WPIAL Basketball Playoff Recaps From Saturday, February 16th
Saturday, February 16, 2013 | 8:33 PM
Opening weekend of the 2013 WPIAL Basketball Playoffs came to and end with 24 games In Boys AAAA, Boys AA, Girls AAA and Girls A. Here are recaps from the Saturday afternoon action as the Preliminary Round concluded and the First Round hits the midway point.
Thanks to Don Rebel, Mike Krcil, Jim Frederick, Sam Hall, T.J. DiStefano, Jordan Thompson, Josh Rowntree, Mike Sackley, Bob Gregg, Melissa Carle, Brian Mroziak, Bob Orkwis, Dennis Fischer, Jason Tennant, Mark Schaas, Mike Azadian, Bob Barrickman, Matt Vandriak and Alex Richert for their help on these recaps.
WPIAL CLASS AAAA First Round:
Upper St. Clair Panthers 57 – Norwin Knights 56
Upper St. Clair came within 2.4 seconds of its spectacular win streak coming to an end. The Panthers came into today's first-round matchup against Norwin owning a 16-game winning streak, not having lost since December 18. The Knights came out with guns blazing early on, as Matt Stewart led the way to a 15-6 advantage over the Panthers at the end of the first quarter. Stewart dominated the paint throughout the first half, finishing with 19 points through two quarters. Upper St. Clair started to heat things up from beyond the arc in the second, hitting seven three-pointers, including four from Joel Klein. The Panthers rallied to a 32-30 lead heading into the half. Klein and Stewart went stone cold for their respective teams in the third quarter, however, but the door was open for Norwin's Zach Bryan and Curtis Perz. Bryan's quickness single-handedly spelled out foul trouble for the Panthers. The two were knotted up at 44 through three quarters. The Knights spent the majority of the fourth quarter in the double bonus. Perz and Bryan took full advantage, converting seven times from the free throw line. Klein found his sweet spot again late in the game, hitting two big three pointers to keep the Panthers breathing. Matt Stewart had two free throw attempts with 90 seconds left in regulation, but was only able to convert one of two, giving the Knights a 56-54 lead. Upper St. Clair regained possession, but a Klein three was off the mark. Norwin, though, committed a costly turnover, leaving the door open for the Panthers. Jordan Grabowski, the leading scorer for Upper St. Clair, typically averages 16.7 points per game. He was held to only five points through the majority of this one. That is, until Grabowski took the game in his hands and–calm, cool, and collected–hit the game-winning three-pointer with 2.4 seconds to go. Norwin had one last chance off of the inbounds play. Matt Stewart got a shot off, but it rimmed out as time expired. The Knights' season comes to an end at (13-10). Stewart finished the day with 22 points. Curtis Perz had 14 points and Zach Bryan had 10 for Norwin. Upper St. Clair improves to (20-3), and advances to take on Seneca Valley next Saturday. Joel Klein led all scorers with 24 points on eight three-pointers for the Panthers.
Seneca Valley Raiders 72 – Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 41
Last year, 12th-seed Pittsburgh Central Catholic made it all the way to the championship game before losing to Gateway. This year, the Vikings won’t be making the finals after losing in Round One, however the 12th-seed is ready to make some magic happen again. Seneca Valley jumped out to a 7-0 lead early, then 21-8 lead after the first quarter and were never threatened as they cruised past Central Catholic 72-41 Saturday afternoon at North Hills High School. Any doubt on the game’s outcome disappeared when the Raiders outscored the Vikings 6-0 to end the first half and then 10-0 to start the third quarter. Seneca Valley senior R.J. McCauley led all scorers with 26 points, including 10 points in the opening quarter when the Raiders shot over 60% from the field while the Vikings shot 19%. Senior Easton Bazzoli scored 21 points while 6-7 senior Alex Snyder added 12 points. Section 2 champion Central Catholic was led by David Urso’s 19 points as their season ends with a final record of 16-6. The loss snaps the Vikings 8-game winning streak. Seneca Valley improves to 16-7 and advances to the Quarterfinals next Saturday where they will face the 4th-seed Upper St. Clair Panthers at a site to be determined.
