Greensburg CC boys avenge loss to Riverview with big 2nd half

Friday, January 20, 2023 | 10:44 PM

It was a date circled on the calendar at Greensburg Central Catholic, a chance to avenge its only section loss in boys basketball.

On Friday night at GCC, the first-place Centurions evened the score with Riverview, erupting in the second half to erase a six-point deficit and beat the Raiders, 79-65, in a WPIAL Section 3-2A game behind Tyree Turner’s career-high 32 points.

“It fueled us the whole time,” Turner said. “To see them lose to teams that we beat really hurt our pride as a team.”

GCC (10-5, 6-1), which won for the sixth time in the past seven games, trailed 30-24 heading into halftime after struggling for a time against Riverview’s changing defenses, which included a mainly effective zone.

Turner & Co. emerged from the locker room to start the second half, and the Centurions erupted for 28 third-quarter points and 27 in the fourth, outscoring Riverview, 55-35, after the break.

“In the second half, we kind of let them loose,” GCC coach Christian Hyland said. “We said, ‘Get to the rim. Forget about the zone. Do what you guys do best. Use your speed. Use your athleticism and get to the rim,’ and that’s what they did. It was some impressive stuff to watch.”

Samir Crosby added 18 points (16 in the second half), and Franco Alvarez chipped in 15 (all in the second) for GCC, which dropped a 58-54 decision at Riverview on Dec. 16 for its only section loss.

A 14-0 run beginning near the end of the first half and extending into the third quarter put GCC in the lead for good, 33-30.

Turner was the catalyst, scoring from a variety of spots and feeding teammates for baskets.

“He’s very athletic,” Riverview coach Phil McGivney said. “He can drive, shoot and defend. He gets to the rim. He’s a good basketball player, and they’re going to be tough to beat.”

Ben Hower led Riverview (10-5, 3-4) with 25 points. Nate Sparajar added 15, and Luke Mosley finished with 12 for the Raiders, who dropped their second game in a row and third in the past four.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in here,” McGivney said. “We knew they were going to be ready. That third quarter was a killer for us. They only scored 24 points to that point, and they scored more than that in the third. From our standpoint, it only makes us better playing in an environment like this in January.”

Hyland, a former GCC player in his fourth season as coach of the Centurions, looked around the tight quarters of his alma mater’s gymnasium and smiled.

“It’s great to see the stands full,” he said. “We get really good support from the students, parents and families. It gets loud here. That ceiling is low to the floor, and it gets loud.”

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