Path to the Pete Recaps From Saturday 2/20

Saturday, February 20, 2016 | 10:32 PM

Two WPIAL defending champions were bounced in the opening round and two more were eliminated on Saturday as the Final Four were finalized, as were the Consolation Semifinals in all eight brackets set for Monday. After Indiana boys in AAA and Seton-LaSalle girls in AA were dethroned in the First Round, Saturday brought then end of the one year title run of Chartiers Valley boys in AAAA and the two year run of Blackhawk in girls AAA. Here are the summaries from Quarterfinals Saturday in Boys AAAA, Boys AA, Girls AAA and Girls A along with an update on a health scare for one head coach that puts all of these games in perspective.

A special thanks to Kyle Dawson, Dennis Fischer, Bob Orkwis, Mike Azadian, Sam Hall, Andy Stanko, Tom Hays, Aaron Anderson, Paul Paterra, Bob Gregg, Bob Barrickman and Don Rebel for their help on these recaps


Latrobe Wildcats 79 – Bethel Park Black Hawks 73 
The Greater Latrobe Wildcats got past the Bethel Park Black Hawks with a 79-73 win after trailing most of the game. Going into the second half, Bethel Park lead 48-39, but Latrobe charged back in the third quarter, claiming a 57-55 lead as time expired to move onto the fourth. The Wildcats and Black Hawks traded the lead a few time in the fourth quarter, but three three-point baskets from Tommy Kisick lifted the Wildcats as they were able to pull away late. Sean Gratok lead the way for Latrobe with 23 points. Josh Duda was impressive shooting from the outside, making six three-pointers and leading the way for Bethel Park with 24 points.

Pine-Richland Rams 56 – Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 46 
Often it’s tough to beat a team three times in the same season, but Pine-Richland was able to do just that in yet another close game at North Allegheny High School. The score was tight for three quarters, but the Rams outscored the Vikings 22-11 over the final eight minutes to seal the victory. A key play in the fourth quarter was a steal by Phil Jurkovec, which he punctuated with a slam dunk that seemed to take the wind out of the Vikings’ sails. The Rams also received a key contribution from Charlie Totorice in the fourth quarter, as he scored each of his seven points in the quarter. It could almost be said that the Rams were somewhat perfect in the fourth quarter, making each of their seven field goal attempts. For the game, the Rams made 18-34 shots for a sparkling 53 percent. They also did quite well at the free-throw line, connecting on 16 of 23 attempts. Dan Petcash paced the Pine-Richland scoring attack with 16 points, despite playing much of the final 10 minutes of the game with three fouls. Alex Goitz added 13 points, including three, three pointers. Jurkovec added 11 to the Rams’ cause. Bobby Kiernan, or “Bobby Buckets” as he is known to the Viking faithful – led Central Catholic with 16 points. Oscar Marroqin chipped in with a career high 9 points and 8 rebounds off of the Vikings bench. Central only connected on 14 of its 35 field goal attempts and turned the ball over 15 times. Pine-Richland advances to the semifinals to No. 1 seed Latrobe. Central Catholic will play Bethel Park in a consolation round game.

North Hills Indians 64 – Chartiers Valley Colts 60 
In a dandy of a Quarterfinals battle before a raucous crowd at North Allegheny High School with a berth in the Quad-A Final Four at stake, the outcome of a tight game between North Hills and Chartiers Valley suddenly didn’t seem to matter early in the fourth quarter. nearly two minutes into the final quarter and with the crowd at a fevered pitch, North Hills head coach Buzz Gabos collapsed in front of the Indians bench. Trainers tended to Coach Gabos as paramedics were summoned to the gym. Officials and both teams were taken off the floor while medical attention was given to Coach Gabos, who has a history of vertigo. He was taken to a hospital where he was kept overnight Saturday for observations as our prayers are with Coach Gabos for a speedy recovery. Assistant Coach Sean White took over the reigns as both teams came back and warmed up before play resumed. North Hills started quickly out of the gate, leading 20-9 after one quarter. Solid execution in their half court offense and Chartiers Valley struggling from the field allowed the 7th-seed Indians to take a 33-26 lead into the locker room. After North Hills opened up a double digit lead, Caleb Zajicek hit three 3-pointer in the four possession span to pull the Colts back to within four at 48-44 after three quarters. After the lengthy medical delay, Nick Smith took over for the Indians from the field and the free throw line, scoring 15 of his game high 26 points in the second half as North Hills eliminated the defending Quad-A champs. Ishmael Waldron added 14 points for North Hills as the Indians improve to 15-8 with a fifth straight victory as they will face Penn Hills Wednesday in one Semifinals game. Ross Wilkerson led Chartiers Valley with 20 points while Eddie Flohr, who struggled at times with his shot from the field, still contributed 19 points. The Colts are now 19-5 and will play Plum in a Consolation Game on Monday to stay alive for a PIAA playoff berth.

