Boys basketball gets off to strong start ahead of section games

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Ally Wolling

Ben Guffey takes a shot in the boys basketball game vs. Canon Mac on Dec. 9, 2022.

It’s a good time for basketball in Bethel Park. The recently-featured girls basketball team is on a five-game winning streak, and the boys basketball team is off to a section-leading start to their season.

Led by first-year head coach Dante Calabria, the boys basketball team has won their opening two conference games and currently leads their section in the early season.

Calabria is new to Bethel Park but is far from new to basketball. He brings with him a massive reputation. Calabria began his journey in the WPIAL, graduating from Blackhawk in 1992. From there, Calabria went on to win an NCAA Championship at North Carolina. From UNC, Calabria went on to play 16 professional seasons in Europe and has a lengthy coaching career building up at the college and high school levels.

This year’s team has had a lot of roster turnover to deal with. Bethel Park graduated seven seniors last season, and has only one returning starter. That’s senior Ben Guffey.

Bethel Park hasn’t wavered though. Even through the difficulties of a new coach and a fresh roster, the Black Hawks won their first four games. This is the first time the Hawks have won their first four games since the 2013-14 season.

The Hawks have opened section play with wins against Ringgold (2-11, 0-3), Trinity (6-6, 1-2), and Connellsville (0-13, 0-3) but have massive matchups with rivals Peters Township and Thomas Jefferson who have also opened section play 2-0.

Ben Guffey is confident though and believes the key to Bethel Park continuing this form is all on themselves.

I would say just bringing consistent energy to each game and practice. Shots aren’t always going to be falling, but we can control our effort, and if we keep that consistent we should be tough to beat down the stretch.”

— Ben Guffey

“I would say just bringing consistent energy to each game and practice. Shots aren’t always going to be falling, but we can control our effort, and if we keep that consistent we should be tough to beat down the stretch,” Guffey said.

The Black Hawks’ first of two huge section home games is on Friday night. They play Thomas Jefferson, who has enjoyed a 3-0 start in section play as well. Then it’s a matchup with rivals Peters Township on Tuesday night, who has begun their season 9-3 but stands at 2-1 in the section.

Roll Hawks!