Hampton Talbots 53 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 48
The #3 seeded Hampton Talbots advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Boys Quad A basketball tournament with a 53-48 win over the #14 seed Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils at North Allegheny High School on Saturday afternoon. Hampton trailed by seven points in the second quarter before going on a 16-8 run to close out the first halfholdingh a one point lead, 26-25. The Talbots built a lead to as much as 11 in the second half before settling for the five point win. Hampton was led by junior forward Ryan Luther with 19 points while sophomore guard Dave Huber chipped in 14. Mt. Lebanon was paced by senior guard Justin David with 21 points, including five three point baskets. Jon David, a sophomore guard, added 13. Hampton (19-4) will meet #11 seed McKeesport, a 58-54 upset winner over #6 seed Bethel Park, next Saturday afternoon at a site and time to be determined. Mt. Lebanon ends its season at 10-13.
McKeesport Tigers 58 – Bethel Park Black Hawks 54 in Overtime
When playing poker, you always need an ace in the hole to win. In this overtime opening round matchup at Baldwin, McKeesport had an Acie in the hole. Carlito Acie led the Tigers to victory, scoring 25 points, as McKeesport was able to hold off Bethel Park in a back and forth game full of lead changes. The teams were tied 10-10 aftet the opening quarter, and the Black Hawks led 29-24 at the half thanks to Rohan Young's buzzer beater three pointer. But it was McKeesport who took control early in the 2nd half. Inspired by the in game appearance of Mikell Moore to start the 3rd quarter, who injured his ankle and wasn't supposed to play, the Tigers went on a 9-0 run to start the half. McKeesport would lead by as many as 7 in the 2nd half, but the Black Hawks battled back to send it to OT. In the extra period, the turning point was the clutch play of McKeesport's Jamie Grayson. With the Tigers up by 2 in the final seconds of overtime, Grayson pulled down a tough defensive rebound, was fouled, and hit both free throws in the clutch to help McKeesport hold on for the win. Cody Gilchrest led Bethel Park with 22 points in the losing effort. McKeesport (15-7), moves on to play Hampton in the Quarterfinals next saturday. Bethel Park has to hope the Tigers can make a deep run in the WPIAL playoffs to extend their season, otherwise the Black Hawks end the 2012-2013 campaign at 17-6.
WPIAL CLASS AA Preliminary Round:
Bishop Canevin Crusaders 59 – Charleroi Cougars 52
A swarming defense and domination on the glass propelled the Bishop Canevin Crusaders to a 59-52 win over the Charleroi Cougars in Boys AA preliminary round action Saturday afternoon at Peters Township High School. Senior Mike Tambellini led all scorers with 19 points, while Senior Jake Seligman contributed 17. Senior Nico DiPaolo, while held to only two points, was a one-man defensive wrecking crew, creating turnovers which led to immediate points. Bishop Canevin led by as many as 17 before Charleroi was able to rally. The cougars were led by Junior Matt Indorante with 16. Junior Eric Johnson had 13 points and Senior Jim Diaz, playing on a less-than-100% ankle had 10. The Crusaders improve to 11-12 and will play Beaver Falls in the first round. Charleroi's season ends at 14-7.
Brentwood Spartans 56 – California Trojans 50
The Brentwood Spartans led start to finish Saturday afternoon at Peters Township High School, picking up a 56-50 win and becoming the #8 seed in the Class AA playoffs. But California and its fan base will continue to ask themselves, what if. The Trojans were within one point late in the game but could never quite get over that hump. That was thanks to a relentless Brentwood defense in the first half, and poor free throw shooting in the second half. The Trojans shot 13-27 from the free throw line for the game and were 4-15 from the charity stripe during the 4th quarter. Brentwood dominated much of the game in the post, with 6-5 senior Michael Kish registering 22 points and appearing unstoppable at times for Cal. Jason Pilarski had 19 points for Brentwood, scoring his 1000th career point at the start of the 2nd half. The Trojans were led by Brian Fisher who led all scorers with 24 points. California scored 14 points in the 3rd quarter, and Fisher scored all of them. Tanner Huffman had 12 points but was uncharacteristically quiet in the 2nd half. The Trojans had their chances to win, but never really established sustained momentum during the course of the game. It was a tough day for section 5 as all five times who made the playoffs from that section lost in the preliminary round. California's season ends with a section championship and an (18-4) overall record. Brentwood improves to (13-9) and will take on #9 Shady Side Academy Wednesday night.
