BOYS HOOPS: Better Outlook: Knights hope different outlook leads to different outcome in D-10 semis

Eisenhower’s boys basketball team has something to play for.

The Knights will play the top-ranked Class A team out of Region 3 – Cochranton – in the District 10 Class A playoff semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Edinboro University’s McComb Fieldhouse.

While the Knights finished the regular season at 8-13, which included two lopsided losses to Cochranton (27 points and 20 points), they are 1-0 in the playoffs, and it’s a brighter outlook for the Knights.

“We’ve definitely looked at the way we played against them,” said Eisenhower coach Dave Allenson. “The first time, especially, was not all that great. I think the kids are going to have a different effort this time. They are getting caught up in these playoffs, and are practicing like they’re interested.”

Those comments might not seem all that off base if you were around the team during an nine-game losing streak near the beginning of the season.

“Oh it’s way different,” said Ike senior Aaron Lundmark. “All 14 of us believe we are going to win this game and the tempo in practice has picked up tremendously. Earlier in the year we had doubts, but I feel we’re all on the same page.”

Allenson said then, and he says now, it comes down to effort, turnovers, and taking good shots.

And stopping three talented scorers.

In the first game, Logan Herzberger scored 19 points in a 57-30 Cochranton win. In the second game, Garrett Adams scored 18 and Nick Dickson 14 in a 65-45 Cochranton win. The Cardinals are 14-8 and received a bye into the semifinals of the six-team tournament.

The winner earns a trip to the D-10 Class A championship and an automatic berth in the PIAA playoffs. The loser still has a shot at states in the third-place game on Friday.

“I think we’re thinking about winning the ballgame right now,” said Allenson. “I think you have to think that. I haven’t gotten any indication (the players) are thinking otherwise.”