2nd-seeded Greensburg CC boys shake off rust, rout Frazier in 1st round

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 9:43 PM

No matter the seed, no matter the matchup, teams want to be sharp when they open the WPIAL basketball postseason.

Tournament time, after all, is when it matters.

No. 2 seed Greensburg Central Catholic wasn’t perfect, but it was efficient in taking the first step toward its championship goal with a 57-22 blowout victory over No. 15 Frazier in a WPIAL Class 2A first-round playoff game Tuesday night.

Senior Tyree Turner scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, and senior Franco Alvarez had 11, including a breakaway dunk, as GCC (21-2) moved into Friday’s quarterfinals, where it will play No. 10 Eden Christian (12-10) at a time and site to be announced.

An unrelenting defense out of the gate was too much for Frazier, which could not keep up with the Centurions. Turner scored off the opening tip and had 10 in the first quarter.

“We wanted to start out well and jump on them early,” Turner said. “It’s good to get the first one because that’s the hardest one.”

Visiting Frazier, coached by Hempfield assistant football coach Zach Keefer, ends the season 11-12.

The Commodores fell behind 7-0 and 18-6 before GCC took a 26-8 advantage after one quarter.

A mild run, including back-to-back baskets by junior Dailan McManus, cut it to 30-15 in the second, but GCC ended the half on a 13-0 run with junior Brady O’Rourke, junior Sean Walker and senior Anthony Semelka all connecting on 3-pointers.

It was 43-15 at halftime.

The 30-point mercy rule kicked in early in the third, and the lead reached 35 in the fourth.

“It was good to get our rhythm back,” GCC coach Christian Hyland said. “When you’re off for nine or 10 days, it takes a while to get that back. In the first half, we weren’t as sharp defensively. I am glad we got out and played again.”

Junior Ty Rozier gave the Centurions quality minutes in the frontcourt as Hyland worked in reserves early and often.

GCC has not lost to a WPIAL 2A team this season. The Centurions will look to add to an 18-game home winning streak when they get back to playing games on their home floor. GCC will play Eden Christian in the playoffs for the third time in five years.

The Centurions beat Eden, 73-54, in the quarterfinals last year as Alvarez scored a career-high 33 points on 14-of-17 shooting. Both GCC-Eden playoff games were played at Fox Chapel.

“It was good to get some jitters out,” Turner said. “It was a long time since we played. We still have a lot to improve on. Defensively, we have some things to clean up.”

McManus led the Commodores with 12 points.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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