Belle Vernon boys basketball makes quick work of Yough

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 | 10:13 PM

There was some discussion over the halftime score Tuesday night at Yough.

The scorekeepers and scoreboard operator were two points short of what the media had tabulated at the break.

It all stemmed from a basket off a steal by Belle Vernon sophomore forward Quinton Martin. A basket that happened so fast, if you blinked, you probably missed it.

The extra points were awarded to the Leopards but certainly didn’t matter in the end. Belle Vernon made quick work of the Cougars after a somewhat close first quarter.

Third-ranked Belle Vernon stayed unbeaten and hit its season scoring average as it rolled to a 71-46 victory over the Cougars in a Section 3-4A game in Herminie.

Martin finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, leading four Leopards in double figures as the team improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in section.

Senior point guard Devin Whitlock added 16 points, eight steals and eight assists, and senior Daniel Gordon scored 12 and senior Logan Cunningham chipped in 10.

Belle Vernon poured on the transition points, and Yough (3-2, 0-2) had no response.

“We’re trying to get momentum going and keep it going,” Belle Vernon coach Joe Salvino said. “We were able to work on our zone defense and press a little bit. That’s why the starters were in the game late. We wanted to come out with the same intensity we had against Hempfield.”

Belle Vernon edged Class 6A Hempfield on Saturday, 83-77, in overtime as Whitlock scored 39, and Martin added 23.

Belle Vernon turned a close game early into a runaway this time, bringing the 35-point mercy rule into play in the second half.

“They’re just a really good, seasoned team,” Yough coach Jim Nesser said. “We’re not ready to be where they are yet. They are a veteran team with some great athletes and some swagger.”

Sophomore guard Terek Crosby had 20 points, and sophomore forward Austin Matthews added 11 for Yough.

Crosby, who had two dunks, scored 11 in the fourth.

Senior guard Christian Park hit a 3-pointer with 57.1 seconds left in the first quarter to cut the Leopards’ lead to 17-14. But Belle Vernon outscored the Cougars, 28-7, in the second quarter and built a 50-21 lead by halftime.

Whitlock led fast breaks with his steals, Martin finished around the rim and a supporting cast did their part for the Leopards, who led 63-28 after three quarters.

Belle Vernon had 16 steals for the game and forced Yough into 20 first-half turnovers.

“We want our defense to be our offense sometimes,” Salvino said. “We did a good job of that tonight.”

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

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