Defense leads Gateway to Boys AAAA Gold Over Chartiers Valley

Saturday, March 5, 2011 | 12:00 AM

The Gateway Gators claimed their first ever WPIAL Boys Quad A title with a 58-43 win over the Char Valley Colts. Gateway shot 20 of 43 from the field as Tyler Scott led the way with 18 points.

The Gators locked down on Char Valley star Matt Noszka in the second half, coach Mitch Adams said that was the focus, Noszka scored 10 in the first half, but had few open looks in the second half, ending with 16 points. Adams joked that for a team that supposedly doesn't play defense, the Gators sure were intense tonight.

The teams traded leads in the first quarter. D.J Boyce scored back to back baskets to put the Gators up three at 9-6, Gateway extended the lead on Tyler Scott's buzzer beater giving Gateway a 13-8 lead. In the second, Gateway went on a 7-0 run, capped by a Scott three-pointer, forcing a Char Valley timeout with 2:59 left in the half. The Gators went on to lead 29-19 at the half.

Gateway shot fifty percent in the first half at 13 of 26, Char Valley was 8 of 17 from the field, but 3 of 3 from behind the arc.

Gateway led by as many as 14 in the third, but a three and a steal and layup by Christian Kuntz, two free throws by Zach Wallace and a steal by the Colts cut the lead to four at 41-37 with 12.6 seconds left in the quarter.

The Colts got another steal but could not stick a three as the score remained the same after three.

The Gators outscored the Colts 9-2 in the first five minutes of the fourth to lead 50-39 as CV started the quarter 1 of 7 from the field. Wayne Capers hit two free throws to take the lead down to 9, but Gateway went on a 5-0 run, with a Barnett Harris two-handed jam for the exclamation point.
Harris added 11 points, Devon Cottrell scored 10. Adams gave credit to his kids, who fought back in the Upper St. Clair quarterfinal win and battled with Butler in the semis just to make the title game. Gateway is now 22-4 overall and will play the winner of the Upper St. Clair-Erie McDowell play-in game in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. The Gators committed only 7 turnovers.

For Char Valley, Noszka was the only player in double figures with his 16 points, the Colts played without Steve Burda, who suffered a concussion in the semifinal victory over Mt. Lebanon. Burda's status for the PIAA tournament is unknown, the Colts play City League champion Allderdice on Saturday. Char Valley falls to 20-6 with the loss.

The Colts shot 17 of 43 from the field and had 12 turnovers. Coach Tim McConnell said the Colts seemed out of sync offensively and could not knock down the shots in the second half.

Chartiers Valley Colts : 8 – 11 – 18 – 6 – = 43
Gateway Gators : 13 – 16 – 12 – 17 = 58

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