Allderdice advances in PIAA playoffs with overtime win against Central Catholic

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022 | 9:53 PM


Mike Quigley has a favorite rim in Allderdice’s gym, one that he’s found is a little softer than the other.

The senior surely likes it even more now, after making consecutive 3-pointers just 37 seconds apart in overtime as Allderdice overcame a dreadful start to defeat Central Catholic, 45-43, in a dramatic PIAA Class 6A first-round win in Squirrel Hill. The Dragons needed every edge they could find to overcome an early 12-point hole.

“I don’t want to call it a strategic advantage, but it kind of is,” Quigley said with a laugh.

The game drew a sold-out crowd to Allderdice’s gym, a huge home-court advantage for a team that desperately needed a boost after enduring a four-point first quarter. When Central Catholic later missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime, the Dragons’ student section rushed the floor.

The PIAA awarded first-round home games to teams listed higher on the bracket.

“If you’re down 16-4 either on the road or at a neutral site, I don’t know if you come back,” Allderdice coach Devin Crummie said.

The come-from-behind win sets up a second-round matchup between City League champion Allderdice (20-7) and WPIAL champion Fox Chapel (25-1) on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.

“That’s going to be neat,” Crummie said. “We scrimmaged them early in the year. At that point, they were far ahead. We had some good quarters, but they were much better, more experienced. We hope we can make it a little more even this time and make it another good matchup like today.”

Allderdice trailed 16-4 after the first quarter Wednesday and didn’t have a lead over Central Catholic until overtime.

Tied at 36 after regulation, junior Ethan Anish opened OT with a go-ahead 3-pointer. A Central Catholic layup cut the margin to one point, but Quigley struck back with consecutive 3s from the right corner to lead 45-38 with 93 seconds left.

“Once I hit that first one, I was like, ‘This next one is going in for sure,’” said Quigley, who played at Central Catholic as a freshman and sophomore. “I just let it fly.”

Central Catholic didn’t go away quietly.

The Vikings forced Allderdice into three turnovers in the final 50 seconds. Debaba Tshiebwe had a layup, Dante DePante scored on a runner, and Jaden Bailey made one of two free throws with 19 seconds left to narrow Allderdice’s lead to 45-43, but Central Catholic got no closer.

Major Rainey led Allderdice with 16 points, all in regulation, including 10 in the second quarter as the Dragons started battling back. Quigley and Anish each scored nine. Tshiebwe led Central Catholic (18-7) with 11 points. DePante and Peyton Wehner each had nine, but Wehner’s hurried 3 at the buzzer missed.

The schools are less than three miles apart and there are close connections between the two. Allderdice coach Devin Crummie teaches at Central Catholic, where his father Chuck coached basketball for decades.

Quigley transferred from Central Catholic to Allderdice last school year. His mother is a gym teacher at Allderdice.

“There was one kid I really hoped played well today and that was Mike,” Crummie said.

Quigley still knows a number of players on Central Catholic’s roster and considers starter Jaden Bailey one of his best friends. So, Quigley noticed right away when the PIAA brackets paired his old school with his current one.

“I was very excited,” Quigley said. “I was waiting for that matchup for two years. When it finally came, I was ready.”

Quigley’s favorite rim did Central Catholic no favors in the first half. The Vikings went 0 for 16 shooting in the second quarter while facing that direction, a scoring slump that let Allderdice overcome its dismal start.

Central Catholic led 18-14 at half and 26-21 after three.

“We were cold the first quarter, they were cold the second, and then the second half was a fight,” Crummie said. “Luckily our guys fought just a little bit more — one minute more.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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