Nazareth Prep boys top Vincentian Academy to claim 1st WPIAL Class A basketball title
Thursday, February 28, 2019 | 8:33 PM
Nazareth Prep senior Tre Harvey knew during warmups it was going to be a special night.
The 6-foot-3 forward nailed his first 3-pointer and seemingly didn’t miss during a 31-point effort that carried the Saints to a 69-62 victory against Vincentian Academy in the WPIAL Class A championship game Thursday at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center.
Harvey was 5 for 9 from beyond the 3-point line and 8 for 8 from the foul line to lead Nazareth Prep (19-3) to its first WPIAL title in the school’s third season in the WPIAL.
The Saints also snapped Vincentian’s three-game winning streak in championship games. Vincentian (16-8) was looking for its fourth WPIAL title. The Royals were the 2018 champions.
“I knew in warmups we weren’t going to lose this game,” Harvey said after his career-high performance. “It was the best game we’ve played as a team. Our defense is why we win games. We do a good job holding teams under their average.”
Vincentian won both Section 1 meetings, but the hot-shooting Harvey helped Nazareth Prep grab a 28-16 lead at halftime when he scored 17 points. The Saints used a 14-3 run to open up a 22-11 lead, and they held Vincentian to five points in the second quarter.
The Saints extended that lead to 42-22 in the third quarter.
“We came out flat,” Vincentian coach Tim Tyree Jr. said. “We weren’t hitting our shots, and we didn’t defend Tre well enough.”
William Taylor, Nazareth Prep’s leading scorer during the regular season, added 13 points.
“Tre was amazing,” Taylor said. “I was in awe of him. Every time I play with him I see something new.
“It’s a wonderful feeling winning the title. But I can’t say I’m surprised because our guys work hard every day. We were ready to play.”
Ethan Embleton led Vincentian (16-8) with 18 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter. Angelo Reeves chipped in with 14 points, 12 in the second half. He sat out part of the first half with three fouls.
“I knew we let a game get away from us when we played them earlier,” Nazareth Prep coach Nehemiah Brazil said. “No disrespect towards Vincentian, when we came out of those games we felt we had a great chance to win.
“They out-played us in the fourth quarter of those games to get the wins. We knew we had to come out with the same intensity and finish the game strong.”
Vincentian did outscore Nazareth Prep, 32-22, in the fourth quarter, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Both teams advance to the PIAA Class A tournament, which begins March 8. Nazareth Prep plays the District 9 fourth-place team, and Vincentian gets the District 6 third-place team, Saint Joseph Catholic Academy.
“We’ll see what we’re made of,” Tyree said. “I told them the 1988 and 1989 Monessen teams didn’t win a WPIAL, but still won a state title. We’ll get back to work.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .
Tags: Vincentian Academy