WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps for Wednesday, February 23rd
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 12:00 AM
The trend of favorites moving on continued on the third day of the opening round of the 2011 WPIAL Basketball Playoffs. After a day's wait, 20 First Round games were played in Boys AAA and A and Girls AAAA and AA. Here are recaps from ALL of the hardwood action on Wednesday, including upset wins for Beaver Falls girls, Hampton boys and Central Valley boys who moved into Round Two as a 10th, 11th and 12th seed respectively.
Thanks to Bob Gregg, Brian Mroziak, Mark Schaas, Jim Frederick, Don Rebel, Dan Zangrilli, Bob Barrickman, Dennis Fischer, Bob Orkwis, Johnny Lee, Jonathan Whaley, Terry Neary, Mike Azadian, Justin McKim, Sam Hall and Greg Kuntz for their help on these recaps.
WPIAL CLASS AAA First Round:
South Fayette Lions 73 – South Park Eagles 50
South Fayette ran out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back as the #1 Lions rolled South Park, 74-50. Pat Zedreck led the way with 21 points, 11 in the opening period. Josh Patterson added 15 points, including a 3-pointer from in front of his own bench as the first half ended. The trey was one of three for Patterson among seven for South Fayette (20-1). Tom Bigley scored eight of the Eagles 13 first-half points, finishing the game with 22. Evan Sommer hit a three-pointer for South Park (13-11) pulling the Eagles to within 27-20 with 1:45 to play in the half, but the Lions scored the next eight to the buzzer, including Patterson's offering, his second of the quarter. Christian Brumbaugh also scored 15 points for South Fayette who battle Dante DeBaldo all night long in the post. DeBaldo scored 17. South Fayette faces Uniontown in Friday's quarterfinals.
Uniontown Red Raiders 59 – Mars Fighting Planets 42
Uniontown picked up their 1st playoff win since 2002 downing Mars 59 to 42 in a Boys "AAA" First Round Playoff game at Gateway High School on Wednesday Night. The win was also the 1st playoff win for Uniontown Head Coach Rob Kezmarsky. Uniontown jumped on Mars early on and never looked back leading Mars 12 to 3 after 1 quarter of play and 28 to 15 at halftime. Uniontown extended the lead to 48 to 23 after 3 quarters outscoring the Planets 20 to 8 in the 4th period. Daryl Ricks and Marcus Thomas scored a game high 14 points for the Red Raiders. Semori "Skeeter" Wilson 12 points and Nick Hall 12 points were also in double figures for the Raiders. Christian Locher was the only Mars player in double figures with 13 points. Mars season ends with a record of 18-5. Entering the game, Mars 4 losses were by a combined 12 points. Uniontown improves to 16-5 with the win and the 8th seeded Red Raiders will play top seeded South Fayette in the quarterfinals on Friday.
New Castle Red Hurricane 54 – Trinity Hillers 51
Josh Valentic missed a three pointer from the right corner with four seconds remaining that would have tied the game as New Castle holds on to advance to the quarterfinals with the win at North Allegheny. New Castle led at the half 29-19 but Valentic led the Hillers back on several occasions and gave Trinity a 35-34 lead in the third quarter with one of his five three-pointers. But Brandon Domenick answered with a three of his own for New Castle to take back the lead and end a Trinity 12-0 run. The Domenick three sparked the Canes onto a 9-0 run to end the quarter and give New Castle an eight point lead at the break. New Castle extended that lead to eleven in the final frame, but Trinty cut the lead to three on another Valentic three at 52-49. Domenick hit two free throws to make it a two possession game at 54-49, Trinty got a late bucket with eight seconds to play, but could not stop the clock being out of timeouts. But the Hillers got the steal, setting up Valentic for a chance to tie. Valentic led the way for Trinity, scoring 32 points, the Hillers end the season at 15-9. Shawn Anderson paced the Red Hurricane with 23 points, Corey Eggleston added 14 and Domenick scored 10 for New Castle, now 17-6. New Castle will have a third meeting with Central Valley in the quarterfinals, the teams split road wins during the regular season.
Central Valley Warriors 70 – Highlands Golden Rams 57
Those who expected to see a scoring blitz by the WPIAL's top gun instead saw a defensive gem by a team playing its first ever playoff game. Central Valley used a combination zone-man defense to limit Micah Mason to 17 points..half of his average in upsetting the 5th seeded Highland Rams..70-57 at North Hills High School in a first round AAA contest.
Mason was hounded by three Warriors in Curtis Lewis…Dan Steffine..and Paul Palumbo while a 1-2-1 zone held the other Highland players in check in a game that saw the lead change 23 times along with 7 ties. C-V took the lead for good late early in the 4th quarter on a trey by Palumbo and the Warriors made it stand up..limiting Highlands to just three field goals in the final period. Nick Delisio, playing with an injured ankle, was remarkable in scoring a game-high 26 points including 19 in the second half. 6-3 Steve Fortunato worked his way inside for an additional 20 points. 6-4 Nate Ehrlich scored 18 for 15-8 Highlands while Mason added 17….8 from the free throw line and just one basket after a 6-point first quarter. 14-8 Central Valley moves into the AAA Quarterfinals to meet an opponent it is quite familiar with…New Castle. The 4th seeded Canes and C-V are Section 2 AAA foes and split during the regular season.
