No. 11 Fox Chapel knocks off Thomas Jefferson, sets up rematch with North Hills

Friday, February 17, 2023 | 11:30 PM

Despite Thomas Jefferson earning the sixth seed in the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs and the right to host No. 11 Fox Chapel in first-round action Friday night, it was all Foxes as they dominated in a 62-45 upset victory.

Fox Chapel (14-9) took full advantage of the cold-shooting Jaguars (15-8) throughout the game.

“I thought we stood and watched a lot offensively,” Thomas Jefferson coach Dom DiCecco said. “Defensively, I thought we did a lot of good things, we just didn’t rebound well enough. They beat us to loose balls. I think they were the tougher and better team.”

Kam Greil turned in a stellar performance for the victors, pouring in 20 points while making his presence known on the defensive end. Jefferson Moorefield-Brown added 16 for Fox Chapel.

“We knew those were their two guys, and they beat us,” DiCecco said. “We knew (Moorefield-Brown) spins every time he goes to the lane, but we let him do it a few times.”

Fox Chapel will meet No. 3 North Hills in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The Foxes defeated North Hills in the WPIAL finals in Class 6A last season.

Evan Berger finished with a team-leading 16 points, but no other Jaguars scored in double figures. Noah Prosser only mustered one 3-pointer on the night.

The contest started off close, with Moorefield-Brown and Berger getting to work early on the offensive end.

Moorefield-Brown scored his team’s first four points before Greil got on the board with a free throw, but Berger followed up the free throw on the other end with his second 3-pointer of the contest to give the Jaguars a 6-5 lead in the opening minutes.

After the Foxes got the lead right back, the home team continued its hot start from deep as Cody Karcher knocked down a trifecta to make the score 10-9 in favor of TJ. Berger added a layup before Greil and Moorefield-Brown combined for the last four points of the quarter, giving the Foxes a 13-12 lead after one.

After another Berger 3 made the score 22-21 in favor of Thomas Jefferson, the Foxes went on a 9-0 run right before halftime to swing things in their direction for a 30-22 lead. Prosser responded with a heave from beyond the half-court line at the halftime buzzer, giving the Jaguars some hope at 30-25.

But Fox Chapel came out swinging in the second half, outscoring TJ 16-9 in the third quarter.

After Berger opened the scoring out of the break, Greil finished through contact and sank the extra free throw before he connected on a 3 to make the score 36-27.

The Foxes maintained a 10-point advantage late in the third before they added to the lead and ended the frame with a 46-34 score.

After the Jaguars were forced to throw full-court pressure at Fox Chapel, the Foxes picked the home team apart as Greil scored the first five points for his team in the fourth. He also set up several teammates and continued to beat the pressure from TJ guards.

After Berger knocked down two shots from the charity stripe and made the score 53-40 late in the fourth quarter, Fox Chapel iced the victory with a 6-0 run and scored the final four points of the contest to cap the scoring at 62-45.

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