Titans season rewarded with WPIAL and PIAA playoff games


Tom Rekowski

Josh Miller drives to the hoops against Mars.

Andrew Deal

The Shaler Area Basketball ended the season with a 14-11 record and earned a berth in the WPIAL playoffs. The team was led by senior big man Logan Bernesser who averaged a double-double and caused problems for almost every opponent.

The team entered the season having to compete with six other teams for the top spot in 5A. They fell short of the mark for one of those top spots, but didn’t let the disappointment affect their play entering the playoffs. This was the 4th consecutive season that they made the WPIAL playoffs. That’s the first time in over two decades that the team has made the playoffs four years in a row.

Bernesser was voted 1st team All-Section. Sophomores Kaden Orga and Keegan Smetanka received 2nd team honors. Sophomore Joey DeSabato and senior Josh Miller received Honorable Mentions for the all-section. This is impressive in that all five starters received recognition for all-section honors.

Throughout the season, the team faced a lot of challenges. Whether it was within the team, the opponent, or sickness, the team always fought through it.

“I think our team always responded well when things weren’t going our way,” head coach Rob Niederberger said. “The team got stronger and stronger throughout the season physically, and mentally.”

The Titans secured a first round victory over South Fayette, however, the team lost their next game to the eventual WPIAL runner up, New Castle.

The win at South Fayette qualified the Titans for the PIAA playoffs, only the 9th time in school history that the Titans made the PIAA playoffs. Shaler came up short though when they lost to Hershey.

“We have developed a standard here in our program. There are expectations,” Niederberger said.