Aliquippa defense shuts down Seton LaSalle in boys Class 3A quarterfinals

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 11:34 PM

The Aliquippa defense kept Seton LaSalle leading scorer Michael Bigley off the scoreboard for three quarters and limited him to one field goal and four total points as the Quips cruised to a 57-34 win over the Rebels on Thursday night.

The win was the fifth straight for Aliquippa (15-8), which advances to the Class 3A final four while Seton LaSalle (16-7) sits in limbo, waiting to see if it will play again in the PIAA playoffs.

Aliquippa took control early, limiting Seton LaSalle to only six first-quarter points and 14 points total in the first half as the Quips took a 22-point lead into the locker room.

“I got to give a lot of credit to my team,” Aliquippa coach Dwight Hines said. “They came out very determined and played with pride tonight. That was the biggest thing we stressed.

“Michael Bigley was one of the guys we really focused on, we keyed on. He can score, he can pass, he can penetrate and do everything. I actually had three guys on him.”

Junior Vernon Redd started guarding Bigley and then gave way to junior Ty Crocker and senior Dewayne Revis as the trio of Quips defenders nearly pitched a shutout.

“We just came out there and played hard,” Hines said. “We played aggressive and we pretty much denied him the ball. We kind of frustrated him (tonight).”

Bigley wasn’t the only Seton LaSalle player getting shut down by the suffocating defense Aliquippa was playing. Senior Terrell Truss-Moore was the only Rebels player to score in the first quarter, and he had 10 of the team’s 14 first-half points. He ended up with 17 points.

“We only had one player score in the first quarter,” Seton LaSalle coach Mark Walsh said. “Any time a team does that on defense, it kind of snowballs.”

Whether it was one of the three Aliquippa guards stealing the ball or forcing Seton LaSalle mistakes or senior post players Zuriah Fisher or Michael Dawkins swatting away shots or forcing adjusted shots, the Quips defense was the star of this quarterfinals show.

On offense, Aliquippa used a balanced attack to jump out early and never relinquished a double-digit lead after the opening quarter.

The Quips had six players in double-digit scoring led by Revis’ 18 points. Dawkins added 15 points, Crocker 12 points and Fisher and Redd 10 points each.

“We talk about patience, poise and being positive,” Hines said. “We moved the ball well, we shared the ball, and nobody was selfish. We played with confidence, and we took good looks.”

Seton LaSalle cut the deficit to 15 points after three quarters but could not cut the Aliquippa lead to single digits.

“I thought we did a pretty good job in the third quarter, but we just couldn’t get enough stops,” Walsh said.

The win moves Aliquippa into the 3A semifinals Monday for a meeting with a familiar foe in Section 1 rival Lincoln Park.

The defending champion Leopards won both regular-season meetings, with victories by 4 and 8 points.

“You can’t mess up with them,” Hines said about Lincoln Park. “We had a lot of turnovers against them in the first couple of meetings we had with them. I think we are right where we should be right now, and I think it will be a great game.”

Watch an archived broadcast of this game at Trib HSSN.

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