Latrobe knocks off Penn-Trafford again
Friday, January 24, 2020 | 10:04 PM
It hasn’t been a great season for the Latrobe boys basketball team.
The Wildcats, who generally battle for the section title, find themselves in last place in the WPIAL Section 3-6A standings.
But Latrobe didn’t look like a last-place team Friday at Penn-Trafford, and the teams ahead of them in standings should take notice.
Sparked by a 30-point effort from 6-foot-6 senior center Mike Noonan, the Wildcats stunned second-place Penn-Trafford for the second time this season, winning 68-52. Noonan also had 10 rebounds.
Latrobe (5-13, 2-5) defeated Penn-Trafford, 63-41, on Jan. 3.
Latrobe is now a game out of third place in the section, trailing Hempfield and Norwin, who are both 3-4.
After opening up a 36-30 lead early in the third quarter, Latrobe watched Penn-Trafford go on a 9-0 run to grab a 39-36 lead.
But the Wildcats didn’t buckle, using a 9-0 run to reclaim the lead for good. Latrobe led 51-43 heading to the fourth quarter.
“This was our best basketball game from beginning to end,” Latrobe coach Brad Wetzel said. “It was a testament to these guys, coming out in the third quarter, losing the lead, and with the difficult season we’ve had they could have easily tanked it, but instead, they reached out and gave it their best.”
Noonan scored eight points in the quarter and added another eight in the fourth as the Wildcats protected their lead.
“You have to bring your best when you come to Penn-Trafford and win, and that’s what we did,” Wetzel said. “What Mike did today was special. He ran a straight line from rim to rim and never stopped and he never slowed down. Because of that, we always had a good option with him running to the basket.
“I was proud of him and for the guys seeing him. When he runs like that, he’s difficult to guard.”
Freshman Landon Butler came off the bench to score 17 points, 10 in the second half.
Latrobe was 28 of 51 from the field, including 24 of 39 from inside the 3-point line. Penn-Trafford was 19 for 51, 6 of 19 from beyond the 3-point line.
“Coach said this was a game we needed to win,” Noonan said. “We got the win, and now we move on to the next game. We were running our break and making all our shots. We did everything well.
“We ran a lot of our offense and we were patient. We just have to keep it going.”
Zach Rocco led Penn-Trafford with 22 points and Nick Crum added 15. Crum was held scoreless in the fourth quarter after hitting three 3-pointers.
Penn-Trafford coach Jim Rocco didn’t come out of the locker room and was unavailable for comment after the game.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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