Yough boys basketball team falls flat in 2nd half, loses to Uniontown

Friday, January 21, 2022 | 10:50 PM

With a name like Notorious Grooms, there has to be a back story.

But the Uniontown freshman basketball player said it’s as simple as the definition.

“It just means you’re known for something. You’re, like, famous for doing something,” he said.

Grooms is becoming known for his clutch play in the Red Raiders’ young backcourt.

The point guard scored 13 of his team-high-tying 15 points in the second half Friday night and was one of four double-figure scorers for Uniontown, which rallied past Yough, 56-41, in a Section 3-4A game in Herminie.

Another freshman starter, Calvin Winfrey, scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half.

“When things weren’t going well, we kept attacking,” Uniontown coach Rob Kezmarsky said. “Tori handled the pressure well. Yough is a good team and played really hard.”

Yough (7-7, 3-4) led for most of the first half and deep into the third quarter before its offense went flat. The Red Raiders (8-1, 6-1) outscored the Cougars, 29-8, in the second half.

Yough had three field goals after halftime.

The Cougars had an excuse, though. Standout sophomore guard Terek Crosby was plagued by an injured right wrist, going down with 6 minutes, 28 seconds left in the second quarter after he drove to the basket and landed on his hand.

He was called for a charge and left the game to get treatment.

Crosby, a 28-point-per-game scorer, returned with a wrap on his hand and scored a couple of quick baskets. But he was mostly ineffective after that, clearly feeling discomfort before he sat begrudgingly late in the game.

“There wasn’t much we could do when he got hurt,” Yough coach Jim Nesser said. “We needed somebody else to step up and score, but nobody did. Our kids really battled tonight and played hard. We were more competitive than the last game against them.

“We hope Terek is alright. We’ll take a wait-and-see approach.”

Crosby finished with 16 points.

Nesser did not speculate on Crosby’s playing status going forward. He said Crosby might get X-rays Saturday morning.

Cougars forward Austin Matthews was assertive, and the 6-foot-5 sophomore contributed 14 points and 15 rebounds.

But the rest of the team combined for 11 points.

Junior Bakari Wallace, who had 12 points, also sat for a stretch with leg cramps for Uniontown.

Yough set the stage for a big finish after a strong start.

It had a 33-27 lead at the half, was physical around the basket and was limiting Uniontown’s transition points.

But the Red Raiders outscored Yough, 16-6, in the third using a 10-0 run that stretched into the fourth to take a 45-39 lead.

“We were getting good looks. We just didn’t make any shots (in the second half),” Nesser said.

Matthews, who flirted with fouling out, hit a basket inside early in the fourth to cut it 45-41.

But Uniontown took it from there, scoring the final 11 points while also shaving off time with pass-and-cut sets.

Senior Evan Townsend put back a miss, and Grooms converted a steal to push the margin to 51-41.

“We went to a (3-2 zone) to try to focus on their other guys,” Kezmarsky said. “We had trouble with their penetration and wanted to slow them down.

“We did a good job getting the clock down. It wasn’t a stall, but it worked.”

Junior Tanner Uphold chipped in 10 for the Red Raiders, including two 3-pointers.

Uniontown has won four in a row.

Yough fell to 1-3 at home this season.

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

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