Gateway sports notebook: Boys basketball team earns pair of early-season wins

Sunday, December 10, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The Gateway and Allderdice boys basketball teams played close throughout their nonsection game Dec. 5 at Allderdice High School.

The Gators led by three at halftime and by two at the end of the third quarter before holding on for a 56-51 victory over the Dragons.

The win moved Gateway to 2-1 overall heading into a fourth nonsection matchup Friday against Penn Hills at the Jack Twyman Classic at Central Catholic High School.

The Gators also were slated to face the host Vikings on Saturday.

The win over Allderdice was a bounce back of sorts from a 58-49 loss to Upper St. Clair on Dec. 2 at the Panthers’ tip-off tournament.

The USC loss came on the heels of a dramatic 51-43 overtime triumph over Fox Chapel in the tournament opener one night earlier.

Balanced scoring was a key factor for the Gators against Allderdice, something coach Alvis Rogers wants to see from his team throughout the season.

Six of the seven players who saw game action scored at least six points. Senior Alex Lowry led the way with 13 points. He was 4 for 4 from the free throw line as part of an overall 16-for-20 effort from the charity stripe.

The Gators also helped themselves with four 3-point field goals.

Senior forward Alec Dunsmore added 12 points, senior Vito Campolo scored nine, and senior Taili Thompson and junior Steph Ricketts contributed eight apiece.

Senior Bryson Pavlik tallied four key points in the fourth quarter and finished with six.

Against Fox Chapel, Gateway led 20-12 at halftime, fell behind by four as the Foxes used a big 16-4 third-quarter advantage, and rallied in the fourth to send it to an extra session.

The Gators then exploded for 16 points in the five-minute overtime period to pull away for the win.

Pavlik scored seven of his team-high 15 points in overtime. Thompson scored just one point in the second half and overtime, but his eight points in Gateway’s 14-point second quarter helped it take the lead into the break.

Dunsmore just missed double digits in scoring, but all nine of his points came in crucial moments in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Campolo scored eight points in the win, and Lowry added six.

Thompson scored a team-best 13 points and sophomore Chris Settles added 11 in the loss to Upper St. Clair.

Gateway was to continue the nonsection portion of its schedule Wednesday at Woodland Hills before a senior-night game with Laurel Highlands on Dec. 21.

Gateway wrestlers win

The Gators scored 169 team points and finished second to only Highlands (187) in the season-opening Southwest Kickoff Classic on Dec. 1 and 2 at Valley High School.

Six from Gateway picked up top-four finishes led by freshman Braden Washington’s title at 133 pounds.

Washington, in his varsity debut, decisioned Valley’s Brendon Knuckles in the 133 final, capping a 4-0 day which included pinfall victories in the first round, quarterfinals and semifinals.

Gators coach Ryan Sula said it was a good opening weekend as 11 on the team wrestled at least four matches.

Junior Luke Pawlowski lost by decision in the finals at 139, but he scored a pin and a decision in his first two matches.

Gateway wrestlers pinned opponents 25 times and added a pair of tech falls and a major decision.

Sophomore T.J. Mitchell, junior Sean Higson and sophomore Kittim Highsmith each added four victories, while sophomore Troy Boden, senior Jacob Pawlowski and juniors Connor Smith and Jakob Willams won three matches apiece.

Jacob Pawlowski and Highsmith earned third-place finishes at 215 and 285, respectively, while Higson (127) and Mitchell (172) both captured fourth-place honors.

Gateway carried the momentum from the opening-tournament success to a pair of dual-match wins over Woodland Hills (57-6) and Neighborhood Academy (66-0) on Dec. 6.

The Gators were to compete with Avonworth, Central Catholic, Upper St. Clair and North Hills at the North Hills Duals on Saturday before a nonsection dual match at Plum on Wednesday.

Gateway opens Section 4 action Dec. 20 at Hampton.

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at


More High School Other

Class of 2024 to be inducted into Franklin Regional Athletic Hall of Fame
Gateway bowlers cap season with successful trip to national tournament
High school scores, summaries and schedules for June 15, 2024
Championships highlight banner school year for Norwin sports
High school scores, summaries, schedules for June 14, 2024