Shady Side Academy Indians 48 – Deer Lakes Lancers 45
Shady Side Academy used a combination of superior size and tempo to frustrate 16 game winner Deer Lakes in upsetting the higher seed in WPIAL AA Boys Tourament first round play at North Hills High School 48-45. Aaron Horne scored 16 points including 3 buckets down the stretch after Deer Lakes had come back from a 9 point second half deficit. Deer Lakes got a shot at a tie with top scorer Tim Jaczesko trying a trey which was off the mark with seconds left in regulation. The senior guard finished with a game-high 18 points including 11 in the third quarter when the Lancers were able to tie the game going into the 4th period at 34. But Shady Side connected on 4 of 4 from the foul line in the final period to seal the victory and go to 9-14 for the season. Dan Marous and freshman Michael Ware added 8 points for the Indians. Free throw shooting plagued Deer Lakes as they finished at 3 of 9 for the game. Jarrett Kowalkowski scored 9 for the Lancers…which ended the year at 16-7. Shady Side Academy will play Tuesday in Round 2 of the WPIAL Tournament.
Aliquippa Quips 69 – Avonworth Antelopes 60
Early in the fourth quarter, Avonworth led Aliquippa 48-47 in a WPIAL AA boys preliminary round game held at North Allegheny. But, the Quips went on a 22-12 run since then to beat the Antelopes, 69-60. Barely getting into the playoffs, the 10-13 Quips used a pressure defense to their advantage in overcoming Avonworth. Division I football recruit Jaleel Fields led a well balanced Aliquippa attack with 13 points while freshman Jassir Jordan added 11. Avonworth finished its season at 13-10. Aliquippa will move on to the first round against Jeannette on Wednesday.
Apollo-Ridge Vikings 66 – Neshannock Lancers 63
At Highlands High School in WPIAL Boys AA Preliminary round action the Apollo Ridge Vikings defeat the Neshannock Lancers 66-64 in a wild game. The first quarter saw three pointers, great offensive rebounding and turnovers. That was both teams. They each came out pressing on defense, and shooting on offense and after the first quarter it was 23-20 Vikings. Into the second quarter defense took over and scoring became tougher but Apollo still held the lead by six points at the half 40-34. Each team stuck with a basic six to seven players most of the half. Neither coach went to the bench if only for a few minutes. This game would be decided by the starters. Into the third quarter the Vikings raced out to a fifteen point lead and looked to possibly run away with the game leading 56-41. But late 3rd quarter the Lancers started their come back, but they still trailed 58-47 after three quarters. Neshannock with a team used to being in the playoffs making it the last 6 years though losing badly each of the last two had experience. Apollo Ridge new to the playoffs this year were inexperienced. It showed into the 4th quarter as the Lancers slowly creeped up on the Vikings. Apollo had to play without Sr point guard Josh Reynolds for half of the quarter as he twice got sick to his stomach. Each time he left the Vikings would turn the ball over and the Lancers would get closer. Mid 4th quarter Tre Tipton the star Sophomore guard for Apollo fell after a collision and had to be helped off the court with concussion like symptoms. This forced a still woozy Reynolds back in. With his help and a huge steal by Lucas Burrel the Vikings led by two with under 10 seconds to play. Neshannock had the final shot and star Junior guard Ernie Burkes had the final shot for the win a three pointer just miss. Final score Apollo Ridge 66-64. The Viking barely hold on. Scoring for Apollo went like this. Burrell had 18, Connor Billingsly with a soft touch down low had 12, Tipton put in 12, Alex Smith with 11, and Reynolds with 9. For Neshannock, Burkes led with 28 and Matt Mckinney had 12. The Vikings turned the ball over 20 times to the Lancers 21 as both teams threw the ball away and had traveling calls against them in a sloppy game. Apollo Ridge improves to 16-7 and will face Sto Rox on Wednesday 2/20 at a site and time to be determined. Neshannock ends their season at 17-6.