Penn Hills Indians 73 – Plum Mustangs 61 
A pair of rivals from Section 2/AAAA met in this quarterfinal matchup at Norwin High School. Penn Hills and Plum finished 1-2 in the section and the teams spilt the 2 games during the regular season. With both teams being familiar with one another, you would expect a close game and that’s pretty much how this contest played out until the end. Penn Hills jumped out to an early 11-4 lead in the first quarter, but Plum finished by scoring 9 of the last 11 points and the game was tied at 13-13 after 8 minutes. It would remain tight at halftime with Plum leading by one and with the Mustangs leading 49-46 after three quarters. The fourth quarter offered much of the same back and forth and the game was tied at 53-53 with 4:45 left when Plum guard Kevin Brown picked up his fifth personal foul. The junior had been very active for the Mustangs in helping break the Penn Hills press and he left the contest with 7 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. The tide turned here, as Penn Hills went on a 10-0 run and outscored the Mustangs 20-8 the rest of the way to pick up the 12-pont victory. Free throws were important in the 4th quarter as Penn Hills made 16-of-22 free throws in the quarter compared to Plum’s 2-of-3.  The Indians finished the game 28-of-38 from the line while Plum was 12-of-20. All told, 10 Indians made their way into the scoring column led by Jeremiah Ligon’s 15 points. Ligon was 9-of-12 from the line. Sherron Shiffino, the Indians leading scoring at 14.8 PPG, finished with 11 and was a perfect from the charity stripe. Senior Keith Yarbough came off the bench to contribute 11 points as well for Penn Hills who improved to (19-5) with the win. The 6th seeded Mustangs were paced by senior James Edwards’s game-high 21 points. Jack Marold chipped in with 14 including 2-three pointers while senior Robbie Deemer added 10 points and 6 rebounds in the loss for the Mustangs. Plume exits the WPIAL Quad-A playoff tournament with a record of (17-6) and the Mustangs head into the PIAA consolation tournament to face Chartiers Valley on Monday. For the 3rd seeded Indians, it’s a trip to the semifinals for the first time since 2003; when Penn Hills went on to win the WPIAL championship. Wednesday Night in the Quad-A final four it will be a battle of the Indians and Penn Hills faces 7th seeded North Hills. That matchup will be held at a site and time to be determined.

BOYS WPIAL CLASS AA Quarterfinals:

Aliquippa Quips 49 – Washington Little Prexies 36 
Aliquippa outscored Washington 18-9 in the second quarter and that proved to be the difference in the Quips 49-36 victory over Washington in a Boys AA quarterfinal Saturday at West Allegheny, 49-36.  Senior Charles Humphries had the hot hand for the winners by scoring 17 points in the first half before settling for 19 overall.  The Prexies were trailing 21-18 before the Quips scored the final nine points of the half.  Washington closed the gap to seven in the third before Aliquippa’s defense took control.  Jassir Jordan contributed 12 points for the 23-0 Quips while Nate Swart paced the Prexies with 14 points and Matt Popeck added 10, seven points below his average.  Aliquippa sewed up a spot in the upcoming PIAA playoffs as the top seed now faces once beaten Greensburg Central Catholic in the semifinals on Wednesday.  Washington dipped to 17-7 and must win its state play-in on Monday against Seton-LaSalle to reach the state tournament.

Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 82 – Seton-LaSalle Rebels 54 
At Peters Township High School The Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions move to the semi finals with an impressive win in WPIAL Boys AA playoff action with a 82-54 win over Seton La Salle. The first quarter was competitive as both teams rebounded well and came to play defense it was 20-20 after one period. Into the second quarter  GCC took off and ended the quarter with a 12-1 run. Ben Hertzog led the way with 11 first half points and the Centurions led 38-25. The second half was all GCC as they poured it on. Great  defense, moves to open shots at the basket, and of course the deadly three point shot all led to a 61-33 lead after three. The fourth quarter was mainly reserves and the final was 82-54. Hertzog led GCC with 20 points, Dominic Rullo and Neal McDermott each had 15, Tyler White contributed 11 for the winners who improve to 23-1. The Centurions out rebounded Seton 38-23 on the game. Seton turned the ball over 20 times, 18 during the 2nd and 3rd quarter. For Seton Cletus Helton had 13, and Conor Pederson 12. The Rebels fall to 15-10. Seton stays alive for a PIAA berth and will play again in the play in round, while GCC will play Wednesday in the semi finals.

Lincoln Park Leopards 63 – Neshannock Lancers 61 
In a thriller at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Lincoln Park the number two seed escapes with a 63-61 win over number ten Neshannock. The Lancers had the lead with two minutes remaining at 56-54 then Leopard guard Nelly Cummings hit a three to put Lincoln Park back in front. Neshannock had the ball with three seconds remaining but a long three point attempt by the Lancers was off the mark enabling Lincoln Park to advance to the semis to face Bishop Canevin. Neshannock will play in a PIAA play in game on Monday. Lincoln Park was led by Nelly Cummings with 29 points. Nick Ali had 17 and Zay Craft had 12. Neshannock was led by Jake Rylott with 17, Jason Swope with 15 and Ethan Moose had 13.

Bishop Canevin Crusaders 72 – Quaker Valley Quakers 44 
The Bishop Canevin Crusaders rolled over the Quaker Valley Quakers 72-44 in their Boys WPIAL AA quarterfinal game at Chartiers Valley high school Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders got out to a 9-0 start at the beginning of the game and never looked back in improving to 19-5 on the season. Bishop Canevin was led by Justin Dix who posted a game-high 29 points that included hitting seven three-point shots. Walter Bonds added 18 for the Crusaders who led the game 26-18 at the half. Bishop Canevin advances to the semi-finals to face Lincoln Park Wednesday night on the MSA Sports Network. Quaker Valley falls to 19-5 on the year but they still have a chance to continue their season as they will meet the Neshannock Lancers in a PIAA play-in game Monday night at 8:00 PM at Keystone Oaks high school. The Quakers got 13 points from junior Amos Luptak in the loss and a dozen from Wolfie Moser.


South Fayette Lions 44 – Chartiers Valley Colts 35 
Any team that wins a championship finds a game along the way that it just has to grind its way to victory. Such was the case for the No. 1 seed South Fayette in this win over the No. 8 seed Chartiers Valley at North Allegheny High School. South Fayette Coach Matt Bacco alluded to that very fact after his team secured a hard-fought victory in its quest to get back to the WPIAL championship game. The contest was played tight throughout until South Fayette outscored Chartiers Valley 17-6 in the fourth quarter. The Lions held the Colts to just one field goal over the final eight minutes. It was a quarter that saw Maddie Gutierrez tie the game with a big three-pointer that seemed to lift the spirits of her South Fayette teammates. Through the first three quarters neither team was able to amass a big lead and the score sat 19-19 at the half and Chartiers Valley led 29-27 after three quarters. That’s when the South Fayette defense stepped up, despite playing much of the quarter with Emily Anderson – a 6-3 senior – on the bench with foul trouble. Gutierrez paced South Fayette with 15 points, 13 in the second half. She also went 8-8 at the foul line, 6-6 in the fourth quarter and many of those coming late in the game when the score was still within one possession. Anderson did score 10 points before eventually fouling out, 8 of those coming in the first half. Lauren Wagner led Chartiers Valley with 15 points, which came on five three-pointers. Her sister McKenzie chipped in 10 points. South Fayette advances to the WPIAL semifinals to play Hampton, which upset two-time defending champ Blackhawk. Chartiers Valley will play Blackhawk in a consolation round game.

