Terek Crosby helps Yough overtake Derry in Cougar Tip-off Invitational final

Saturday, December 2, 2023 | 11:04 PM

Terek Crosby let his hair down for Saturday night’s final of the Yough Cougar Tip-off Invitational.

But the Yough senior didn’t feel comfortable.

“I didn’t have a hair tie,” Crosby said. “My hair was bothering me. It was in my face.”

His mom gave him a tie at halftime, and everything changed.

Yough broke a tie in the third quarter, and Crosby went off for 29 of his 43 points in the second half to lead No. 3 Yough to a 63-48 win over Derry in the championship game in a matchup of local Class 3A teams.

“We found our rhythm and started to hit shots,” said Crosby, who was two off a career high of 45 from two years ago. “Our (1-3-1) zone threw them off a little bit.”

Crosby scored 14 in the third quarter and 15 in the fourth for Yough (2-0). He and Austin Matthews (15 points, 18 rebounds) combined for 58 points.

Crosby had 32 points Friday in a win over Summit Academy.

“We expect Terek to do things like that,” Yough coach Jim Nesser said. “In the second half, we picked things up. When you have a kid like Terek, you have to let your best players play.

“It was good to get Austin involved, and to push the ball.”

Yough went from facing a four-point deficit at the start of the third quarter to holding an 11-point lead at the beginning of the fourth.

Derry (1-1), which led 24-23 at the half, went cold in the third when it was outscored 20-11.

“We played good defense in the first half, but we shot the ball horribly overall,” Derry coach Tom Esposito said. “We were 5 for 30 from the arc. We have to shoot the ball better.

“To stop them, you have to stop Terek. He creates his own shots, and he can shoot the 3.”

Crosby, who had two dunks and four 3s, threw one down to tie it 32-32 with 5 minutes to play in the third.

Matthews followed with a putback on his own miss, and Crosby made a layup to put the Cougars in front for good.

Matthews blocked a corner 3 to keep the energy at both ends, and the Cougars ran with the momentum.

Crosby hit a 3 to open the fourth to stretch it to 46-35. Derry hung around but could only get the deficit to six the rest of the way.

Ryan Westerman made a 3 from the corner to key an 11-2 run to end the game for Yough.

Brady Angus led Derry with 18 points, Nate Papuga added 14 and John Wasnick chipped in 12.

Papuga scored 37 Friday in a win over Laurel Highlands.

Derry took a 24-23 lead into the half after Crosby scored 12 of the Cougars’ 14 points in the second quarter. He made a 3-pointer just before the break to cut the lead to one.

Crosby scored seven straight to give Yough its first lead at 20-19.

Wasnick made a pair of 3s in the second, including one to start the quarter and give the Trojans a five-point lead (14-9).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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