Franklin Regional notches impressive win against Westinghouse

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 10:09 PM


Franklin Regional coach Steve Scorpion said he wasn't pleased with how his team played in the first half of Tuesday's championship game of the 14th annual Mike Rettger Memorial Tournament.

And Scorpion let his team know about it at halftime.

The Franklin Regional players must have listened because their second-half performance made their coach smile.

Behind the play of 6-foot-7 players Aiden Sadoski (19 points) and sophomore Johnny O'Toole (12 points), Franklin Regional improved to 4-0 with a 74-42 victory against previously unbeaten Westinghouse (3-1). It was the fourth game in five days for the teams.

“The second half was the most complete game we've played all season,” Scorpion said. “I was extremely pleased with how we played defense and were unselfish. We let Westinghouse hang around in the first half, and that can come back to haunt you.”

Westinghouse began the season with impressive wins against Central Valley, New Castle and Monessen, but it was no match for Franklin Regional.

A technical foul was assessed to 6-foot-11 senior James Ellis for dunking in warmups, which resulted in the game starting with Franklin Regional shooting free throws.

“We kind of lost our momentum right there,” said Westinghouse coach Eugene Wilson, who was Scorpion's teammate at Pitt-Johnstown. “I saw it in our players' faces. That's a lesson learned for James and the team.”

Ellis picked up his second foul during the first quarter and a third early in the second quarter. He sat most of the second quarter.

Westinghouse was in the game with Ellis on the floor, but once he sat with foul trouble, Franklin Regional started expanding its lead. The Panthers led 19-16 after a quarter and 31-23 at halftime.

Sadoski had eight points in the first half and O'Toole six. Ellis finished with 17 points and five blocked shots.

“We should have had a double-figure lead at halftime,” Scorpion said. “We played much better in the second half.”

The Panthers' aggressive defense in the second half disrupted Westinghouse's offense and forced numerous turnovers. Franklin Regional led 55-34 after three quarters.

Franklin Regional had 10 different players score. Hunter Stonecheck and Westinghouse's Rafeik Sirmons joined Monessen's Cory Fleming and Norwin's Josh Ratesic on the all-tournament team. Sadoski was the most valuable player.

“We have a bunch of players that enjoy playing together,” Scorpion said. “They push each other in practice, which will make us better.”

Franklin Regional gets a few days of rest before playing Perry on Monday.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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