Monessen rallies late to win thriller in PIAA Class A 2nd round

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | 10:17 PM


Devin Whitlock plays basketball well beyond his years.

The Monessen freshman found the ball in his hands with time running out in Tuesday’s PIAA Class A second-round game against Bishop Carroll at Greensburg Salem.

But Whitlock, playing like a varsity veteran, saw a small opening and decided to go to the hoop. His floater in the lane banked in with 13.4 seconds left, and then the 5-foot-7 guard clinched a victory by snagging Tristan McDannell’s miss with 4.5 seconds left in Monessen’s thrilling 63-62 win.

Monessen (17-9) will play Nazareth Prep, which defeated District 5 champion Shade, 67-61, in the quarterfinals Friday at a site and time to be determined.

Whitlock finished with a game-high 23 points and had 11 rebounds. Senior guard Dishon Howell had 15 points, and Darnel Howell added 12.

“I tried to do the best for my team and step up as a leader and take over the game,” Whitlock said. “After I hit the layup, we had a good defensive possession.”

The Greyhounds never led in the game until Dishon Howell nailed two free throws with 53.6 seconds left for a 61-60 lead.

Caron Ertter made two free throws to give Bishop Carroll (20-6) a 62-61 lead with 41.8 left, then Whitlock took over.

After Whitlock’s shot fell, McDannell raced up the court and attempted his own floater, but missed.

Dishon Howell, battling a right wrist injury, scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter.

“We started off slow in the first half, but we focused on defense more in the second half,” Dishon Howell said. “We helped each other on defense, which led to a good offense. That’s how we got back into the game.”

Bishop Carroll took advantage of its height inside with 6-foot-5 junior forward Nolan Burk to control the first three quarters. Burk finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

The Huskies led 15-11 after one quarter and increased their lead to 29-23 at halftime. Burk scored seven points in the opening quarter, which forced Monessen’s defense to collapse on him.

That opened things up for McDannell, especially in the third quarter when Bishop Carroll expanded its lead to 49-39. McDannell finished with 20 points, 10 in the third quarter.

Monessen scored the final four points of the third quarter and seized the momentum as Darnel Howell hit a pair of free throws and Antwon Tucker scored on a layup.

“Our kids showed great heart there and really battled,” Monessen first-year coach Dan Bosnic said. “We were fortunate enough to get a score at the end that obviously was the difference in the game.

“Devin and Dishon made huge plays at the end. Devin is a freshman, but he hasn’t played like a freshman all year long. He’s made big play after big play. And Dishon, coming into the state playoffs he had a wrist injury and we weren’t certain he was going to play, and he played really well.”

Bosnic said Bishop Carroll did a great job attacking off the dribble, and they hurt his team inside.

“We cleaned things up in the second half, not allowing second chances,” Bosnic said. “Then I feel our pressure got to them down the stretch.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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