hosack were playing for the Leopards, maybe they wouldn't have lost 67-61 to Vincentian.
But because he was ruled ineligible last year by the WPIAL and PIAA, Hosack had to sit out a year and could only play CYO ball.
"It was a horrible feeling, just a terrible feeling," he said. "It just gets to you knowing you could have been the one who helped Lincoln Park win a WPIAL or state championship."
As a sophomore, Hosack was a reserve on the Lincoln Park team that lost to Sewickley Academy in the WPIAL championship game and in the state semifinals.
But last year, he and his family made a mistake by transferring to Ambridge.
The WPIAL and PIAA ruled that Hosack couldn't play basketball for the Bridgers because he transferred on the basis of athletic intent. So he transferred back to Lincoln Park, where he still had to sit out the year.
Had Hosack been part of a team that featured the one-two tandem of senior forward Chaquille Pratt and junior center Devontae Watson, Lincoln Park would have probably beaten Vincentian. With Hosack, the Leopards probably would have fared better in the state championship game which they lost to Mathematics, Civics and Sciences of Philadelphia, 70-55.
This year, with Hosack and Watson leading the charge, Lincoln Park breezed through the WPIAL tournament. It can be argued that Hosack and Watson, a 6-foot-10½ skyscraper bound for Temple, are the WPIAL's two best Class A players.
"Trey's a money player," Javens said. "We try to get him the ball as much as we can."
"Trey is our Chaq," added forward B.J. Lipke, referring to Pratt. "He's our horse. He's a scoring machine, and this year, he had something to prove."
This season in his first and only season as a high school starter, Hosack proved that he's a terrific high school player. Most important, he helped Lincoln Park get over the hump.
The Leopards have their first WPIAL championship because Hosack plays for them instead of Ambridge.