Westmoreland County boys basketball notebook: Penn-Trafford working (double) overtime

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Thursday, December 7, 2023 | 11:01 AM


In all of his years in coaching, Doug Kelly was almost certain he had never coached a double-overtime game in a season opener.

“Oh, man, I don’t think so,” the Penn-Trafford coach said.

He could guarantee he’d never coached two in a row to start a season. Who has?

Talk about a double-double.

Penn-Trafford went 1-1 at the 19th Hempfield Tip-off Tournament with both games going to two overtimes.

The Warriors (2-1), who play at a fast pace and build off of their pressure defense, lost to Greensburg Central Catholic, 72-63, before holding back Hempfield, 72-70.

Tyler Freas drove the lane, made a spin move and scored with 3.5 seconds to give the Warriors the win.

“Hempfield played really well, and we had to scratch and claw to get back into it in the fourth quarter,” Kelly said. “We got quality minutes from guys off the bench, and our guys showed great resilience against a Bill Swan-coached team that was gritty and tough and shot a very high percentage in the first half.

“It was a great game.”

Penn-Trafford has two wins by a combined three points. It won in the clutch again Tuesday, nipping Norwin, 49-48, when Brayden Stone drove the length of the court for a buzzer-beating layup.

WCCA schedule

The fifth Westmoreland County Coaches Association Showcase will be played Saturday at Jeannette and Hempfield.

There will be eight games, four at each venue.

The schedule at Jeannette has Norwin vs. Latrobe at noon, Derry vs. Mt. Pleasant at 1:30, Burrell vs. Jeannette at 3 and Valley vs. Belle Vernon at 4:30.

At Hempfield, it will be Yough vs. Monessen at noon, Greensburg Salem vs. Greensburg Central Catholic at 1:30, Kiski Area vs. Hempfield at 3 and Southmoreland vs. Ligonier Valley at 4:30.

The Crosby Show

There wasn’t an MVP at the inaugural Yough tip-off tournament, but it would have been a breeze picking one.

Yough senior Terek Crosby lit up opponents to the tune of 32 and 43 points as the Cougars went 2-0.

Crosby, who had 29 points in the second half against Derry in the championship game, topped the 1,500-point mark for his career.

Consider: Yough’s opponents, Summit Academy and Derry, combined for 74 points against the Cougars. Crosby scored 75.

Crosby followed with 30 points in a 51-41 win over South Park as Yough moved to 3-0.

Yough coach Jim Nesser said it was the idea of his assistant coach, William “Boo” Sherbondy, to start a tip-off tournament at Yough.

Winning the title was important to the Cougars, who are ranked No. 3 in WPIAL Class 3A, but it was simply a bonus and a good start to the season.

“It’s not about the tip-off,” Nesser said. “It’s just about winning and creating winning habits.”

Layups

Southmoreland coach Frank Muccino will not be with the team Saturday in the WCCA Showcase. He is an assistant football coach for Belle Vernon, which plays Northwestern Lehigh in the PIAA Class 3A championship at 1 p.m. … Ligonier Valley got a pair of double-figure scoring games from sophomore Simeon Pope to start the season (15, 12 points). … Sean Kelly, a former Penn-Trafford standout, has joined the Warriors staff alongside his father. … Nate Papuga of Derry (37 points) and Zion Moore (36) had 30-point games last weekend. … Yough (No. 3 in 3A), Greensburg Central Catholic (No. 2 in 2A) and Monessen (No. 4 in A) began the season in the TribLive top-five rankings.

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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