Hampton Talbots 52 – Blackhawk Cougars 40 
The #5 seed Hampton Talbots advanced to the semifinal round of the WPIAL girls basketball tournament with a 52-40 upset win over the #4 seed, and two-time defending champion, Blackhawk Cougars on Saturday afternoon at North Catholic High School.  The Talbots led throughout the game, beginning with a 15-9 lead at the end of the first period.  The Cougars cut into the Hampton advantage to trail by five, 24-19, at the half.  But the effective zone defense Hampton employed throughout the game turned up the pressure after the intermission, holding Blackhawk to just eight points in the third quarter to take 38-27 lead into the final period.  Hampton then seemingly matched Blackhawk basket-for-basket over the remaining eight minutes to go away with the win.  The Talbots were led by junior Jenna Lafko with 17 points, sophomore Alison Collins with 14, and junior Aaryn Griggs, who’s 10 points and outstanding defensive play off the bench were critical to the Hampton effort.  Blackhawk was paced by senior Mariah Evans with a game high 22 points.  Hampton (19-5) will play the winner of the South Fayette/Chartiers Valley game on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.  Blackhawk (17-7) will move into the PIAA Play-in mini-tournament on Monday night where the Cougars will meet the loser of the South Fayette/ Chartiers Valley game.

Trinity Hillers 56 – South Park Eagles 41 
Alayna Cappelli hit four of five three-point tries in the third quarter, pushing Trinity to a 56-41 win over South Park.  Mary Dunn added 10 of her game-high 23 points in the fourth as the Hillers steadily pulled away over the final 16  minutes.  Dunn  and Siearra Kotchman opened the game, helping Trinity (20-3) to a 14-6 lead with just over a minute to play in the first quarter.  Out of a time-out, South Park went on a 12-point run that lasted beyond midway through the second period.  Allison McGrath opened the second with a trey.  Natalie Clydesdale sliced into the lane, getting a layup and hitting on three of her four free throws.  Dunn got a put-back to end the Hillers’ 5-1/2 minute scoring drought and, 20 second later, Kotchman drained a second three-pointer.  Dunn pocketed the final seven points of the half for Trinity as the Hillers held a 26-24 lead at intermission.  With the Eagles playing a box-and-one on Kotchman, Cappelli got open looks early in the third and took advantage. Trinity was able to hold South Park (18-6) to just four field goals in the half until the final minute of the game.  Cappelli finished with 17 points, Kotchman 14 for Trinity.  Clydesdale led the Eagles with 17.  McGrath and Brittany Andrews scored 10 apiece.  Trinity advances to the WPIAL semifinals Wednesday and clinches a berth in the PIAA tournament.  The Eagles drop into the PIAA qualifier bracket, needing to one of its next two games to advance.

Mars Fighting Planets 57 – Ambridge Bridgers 38 
This game was tied at 22 at the half before Mars took control in the third quarter. Mars continued to build their lead in the fourth quarter pulling away with a 57-38 victory. Mars was led by freshman point guard Tai Johnson with 20 points and Lauren Wasylson with 16.
Leading scorers for Ambridge were Abbey Antolic and Sydney Rabold with 12 points each. The Lady Planets move onto the semis while the Lady Bridgers face a PIAA play in game.

GIRLS WPIAL CLASS A Quarterfinals:

