Trib HSSN Boys Basketball Team of the Week: Beaver Falls Tigers

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Monday, February 18, 2019 | 5:37 PM


The Trib HSSN Boys Basketball Team of the Week returned to the playoffs last week and picked up a win to advance to Round 2 — the Beaver Falls Tigers.

This century has been a good one for Beaver Falls boys basketball.

After missing the postseason in 2000, the Tigers made the WPIAL playoffs for the next 17 years, going the distance and winning district gold in 2005, ‘12, ‘13 and ‘16.

The string of postseason appearances ended at 17 straight last season, the first campaign under new coach Carliss Jeter, when the Tigers finished 6-15.

This year, Beaver Falls finished 6-6 in Section 1-3A and in fourth place despite a second straight overall record under .500 with a 9-13 mark.

The week started with a rare Sunday game to conclude the regular season as Beaver Falls lost to New Castle, 61-45, in a Hoops for a Cure event.

“We got a young team,” Jeter said. “The last couple of games against New Castle and Aliquippa, we had to play a lot of young guys because of injuries. So, now I can trust them off the bench because they showed me they can play.”

Win No. 10 for the Tigers came Saturday in the opening round of the WPIAL playoffs in a 55-41 triumph over Steel Valley.

Beaver Falls got into early foul trouble, but the Ironmen could not take advantage as the Tigers led 30-24 at halftime.

“It’s tough, I think in the first half I had four starters on the bench with fouls,” Jeter said. “But our other guys came in and did a nice job.”

It was a balanced attack on offense for Beaver Falls. Jalen Vaughn led the way with 13 points, all coming in the second half.

“Jalen is a major part of our team,” Jeter said. “He’s our captain, and he’s the leader. We told him to let the game come to him at halftime because he was trying to rush it a little early on.”

Steel Valley cut the Beaver Falls lead to 36-34 after three quarters, but an early three-point play in the fourth quarter by Vaughn swung the momentum back to the Tigers, and they outscored the Ironmen, 19-7, in the final quarter.

“We needed that play at the time, and the kids really did respond,” Jeter said.

Beaver Falls will face a familiar foe in the Class 3A quarterfinals Thursday when they take on section rival and top-seeded Lincoln Park for a third time this season.

The Leopards won the two previous meetings this season 65-53 and 78-43. Beaver Falls has dropped four straight against Lincoln Park overall with the Tigers’ last win in the series coming in December of 2011.

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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