Beaver Falls Golden In Hershey With Victory in Class AA Boys Title Game
Saturday, March 23, 2013 | 4:50 PM
Very rarely does a player get a second chance to ice a game but that’s what Drew Cook got for Beaver Falls this afternoon at the GIANT Center in Hershey. Cook missed two free throws in the final minute, but a Zachery Miller offensive rebound, set Cook up for that second chance. He buried both free throws, cinching a 69-63 victory over the Holy Cross Crusaders in the PIAA Boys AA Championship Game. The win was the 18th straight for Beaver Falls, who finished at 28-3 overall.
Beaver Falls rallied from a seven point deficit after three quarters, they did it with the three-ball. Micoy Mason hit a three, Dan Stratton hit from the left wing and Mason buried another three to put the Tigers up four points with under two minutes to play. It’s the first state title since 2005 for Beaver Falls, the Tigers dropped a 56-54 decision to Imhotep Charter in last year’s state final. Beaver Falls has won four state titles. Coach Doug Biega said the win was like the 2005 victory, the Tigers trailed by nine points into the fourth quarter of that win.
Holy Cross, the District 2 champions led 19-15 after one quarter. Josh Kosin scored eight of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter. The Crusaders pulled away in the second, leading by as many as twelve points. Beaver Falls played almost the entire first half without Stratton. Biega said playing without Stratton was huge, as he was bringing Kosin out from the paint.
Beaver Falls trailed by ten points late in the third but Stratton buried a three, on the next possession, Kosin picked up his fourth foul, forcing Coach Al Callejas to take the 6-6 senior out of the game. The Tigers went on a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter. Callejas to called his final timeout with 5:04 remaining in regulation time, a move that came back to haunt the Crusaders, who could not stop the clock on two occasions in the final minute.
That started the three point barrage from Beaver Falls, the Tigers were 4 of 9 behind the arc in the second half and hit 8 threes for the game. Beaver Falls forced 16 turnovers, Biega gave his team credit for their defensive effort and balanced scoring attack. Cook led with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, Mason and Stratton scored 14 points. Stratton had 5 assists and Elijah Cottrill added 12.
The Tigers were 22 of 46 from the field for 47 percent and 17 of 25 from the foul line. Beaver Falls committed only 10 turnovers.
Kosin led with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Connor Callejas scored 12 and dished out 6 assists. Casey Gaughan had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Holy Cross shot 20 of 42 from the field at 47 percent, they were 6 of 11 from downtown and 17 of 23 at the foul line. The Crusaders end at 27-6, ending a nine game winning streak. Holy Cross won the battle of the boards 32-26.
Score By Quarters:
Beaver Falls Tigers 15 – 12 – 14 – 28 = 69
Holy Cross Crusaders 19 – 16 – 13 – 15 = 63
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