Monday, February 12, 2024 | 11:46 AM
Playing in a section with five teams vying for four playoff spots, Penn-Trafford has been in a battle for most of the boys basketball season.
As it turns out, the first weekend of the season in December gave the Warriors a good idea what they were in for.
Penn-Trafford senior Ian Temple described being thrown into things that early.
“It was more of an eye opener. It just goes to show that no game is easy,” Temple said. “We had to bring the intensity we did the first two games into the whole season.”
Along with Temple, a small forward, Tyler Freas and Jason Sabol are the other top scorers on the squad.
The three have played together for years in not only basketball, but on the baseball field too.
“It’s always a great time. They’re two of my best friends,” Temple said. “It’s always nice to be around them and competing.”
Last spring, Temple found himself in a good situation when Penn-Trafford knocked off Central Mountain, the top-ranked team in the state, in the first round of the PIAA baseball playoffs.
In that game, he hit an RBI single in the first inning along with a home run later in the game.
“We were coming into it knowing that they were the top team, and we just wanted to compete,” Temple said of his performance. “Being able to beat them, and those two hits, I couldn’t really ask for anything else.”
As baseball season approaches again, the mindset is extremely positive.
“Our section is really tough. I will say there’s a lot of good teams in it,” Temple said. “Right now, we’re going through a bunch of winter workouts, and I feel like our coaches did a good job developing some of our underclassmen.”
Temple is looking to attend a four-year university for a degree in finance, along with playing baseball at the Division II or III level.
With the basketball season winding down, Temple took some time for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:
How did you get started with basketball?
I got it through my father. He used to play basketball back in his heyday. He introduced me to it, and I’m playing right now. It’s been a good time.
What’s your favorite memory from your basketball career?
Anytime playing Latrobe at Latrobe, it’s always a good game. The atmosphere there, it’s really unmatched. Last year, we had a section game to be able to get into the playoffs, and the energy just gives you the chills.
Is there anything from one sport that helps you with the other?
For basketball going into baseball, just overall the conditioning. The first-step quickness, it gets your legs conditioned. For baseball, I’d say that the hand-eye coordination it takes. For me, since I catch, I’ve gotten a lot more flexible than I did in past years. I feel like that helps with injuries and all that.
What is one thing that people may not know about you?
I would have to say that I have a ton of hobbies. I like to go snowboarding a lot. I like playing pickleball, cornhole, spikeball and ping pong. I just pick stuff up, and I like to enjoy that stuff. I hate sitting around for too long, especially on nice days.