Balanced attack helps GCC boys take down Imani in 1st-place showdown

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020 | 9:35 PM


Greensburg Central Catholic clinched at least a tie for the WPIAL Section 3-A title Tuesday, but first-year coach Christian Hyland wants more.

“I’m greedy,” Hyland joked after his team defeated Imani Christian Academy, 67-48, in a first-place showdown. “I don’t like ties. We want to win the section outright at Clairton on Friday.”

Greensburg Central Catholic (16-4, 12-1) used tough defense and controlled the boards against Imani as it reversed a 75-68 loss earlier this season. In that game, Aiden Betsill scored 25 points, and Malik Shannon had 18 for the Saints.

Shannon did not play Tuesday or last Friday against Clairton. Imani coach Omar Foster called it a coach’s decision.

Imani led 6-3 early, but the Centurions went on a 10-2 run to grab a 13-8 lead, and they never looked back.

Brevan Williams, who finished with a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds, scored seven points in the opening quarter and added six more in the second quarter to help the Centurions push the lead to 28-21 at halftime.

“This was a testament to our six seniors. They played so hard,” Hyland said. “In the second half, I thought we took care of the ball. If we do that and we rebound, we felt we could run against these guys.

“Brevan is our second-leading scorer, and he always has the knack of getting that loose ball rebound.”

Three consecutive 3-pointers (Ben LaCarte, Dylan Sebek and Nate Ward) helped the Centurions quickly stretch their lead to 41-23.

“They played really good defense,” Foster said. “We just have to go back home, regroup, and get ready for the playoffs.”

Imani turned the ball over 30 times, 19 in the first half. GCC had 15 turnovers.

GCC lead 49-30 after three quarters. In the final quarter, LaCarte took over, scoring 10 of his 13 points.

“We did a good job rebounding and playing defense,” Hyland said. “That was our gameplan: keep them out of the paint.”

Betsill was held to 14 points, and Jacques Myers added 10 for Imani (13-8, 11-2).

Ward chipped in with 13 points for GCC, and McGowan added 10.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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