Zavasky Shows Shooting Touch Off The Bench For Pine-Richland Boys Basketball


Sunday 23 January 2022 | 11:01 am

When Nate Zavasky has an open mind, Pine-Richland boys’ basketball coach Bob Petcash usually yells “shoot it.”

Zavasky showed why late in the third quarter in a game with North Allegheny on January 14, when he cleared a deep three-pointer that put the Rams ahead, and they went on to win 72-64.

That shot scratched the surface in terms of the impact Zavasky, a senior, had off the bench that night. He scored 13 points, hit a trio of 3-pointers and provided a boost after Andrew Alexander suffered his second foul just minutes into the game.

It also showed that while Zavasky won’t start on the senior heavy team of the Rams, he plays a vital role in their success.

“He gave us an early spark, and that’s what I expect from Nate is to come in and shoot it,” Petcash said.

“He has the best pure shot on the team. You will hear me in the game yelling to shoot because I believe in him more than he believes in himself. Once he has that confidence, he can spend an evening like ( last Friday). Those are the little things I tell everyone. You never know when your number will be called and you’ll be asked to play your part. When everyone plays their part, they help get this show into a good place.”

If Zavasky needed a confidence boost, North Allegheny’s play provided it, but it also confirmed that what he’s done to improve himself as a player was worth it.

“It’s a long time in the making,” Zavasky said. “I’ve been waiting for this all my life and I’ve worked really hard. It all starts in the low season. When I’m not working, I feel like someone else is. Every day in the summer I worked on ball handling, shooting, watching old movies and I think we all do that well as a team.”

It also helps that Zavasky has completely taken over the role he plays on the team behind five fellow seniors: Alexander, Jameson O’Toole, Joey Dudkowski, Andy Swartout and Luke Shanahan.

He embraces being the sixth man and the attributes necessary for that responsibility.

“The five guys on my mind are really good players,” he said. “When I come in I have to defend hard. When I’m not there I have to give the team a spark if I do get in.”

The Rams need more contributions from Zavasky and other bankers like Owen Luellen and Andrew Lamendola as they continue to navigate a difficult Class 6A. They had lost five games for a total of 14 points through January 14, including three in overtime, but were second in Section 1 4-2 and faced first place North Hills on Friday. Four of the five teams in the section will make the playoffs and they all have at least two wins, so it should be an exciting race throughout the regular season.

“We need all our guys to get up and running. I can’t have just five,” Petcash said. “We need 13 guys to play their part because 6A is a beast this year. Every game is a war for us and every section game is a playoff game. All the coaches in our section are excellent, and that makes for a fight every night.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

Tags: Pine Richland


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