Constitution controls own fate ahead of 2A title game

I don’t know what Constitution coach Rob Moore will write on the whiteboard inside the locker room at the Giant Center ahead of Tuesday’s PIAA Class 2A finale against Our Lady of Sacred Heart.

My guess is that Moore, who led the Generals to state glory in 2015, won’t need to say much about the District 7 team.

Constitution needn’t look far to find its most important scouting report. The Generals have been their own toughest opponent all season.

Constitution overflows with talented guards, which helped it build a 36-12 first-half lead against Holy Cross in the semifinals.

While Constitution down-throttled in the second half, the Cougars finally found the gas, getting within, 54-51 with about four minutes left before Constitution’s defense made the difference.

Junior forward Jabari Merritt led the Generals with 20 points, but the guard play of Jahmir Marable-Williams, Damon Wall, Keshaun Hammonds, and Tyree Mitchell also helped build the early advantage.

The Generals (20-11) shot 7 of 9 from behind the three-point line to build a 36-15 edge against Holy Cross.

Marable-Williams and Wall were both all-Public League selections by league coaches, are adept but streaky from long range and can get to the basket. Hammonds and Mitchell both finished 3 of 4 from deep in the semifinals.

Merritt, who transferred from Roman Catholic, can finish above the rim, block shots and move nimbly around the paint.

In last year’s finale, Constitution also built a double-digit lead against District 7’s Sewickley Academy before falling in overtime in Hershey.

Sacred Heart (26-3) knocked off Sewickley Academy in the semifinals this season after junior wing Austin Wigley’s game-winning floater in overtime.

For Constitution, however, a positive outcome lies not in what the opponent does but in the Generals’ ability to be sharp and stay sharp.