Latrobe boys knock off 1st-place Woodland Hills

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Friday, January 21, 2022 | 10:34 PM


Latrobe hasn’t had much to celebrate in boys basketball this season.

But the Wildcats got to celebrate Friday night when they stunned first-place Woodland Hills, 77-66, in a WPIAL Section 3-5A contest at home.

The Wildcats (4-9, 2-5) are in an unfamiliar position in the section, in last place.

But they didn’t play like a team struggling to find wins.

Latrobe snapped a 35-35 halftime tie by outscoring the Wolverines, 26-10, in the third quarter and extended its lead to 68-47 early in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats forced 25 turnovers.

“It was the best game we’ve played all season,” Latrobe coach Brad Wetzel said. “With the youth and inexperience we have, it’s been a struggle. It’s been hard, but I thought the senior leadership and the experience was absolutely what we needed.

“It was a great win, and I’m so happy that they can enjoy this one.”

It was a role reversal from more than a month ago when Woodland Hills defeated the Wildcats, 77-52.

Junior Landon Butler finished with 31 points, six steals and three blocked shots. Senior Chase Sickenberger chipped in 16 points, and Tyler Mondock added 11.

“They pushed us around some down there,” Wetzel said. “I thought we played well in the first half, and I told them what they did in the first half they’d have to double in the second half. That’s a very good basketball team.”

Woodland Hills forged a tie at halftime when T.J. Jenkins, who finished with 13 points, banked home a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Wolverines (6-7, 4-2) took a 37-35 lead after a Latrobe turnover in the third quarter, but the Wildcats responded with an 8-0 run to grab a 43-37 lead.

Butler scored 11 points in the third quarter, and Sickenberger had seven.

Woodland Hills made a push in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to 11 by outscoring the Wildcats, 21-16.

“It was an all-team win,” Sickenberger said. “Landon came out with 31. All together we played well, all the way down to the young guys.

“This win shows us how hard we need to play to get a win, and I hope it gets the ball rolling toward more wins in the second half of the season.”

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Latrobe.

“I’m proud of them that they are staying in the fight,” Wetzel said. “They are practicing hard and fun to be around. It’s wins like this, especially for the young guys, and they see what this program needs. We’re going to bring it every night, and we did that (Friday).”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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