West Mifflin Titans 35 – West Allegheny Indians 28
It wasn't pretty, but the 2nd-seed Titans escaped Baldwin High School with a seven point victory over the surging Indians. Points were hard to come by throughout as West Mifflin led 7-5 after one quarter and 15-10 at halftime. The offense from both teams picked up a bit in the second half as the Titans opened up an 11-point lead before a frantic fourth quarter allowed the Indians to pull to within two points, but no closer. Leondrae Cobbs led West Mifflin with 8 points while Lonzell Coles and Greg Parker added 6 points each in the win. Alex Reilly led all scorers with 11 points for West Allegheny while Dylan Bongiorni had 8 points. The Indians, who were 6 of 32 from beyond the three-point line, finish with a record of 13-11. While West Mifflin improves to 21-2 and will face Montour on Friday in the AAA Quarterfinals, the news was not good for the Titans all-time leading scorer. Just returning from his second concussion, C.J. Hester was 0-2 from the field when he left the game in a daze in the fourth quarter after a head on collision with teammate Ryan Maha. Hester never returned from the locker room and head coach Lance Maha was not optimistic about Hester's return anytime soon.
Montour Spartans 56 – Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 28
The Montour Spartans advanced to the WPIAL AAA Quarterfinals with a convincing 56-28 win over the Thomas Jefferson Jaguars on Wednesday night at Chartiers Valley High School. Led by Aaron McGee's game-high 17 points along with six others who contributed offensively, Montour was most impressive with a stifling. The Spartans 'D' held the Jaguars to just four points in the first and second periods, enjoying a 21-8 edge at halftime. The staunch attack continued, as it allowed just six points in the third period and 14 in the fourth. Montour improves their record to 16-7, while Thomas Jefferson's season ends at 14-9. Montour meets the West Mifflin Titans on Friday night.
Blackhawk Cougars 63 – Ringgold Rams 47
Brian Alviani connected on five of six 3-point attempts in the first half to lead the Blackhawk Cougars to a 63-47 victory over Ringgold in a WPIAL AAA 1st round game at Moon on Wednesday night. Alviani had six treys overall for 18 points while fellow Cougar junior Cory Ostach scored 18 as well. The Rams led only briefly in the game by one in the first quarter but Blackhawk opened up a 32-22 lead at the half and were never threatened thereafter. Tyler Damazo added 15 points for Blackhawk while Zack Smith paced Ringgold with 16 points while Andrew Stine chipped in with 11. The Cougars played without promising freshman guard Chandler Kincade, who is out for the season with a foot injury suffered in Blackhawk's final regular season game. Ringgold saw its season end at 16-8 while Blackhawk, 16-7, will meet Hampton in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Hampton Talbots 51 – Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 37
The #11 seeded Hampton Talbots reached the Quarterfinal Round of the Triple A Boys Basketball Playoffs with a 51-37 upset win over the #6 seeded Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions at Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday night. This marks the third straight trip to the round of eight for the Talbots. Hampton (15-7) employed a stifling zone defense to limit the Golden Lions to their lowest offensive output of the season. The Talbots led 9-4 at the end of the first quarter, and 21-15 at the half. Hampton built its lead to 39-26 at the end of the third quarter and led by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter before settling for a 14 point victory. Hampton received balanced scoring from its starters, each of the five netting at least seven points. Junior forward Mark Pilarski lead the Talbots with 12. Greensburg-Salem had two players in double figures, junior guard Tyler Robbins leading all scorers with 13, and junior forward Julian Thompson chipping in 10. Hampton will meet Blackhawk, a 63-47 winner over Ringgold in other first round action, on Friday night at a time and site to be determined. Greensburg-Salem ends its season with an 18-5 record.
WPIAL CLASS A First Round:
Rochester Rams 63 – Leechburg Blue Devils 23
Top seeded Rochester was hardly at its best at Northgate High School, but the Rams still had more than enough size and athleticism to overwhelm Leechburg by 40 points in this WPIAL Boys Class A first round match up. Rochester hadn't played since February 11th, when they defeated Lincoln Park in their Section 1 finale. The Rams certainly had plenty of firepower to overcome their sloppy start in the victory. Senior guard E.J. Blackwell and senior forward Giovanni Ellis each scored 16 points for Rochester. Ellis added six blocked shots for the Rams. Senior Jasson Adamson also tallied in double figures, finishing with 14 points. Leechburg, who defeated Jefferson-Morgan in a preliminary round match up, ended the season at (10-12). Rochester, which finished last season as the runner up in Class AA, improved to (19-3). The Rams will meet an old friend this Friday night