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 48 – Riverview Raiders 36 
It’s tough to beat teams the three times in a season and Riverview made that statement true for the top-seeded Trojans of Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic as CWNC fought its way to the win with a 48-36 victory over the Raiders in a hard-fought contest at Chartiers Valley High School. For the Trojans, who led just 21-16 at the half, an 8-0 run in a game of runs put CWNC up by 13 early in the second half, but just like that, Riverview went on an 8-0 run of its own to get back within five at 29-25. But from there, CWNC junior Sam Breen took over, scoring eight more points for a total of 24 in the 12-point win for the Trojans. Dani Short contributed 12 for the CWNC attack as well and according to head coach Molly Rottmann in her postgame interview with MSA, opened up the lane for Breen in the third quarter with great offensive effort. For Riverview, Sadie Buchser led the attack with 20 points in total, 14 of which came in the first half. Ariel Rafferty contributed eight in the losing effort for the Raiders, but the game was much closer than the final indicated. Riverview will now play in the PIAA Play-In Tournament to try and be the fifth team out of Class A to compete in the PIAA Tournament. The Raiders will play Monday night and will need to win two games to get the state playoffs. As for CWNC, next up is semifinal contest to be played Wednesday night with an opportunity to then play Saturday at the Peterson Events Center if they can defeat their semifinal opponent. CWNC is now 22-2 on the season, while Riverview drops to 14-9.

Cornell Raiders 53 – Ellis School Tigers 39 
Cornell’s Deaja Quick outscored the entire Ellis School team 14-7 and the Tigers extend a three point second half lead to 14 heading into the fourth and cruised to a 53-39 win. Cornell qualifies for the semifinals and state playoffs for the first time in school history behind 28 points from Quick. Cornell limited Ellis School’s Dayna Rouse, one of the top scorers in the WPIAL, to 11 points, well below her scoring average. Cornell controlled the game from the start and jumped out to a 12-5 lead after the first quarter. Ellis School got back into the game with 11 of 20 first half points coming from the free throw line in the first half, and a three at the buzzer by Rouse cut what had been a nine-point Tiger lead down to three. Domonique Richards added 12 for Cornell and Charlotte Forsythe scored 15 for Ellis. Cornell advances to the semifinals to face #1 CWNC. Ellis School will play Riverview in a PIAA first-round fifth seed play-in on Monday at Fox Chapel High School at 6:00pm.

Vincentian Academy Royals 60 – Rochester Rams 24 
In a game that went to the mercy rule in the third quarter, Vincentian rolled over Rochester in a Girls A quarterfinal Saturday at West Allegheny, 60-24.  The Lady Royals led 18-2 after the first quarter and increased the margin to 35 at the half, 38-3.  Vincentian then led by as many as 42 points when the score read 48-3.  Royal coach Ron Moncrief emptied his bench by the end of the third period.  The Lady Rams did find their niche from beyond the arc by hitting five 3-pointers after intermission, three of those by Payton Tomasko and the other two by junior Julia Sabbio.  Tomasko led the Rams with nine points while Sabbio added eight.  IUP recruit Lexi Griggs led Vincentian with 12 points while Kiersten Elliot and Marissa Muth chipped in with 11 each.  Muth made three treys off the bench to aid the Royals.  Vincentian, the number two seed, will take a 19-4 record into the semifinals on Wednesday against Quigley Catholic.  The Royals also locked up a PIAA playoff berth with the victory.  The loss dropped Rochester to 13-10 and will meet Winchester Thurston on Monday in a state play-in game.  The Rams must win two play-in games to qualify for the state playoffs.

Quigley Catholic Spartans 49 – Winchester Thurston Bears 42 
Once trailing by five points in the third quarter, Quigley Catholic made a charge late in that period and then controlled the fourth to up end Winchester Thurston in a Saturday Girls A quarterfinal, 49-42.  The Lady Bears got a solid performance by sophomore Ayanna Townsend as she outplayed Quigley scoring sensation Gabby Smith for more than two periods.  But, Townsend picked up her fourth foul late in the third and Winchester Thurston never got back into sync thereafter.  Townsend and Smith both finished with 27 points, which was four points below Smith’s season average.  However, Smith scored 20 of her tallies after intermission on the hardwood at West Allegheny.  The difference maker was Lady Spartan freshman Taylor Kirschner, who finished with 17 points including four connections from 3-point range.  No other Winchester Thurston player finished in double figures.  Quigley is now 19-5 and has clinched a PIAA playoff spot and will face Vincentian in the semifinals on Wednesday.  The 12-11 Bears must win two state play-in games to qualify for the state tourney.  The first one will be Monday against Rochester.

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