JACKSON TWP — While Seneca Valley has been struggling on the basketball court this season, the Raiders have had a constant.
Despite the losses piling up, Mason Bush has been producing positive numbers — night after night after night.
The 6-foot-4 senior forward is averaging 20.6 points and nine rebounds per game. Seneca Valley is 1-13 overall, winless in Section 1-6A play and has dropped eight consecutive games.
“It gets tough sometimes,” Bush admitted. “But we still feel like we've got a chance every night, that we're going to break through.
“No one on this team is quitting. I love playing with these guys.”
Bush averaged 15 points and five rebounds per game as a junior last season. He did not see much varsity time as a freshman or sophomore.
That makes 1,000 points seemingly out of reach.
“That's not gonna happen,” Bush said. “I'd have to average something like 35 points a game the rest of the season.”
What is happening is leadership and consistency. Bush can be counted on for double digits in scoring and close to that in rebounds every game.
He chips in his share of assists and steals as well.
In a recent 80-66 loss at Butler, Bush produced 29 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“He's definitely one of the most versatile players in our section,” Butler coach Matt Clement said. “He can hurt you in a lot of ways.”
Seneca Valley coach Kevin Trost agreed.
“He produces points pretty much every way a player can,” Trost said. “He can score at all levels. He can post up, shoot the three, drive to the basket, sink free throws.
“Mason is very talented.”
Add the drive to compete to that list.
“That's what I respect the most about him,” Butler senior point guard Ethan Morton said of Bush. “He is so competitive on the court. It doesn't matter what his team's record is.
“With Mason, it's all about that game, that night. He always work hard to beat you. We've always had a lot of trouble with him. I think he's one of the best players in the WPIAL.”
Bush carries a 3.3 grade point average and hopes to play college basketball. His play this season has been attracting attention in that regard.
“I'm a 3-guard at Seneca Valley and college coaches seem to have interest in me as a 2, playing forward and guarding a forward,” Bush said. “It'd be a challenge to change positions, but it'd be exciting, too.
“My defense is my goal right now. All of our games are so competitive. Denying points is every bit as important as scoring.”
Bush's coach remains one of his biggest fans.
“Mason Bush is our leader,” Trost said. “Things haven't gone well for us in terms of wins and losses, but he keeps improving as a player anyway.
“With every loss, he seems to go even harder. Through hard work, he's developed into an outstanding player. He's kept this team together. We're still fighting to turn this thing around and he's one of the biggest forces behind that.”