Northgate Flames 44 – Brownsville Falcons 38
The Northgate Flames edged the Brownsville Falcons 44 to 38 in a Boys (AA) Preliminary Round Game on Saturday Afternoon at Baldwin High School. Justin Parra lead Northgate with 14 points and Darrell Barron with 12 points was also in double figures for the Flames. Josh Mapstone lead Brownsville with a game high 15 points. Brownsville's season ends at 16-6. Northgate improves to 14-9 and will meet Greensburg Central Catholic on Wednesday.
Burrell Buccaneers 64 – Beth-Center Bulldogs 34
#7 Burrell (16-6) used a smothering, aggressive defense to beat Beth-Center (10-12) 64-34 in a Boys AA Preliminary Round game at West Allegheny High School. Burrell was propelled by star football player and St. Francis (Pa) recruit Cole Bush, who scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, giving the Bucs their first playoff win since 2006. But it was Burrell's tenacious full court press defense that gave the Bulldogs the majority of their problems, forcing 35 turnovers and scoring on several transition layups. Alex White (14) and Pete Spagnolo (11) also hit double figures for the Bucs. Despite turning the ball over 20 times themselves, Burrell advances to the Boys AA First Round, where they will meet #10 Washington on Wednesday. Beth-Center, who has been outscored by 88 points in their last 3 playoff games, received 11 points from Dean Holt and 10 from Adam Walters.
Washington Little Prexies 76 – Jefferson-Morgan Rockets 32
The Little Prexies opened the game with a 28-point run on the way to a 76-32 win over Jefferson-Morgan. Jaylin Kelly hit three treys in the opening period with Jordan Drew adding another seven points as Wash High held the Rockets off the board through the first 7 1/2 minutes. And the Little Prexies (17-6) started the second period with a 16-4 spurt to put the game away. Josh Wise, with 10 points in the third, finished with 19, Kelly had 17 and Drew 13 as Wash High's starters sat the entire fourth quarter. Rece Henneman scored ten for Jeff-Morgan (11-12), all of them after halftime. Washington meets Burrell in Wednesday's second round.
Mohawk Warriors 49 – Serra Catholic Eagles 43
The Warriors, making their first playoff appearance in 4 years, held Serra Catholic to single digits in each of the first 3 quarters and hit 13-of-15 free throws in the 4th quarter to win this Boys Class AA Preliminary game at Chartiers Valley High School. Leading by 3 after the first quarter, Mohawk stretched the lead to 14 points at halftime and stayed ahead by double digits until the 4th quarter when the Eagles cut the lead to 2 points and had possession of the basketball with a chance to tie the game. But the Warriors were clutch from the free throw line converting thirteen straight to clinch the victory. Senior guard Lucas Grim, the Warriors leading scorer through the regular season, paced all scores in the game with 17-points, including making 6-of-7 shots from the free throw line. Gio Menichino added 11-points including five free throws and 6-6 junior forward Jonathan Grim scored 6-points and blocked five shots for Mohawk. George Prota, the 6-10 sophomore center, led Serra Catholic with 14-points and 11-rebounds before fouling out with: 43 left. Junior guard Tyler Grebur, who was the catalyst for the Eagles 4th quarter comeback scored 11-points but fouled out of the game with just fewer than 3 and ½ minutes remaining. The 2013 campaign for Serra Catholic ends on a 5-game losing streak and with a (13-9) record. Mohawk improves to (10-13) and will now be seeded 14th. The Warriors will take on the 3rd seeded Seton-LaSalle Rebels on Wednesday night at a site and time to be determined.
Riverside Panthers 58 – West Shamokin Wolves 53
The Riverside Vikings and the West Shamokin Wolves put on a show in the first round of the class AA playoffs at Highland High School Saturday afternoon. Riverside entered the game as the three seed in section two riding a five game winning streak. West Shamokin won two of their last three games and finished the regular season fourth in section one. Sharing the lead and the momentum throughout the game, each team also shared similar struggles. The first quarter ended with Riverside leading 8-5, but overshadowing the score was the early foul trouble for West Shamokin. The Wolves bounced back in the second quarter, and behind Zac Horner’s 11 second quarter points, they lead at the half 24-21. Riverside answered the bell in the third quarter out scoring West Shamokin 19-8. Vikings senior Tyler Falk lead the way with 12 of the 19 points in the third quarter, finishing with a team high 22 points. The fourth quarter was full of ups and downs for both teams. Riverside lead 40-31 at the start of the fourth quarter, but West Shamokin was not going down without a fight. Anthony Rocco tried to take the game into his hands, and his 12 fourth quarter points got the Wolves within two with just under three minutes to play. Early game foul trouble and late game desperation left the Wolves without top players in the closing moments. The Vikings were able to hold the Wolves at bay and close out a 58-53 victory. Next on the list for Riverside is Quaker Valley on Wednesday.
