No. 6 Jeannette rallies to beat Sewickley Academy, avoid 1st-round upset

By:
Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 9:54 PM


It took No. 6 Jeannette more than two and a half quarters to find its groove, but once it did, the Jayhawks found their first playoff win since 2021.

Jeannette used a 10-0 run to end the third quarter and then held on to defeat No. 11 Sewickley Academy, 52-47, in a WPIAL Class 2A first-round game at home.

The Jayhawks (15-7) will now face the winner of Tuesday night’s game between Northgate and Clairton on Friday in the quarterfinals at a site to be determined.

Jeannette had trouble solving Sewickley Academy’s zone, and the Jayhawks didn’t shoot very well.

But the one thing the Jayhawks did do was play defense, which kept them in the game until sophomore Kymon’e Brown and freshman Markus McGowan started making shots.

“If you want to advance in playoff games, it’s playing good defense, rebounds and making free throws,” Jeannette coach Adrian Batts said. “We didn’t do a good job in the first half and that’s why we trailed. We did a much better job in the second half. We still could have rebounded better.”

Brown scored seven points in the third quarter and McGowan added five, including a 3-pointer, as Jeannette took the lead for good at 27-25.

“I thought both teams played good defense,” Sewickley Academy coach Jim Dudas said. “They were able to get out in transition in the third quarter and forced us to play catch up.”

Jeannette led 31-25 after the 10-0 run to conclude the third quarter.

“Markus has been playing well for a freshman,” Batts said. “The young guys have to learn you can’t stand around.

“This was a nice win for us. We’ve made the playoffs. We just haven’t won a game the past two seasons.”

The Jayhawks then slowed play down, forcing Sewickley Academy to get out of its zone defense.

Jeannette watched Sewickley Academy close the gap to 31-27 before freshman Jayce Powell got loose in the lane for back-to-back buckets to push the Jeannette lead to 39-29 with 2:09 left.

Sewickley Academy (13-10) then started putting the Jayhawks on the foul line and the trio of Brown, Powell and McGowan went 13 for 16 to close things out.

“We shot free throws pretty well in the fourth quarter,” Batts said.

Brown finished with a team-high 17 points, 15 in the second half. Powell added 13, nine in the fourth quarter, and McGowan added 10.

Meanwhile, the visiting Panthers went 10 for 12 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to keep the game close.

“We had to foul them in the fourth quarter,” Dudas said. “They made enough to hold us off.”

Nolan Donnelly finished with 16 points and Lucas Grimsley added 10.

Sewickley Academy got off to a good start. It led 12-8 after a quarter and 20-15 at halftime. Jeannette pulled in front in the third quarter by outscoring the Panthers, 16-5.

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.

Tags: ,

More Basketball

Hampton basketball readies for rare coaching search
Hall of fame basketball coach Joe Lafko steps down at Hampton
Corey Dotchin steps down as Highlands boys basketball coach
PIAA taking bids to host basketball championships
Basketball coach Rob Niederberger, who lifted Shaler from last place to WPIAL contender, resigns