Aliquippa Perfect In Dethroning Seton-LaSalle As Boys AA Champ
Saturday, February 28, 2015 | 4:05 PM
Aliquippa remains perfect in capturing Class AA boys’ championship
The Quips’ quest for perfection remains in tact, as Aliquippa captured the Class AA boys’ championship with a 68-57 victory over Seton-LaSalle at the Petersen Event Center. The victory marks the 11th WPIAL Championship for Aliquippa.
Top-seeded Aliquippa, the only unbeaten team in the WPIAL, fell into an early deficit against the defending champions, as Rebels’ senior Ryan Norkus provided an offensive outburst in the first quarter. Norkus netted 16 points in the opening frame, as No. 3 Seton-LaSalle held a 20-14 lead. In the second stanza, both offenses went cold, as the Quips and Rebels mustered only six points each.
The second half was a different story, however, as the potent Quips’ offense began to find its rhythm, keyed by senior Stephon McGinnis. With the Rebels maintaining their six-point advantage, 34-28, the Quips exploded for a 10-0 run, which included consecutive three-pointers by McGinnis, who came to the district earlier in the school year from nearby Ambridge.
Once the Quips (25-0) took their first lead of the contest at 35-34, they would not relinquish the upper hand, as they outscored the Rebels by 17 in the second half.
Seton-LaSalle (23-3) made a surge to pull within striking distance late in the fourth quarter, though, as Norkus, who was held without a point in both the second and third quarters, again began to light up the scoresheet. His layup off a Rebels’ steal brought Seton-LaSalle within two, 56-54.
The Quips were terrific from the charity stripe in the closing minutes, though, as McGinnis, Kaezon Pugh and Chucky Humphries all converted foul shots. Although a Norkus three-pointer again made it a one-possession game, the Quips continued to hit their foul shots to seal the outcome.
McGinnis paced the Quips with 22 points, while Jassir Jordan added 14 and Darrien Fields contributed 12. The other two Aliquippa starters, Humphries and Pugh, made significant contributions on the glass, as they corralled 14 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
For the Rebels, Norkus provided a game-high 25 points and 14 boards, while sophomore Paris Ford added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Both teams advance to the PIAA postseason next week, where the Rebels look to return to the PIAA Championship game for a second-straight season, while the Quips will try cap off their first undefeated season since 1949 with a state title.
Score by quarter
Seton-LaSalle 20 – 6 – 12 – 19 = 57
Aliquippa 14 – 6 – 22 – 26 = 68
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