WPIAL CLASS AAA Preliminary Round:
West Mifflin Titans 61 – Kittanning Wildcats 41
The West Mifflin Titans and the Kittanning Wildcats faced off in the first round of the class AAA playoffs Saturday afternoon at Highland High School. Both teams finished third in their respective sections, West Mifflin in section four and Kittanning in section one. The first half ended with a tight four point lead for West Mifflin, but the story was Kittanning’s Alaina Thomas. Thomas hit four three pointers and totaled 14 of the Wildcats 20 first half points. West Mifflin out scored Kittanning in the third quarter 20-6, and did not look back. Taylor Thomas and Ciara Patterson were the driving force for West Mifflin down the stretch. Adding eight of her team leading 23 points, and playing stand up defense, Taylor Thomas and the Titans beat the Wildcats 61-41. The Titans will face top seed Blackhawk Wednesday.
South Fayette Lions 61 – Freeport Yellowjackets 35
The South Fayette Lady Lions were too much for the Freeport Lady Yellowjackets as the cruised to a 61-35 win in preliminary round action Saturday afternoon at North Allegheny High School. The Lions led the entire game but Freeport hung around in the first half before wearing down in the second. The South Fayette pressure defense gave the Lady Jackets problems the entire game, which led to many turnovers. The Lady Lions led 18-5 after one quarter and extended the lead to 31-17 at the intermission. South Fayette continued rolling in the second half extending the lead to 48-28 after three and would win in going away 61-35. A big story in the game was South Fayette's struggles from the foul line. The Lions were 10 of 26 from the charity stripe for 34.6%. Freeport shot 50% going 7 of 14 from the line. South Fayette's scoring was very balanced with eight players making contributions. The Lady Lions were led by Caitlin McLuckie and Shannon Gillespie who scored 12 points apiece. Freeport was led by Jessica Aulicino, who took the team on her back scoring 20 points. She scored all 11 third quarter points for the Lady Yellowjackets. South Fayette improves to 15-7 and becomes the #13 seed in the tournament and will play #4 seed Central Valley on Wednesday night at a site and time to be determined. Freeport ends the season at 8-13.
Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles 45 – Mount Pleasant Vikings 39
The Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles overcame a 25-22 halftime deficit to defeat the Mt. Pleasant Vikings 45-39 in a girls AAA play-in game at Gateway high school Saturday afternoon. The Golden Eagles were led by sophomore Kayla Brownlee who scored 10 of her team high 16 points in the second half. Sophomore Lexy Mercuri added a dozen points for Keystone Oaks in the win as they pushed their season record to 14-8. Mount Pleasant got a game high 25 points from a sophomore of their own in Alexa Szelong. One other Vikings player reached double digits as Casey Zelenak scored 10 points, many in the paint, but, all in the first half as the Golden Eagles did a great job denying the entry pass during the entire second half against the Vikes. Mount Pleasant's season comes to an end at 10-13. Keystone Oaks meanwhile moves on into a first round match-up with the second seed in AA, the Hopewell Vikings on Wednesday right here on the MSA Sports Network.
Indiana Little Indians 36 – Ringgold Rams 35
recap still to come
WPIAL CLASS A Preliminary Round:
West Greene Pioneers 50 – Clairton Bears 26
For the second year in a row, the West Greene Pioneers won a Preliminary Round Playoff game as they blew past the Clairton Bears by a score of 50-26. Madison Raber led the way with 25 points as after a bit of a sluggish start, West Greene was able to outscore the Bears in every quarter. The Pioneers had a seven point lead at halftime, and extended it to a 15-point margin at the end of three quarters. Midway through the fourth, the Pioneers had built up a 20-point lead and the rout was on. Also scoring double digits for West Greene was Madison's sister Alyssa Raber who finished with 13. Clairton's leading scorer was Justice Hall with 10. West Greene will advance to play the top seeded Vincentian Academy on Wednesday.
