Springdale boys looking to make WPIAL semifinals for first time since 1991

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Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 5:48 PM


The No. 4-seeded Springdale Dynamos escaped from Shaler last Saturday night with a big WPIAL Class 2A first-round victory over No. 13 Sewickley Academy.

How big? Well, considering that the Dynamos (20-3) walked away with an eight-point victory, and star junior Demitri Fritch only scored six points and exited the game with just over three minutes to play, the Dynamos considered it pretty big.

“It was a great team win,” said junior forward Logan Dexter, who scored a team-high 18 points. “Especially since (Fritch) didn’t get going too much offensively. But everyone stepped up and made plays for us.”

Three other players answered the bell for the Dynamos and scored in double digits. Alongside Dexter, Ben Myford scored 14 and Ryan Reinsfelder hit five 3-pointers for 15 points.

“I don’t think, moving forward, we can win a game with Demitri scoring six points,” Springdale coach Aaron Epps said. “But it just shows that we’re more than one guy, and all year we have been. We almost put four guys in double figures and a kid like Logan Dexter, to me, is an all-conference type player. So, for us, we rely on everybody.”

At this stage in the game, it’s survive and advance for each team in the WPIAL playoffs, and it doesn’t matter how teams get it done. As the Dynamos look ahead, they have another big challenge awaiting them when they travel back to Shaler on Friday for an 8 p.m. contest against Section 1-2A rival No. 11 Winchester Thurston (11-11).

Their seeding and the regular-season series between these two teams might suggest a different story, but the Bears still present a challenge for a Dynamos team that is looking for its first trip to the WPIAL semifinals since 1991.

“It’s hard enough to beat someone three times, let alone four,” Epps said. “But I always say it doesn’t mean you can’t. People get swept in series all the time. So, if we play the way we’re capable of playing, we should be able to beat them for the fourth time.”

The teams first faced off toward the beginning of the season in section play and the Dynamos came away with a 10-point victory. Epps admitted that the game was closer than the final score indicated, though.

Then, the Dynamos handed their section rival another loss eight days later at the St. Joseph’s holiday tournament. This time around, it was a little more convincing as Fritch and Dexter combined for 44 points in a 14-point victory.

The Bears responded in their third meeting of the season and this time, they only lost by six points.

“It’s hard to beat a team four times,” Fritch said. “Winchester Thurston is a good team. Langston (Moses) is a good player, and we have to match their intensity and play how we know how.”

Their fourth meeting of the year will be an exciting one. The Bears are coming off an upset win over No. 5 Laurel, 47-45, which was the first WPIAL playoff victory in school history. At this time of the year, any team can be dangerous, and the Bears showed that on Saturday as Moses scored 16 points and two others added 11.

The Dynamos aren’t focused on what the Bears have done lately, though. They are focused on simply doing what they’ve done all season long. Come Friday, they are hoping to put it all together for the 21st time this season and become just the second team in the past 29 years to play in a WPIAL semifinal game.

“That’d be big,” Fritch said.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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