Jeannette rolls past Burgettstown after slow start

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | 8:45 PM


It took Jeannette a quarter to find its rhythm against Burgettstown in the first round of the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs.

Once they found their shooting touch, the Jayhawks rolled.

Jeannette (14-4) used a big second quarter to break open a tight game en route a 69-24 victory. The fifth-seeded Jayhawks will play host to Winchester-Thurston at noon Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Winchester-Thurston was awarded a win by forfeit over Springdale, which had four players test positive for the coronavirus. Winchester Thurston handed Jeannette one of its losses this season.

Jeannette outscored Burgettstown 27-8 in the second quarter to build a 39-15 lead at halftime.

It took an intentional foul in the first quarter to get the team fired up.

Jeannette, which scored the first eight points of the game, was leading 12-6 when senior Toby Cline was called for the foul. It got Jeannette coach Adrian Batts fired up, and it sparked the team.

“We came out flat,” Batts said. “After the intentional foul, our guys seemed to pick it up. It was close. I didn’t think he did it on purpose, but things happen like that.”

It didn’t help that Jeannette was 0 for 6 from the 3-point line in the first quarter, either.

But things heated up in the second quarter. The Jayhawks turned up the defensive pressure on young Burgettstown, which starts two freshmen, a sophomore and two juniors, and they started hitting 3s.

Jeannette was 6 for 8 from the 3-point line in the second quarter, and the offense started to flow. Burgettstown had more turnovers in the first half (18) than it had points (15).

Keith Rockmore scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second quarter to lead Jeannette, and Anton Good scored nine of his 15.

“Our game plan was to get the ball inside, and Hunter (Schmidt) didn’t touch the ball,” Batts said. “We just started firing 3s, and we didn’t have good ball movement.

“Once we settled down, our guys got into a rhythm and Brad (Birch) gave us a spark off the bench especially when Toby went out. Other guys also stepped up. Keith made some big shots during that run and so did Anton and Jim (Sanders).”

Jeannette continued to pile up points against Burgettstown, outscored them 30-9 in the second half and pushed the game into the mercy rule, a lead of 30 points or more in the second half, late in the third quarter on a bucket by the 6-foot-9 Schmidt to make it 46-15.

Sanders finished with nine points while Schmidt and Birch each had seven. Rockmore had six steals in the game as Burgettstown finished with 25 turnovers.

Jackson LaRocka led Burgettstown (8-12) with 10 points. The Blue Devils had a preliminary round win against Riverview.

“I feel we fought together in the first quarter, and then we executed a lot better in the second quarter,” Rockmore said. “We moved the ball better, and we started making shots.

“We set ourselves a lot better, and we were getting open shots. Our defense saw what they were doing, and we adjusted better and took away what they were doing.”

Jeannette’s defense was so harassing that it prevented Burgettstown from getting many shots off. The Blue Devils finished 7 for 30 from the floor, including 2 for 10 from the 3-point line.

“We wanted to start the game with a lot of pressure,” Batts said. “We didn’t want them walking the ball up the court. We wanted to get them off their comfort zone.”

The Jayhawks were 7 for 20 from the 3-point line after going 0 for 6 in the first quarter. They made 22 of 30 field goals.

It was the third consecutive game that Jeannette has mercy ruled an opponent.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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