Jefferson-Morgan Rockets 29 – Eden Christian Academy Warriors 25
It was a low scoring affair, but a competitive game in Girls Class A action between the Jefferson Morgan Rockets and Eden Christian Warriors. After leading 17-10 at the half, Eden Christian only scored one basket in the 3rd period and could not score again until the final 2 minutes of the game. Jefferson Morgan did not trail in the final period and Kayla Yorko sealed the game from the free throw line. Yorko (all 2nd half) & Katie Shaffer each had 8 points for the Rockets.
WPIAL CLASS A First Round:
Quigley Catholic Spartans 81 – California Trojans 38
It was domination from start to finish Saturday afternoon as the Quigley Catholic Spartans decimated the California Trojans 81-38 in Girls Class A action at Peters Township High School. Ten players entered the scoring column for Quigley, including sophomore Kaitlyn Smith who led the Spartans with 18. They also got 15 from Kristen Jackson, 14 from Morgan Dillon and 12 from Gabrielle Smith. California had no answer for Quigley's relentless defensive pressure and were not able to generate many second-chance points. They fell behind to stay after being outscored in the second quarter by a 28-4 margin. The Trojans were led by their standout senior Courtnee McMasters, who poured in 18 points. They end the season with a record of 14-8. Quigley now stands at 17-5 and has a date with St. Joseph.
St. Joseph Spartans 45 – Avella Eagles 30
The Spartans jumped out to an early lead and pulled away in the second half to advance to the quarterfinals next Saturday against Quigley Catholic. Both teams were sloppy in the early going, the Spartans with a 7-4 lead after one quarter and 15-12 at the half. That's when junior Mallory Heinle took over the game for St. Joseph's, scoring 19 of her game-high 23 points after the break, allowing the Spartans to move on. Amanda Klawinski scored 12 points for the Spartans, despite being in foul trouble the entire game. Coach Dan Hein said he had no problems putting Klawinski back in the game with three fouls in the first half, she picked up a fourth foul early in the third, but Heinle picked up the slack. St. Joseph's goes to 11-12 overall and ends a two game losing streak. Kenna Drazich led the Eagles with 18 points, Avella played without their leading scorer, Olivia English. She was injured in a car accident and is in a neck brace. The Section 3 champions end the season at 13-9.
North Catholic Trojanettes 65 – Frazier Commodores 35
The Trojanettes jumped out to a 22-2 lead after 1 quarter and cruised to a 65 to 35 win over the Frazier Lady Commodores in a Girls (A) First Round Game on Saturday Afternoon at Baldwin High School. Lauren Wolosik scored a game high 28 points for North Catholic and Abby Goetz 17 points and Kiki Palmer 12 points were also in double figures for the Trojanettes. Cassidy Guiser lead Frazier with 13 points. The Commodores season ends with a 10-12 record. North Catholic improves to 14-9 and will meet Cornell in the quarterfinals.
Cornell Raiders 61 – Carmichaels Mighty Mikes 56
The Cornell Raiders advanced to the WPIAL Quarterfinals with a hard fought, 61-56, come-from-behind win over the Carmichaels Might Mikes. The Mikes fell behind on 8 points by Cornell's Mason DePetro, but quickly overcame a deficit, largely due to Caroline Cree's shots from beyond the arch. Cree had four 3-pointers in the first half, and a total of 14 points which led Carmichaels to a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 29-21 lead at halftime. Cornell would work to erase the deficit right away in the second half as they pulled within four points in the first minute of the 3rd quarter. The Raiders held a brief lead in the third, but Carmichaels still held a 1-point edge at the end of three, 42-41. Then came the seesaw battle that was the fourth quarter. After multiple lead changes throughout the period, a couple of missed layups by the Mikes forced them to foul Cornell, which was able to put the game out of reach in the final minute with huge free throws by DePetro and sophomore Rebecca Robinson. DePetro led all scorers with 28. Nicole Byron and Taylor Davis each scored 11. For the Mikes, Cree went silent in the second half and finished with 14. Carmichaels' leading scorer was Amanda Brown with 19, and Morgan Berardi added 11.
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