Franklin Regional quite familiar with Moon

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Thursday, February 21, 2019 | 6:55 PM


Franklin Regional has developed a playoff connection with Moon in the WPIAL boys basketball playoffs.

The Panthers (17-6), the No. 6 seed in Class 5A, will take on No. 3 Moon (18-4) again on Friday night at West Allegheny.

Some will remember — others would like to forget — Franklin Regional’s 28-26 win over the Tigers in the quarterfinals last season at North Hills.

Both teams had a frigid shooting night, and defense won out.

“People think we slowed it down,” Panthers coach Steve Scorpion said. “We didn’t. Neither team shot the ball well.”

The teams combined to make just 20 of 69 shots and 10 of 27 free throws. Nick Leopold made two key free throws in the waning seconds before Connor Ryan’s layup rimmed out with 6.2 seconds left.

In 2017, Moon topped the Panthers in the quarterfinals 75-61 at North Hills — and also 76-37 in the regular season — before the Panthers pulled a stunner in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.

Simon Behr’s buzzer-beating jumper gave Franklin Regional a thrilling 52-51 win at Plum.

Franklin Regional has been known to grind out wins with Scorpion in charge, but the Panthers went up-tempo in a 66-41 first-round win Monday against Thomas Jefferson at Norwin.

“We’ve shown we can play fast or slow it down and run offense,” Scorpion said. “We want to be able to play whatever way it takes to win. Moon will try to slow us down, so we have to be patient and ready to play that way.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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