Jeannette springs to life, routs Girard

| Thursday, March 6, 2008

Jeannette started slowly in the first half Wednesday night, scoring just eight points in the first 6:48.

But once the Jayhawks woke up, they never gave Girard a second thought.

Jeannette overcame the slow start and cruised to a 67-35 victory over the Yellowjackets in the second round of the PIAA Class AA boys basketball playoffs at a packed Sharon High School gymnasium.

Senior forward Terrelle Pryor had a team-high 16 points, junior guard Jordan Hall added 14 and junior guard Moziah Harris had 12 for Jeannette (22-4), which advances to play North Catholic (25-4) on Saturday in the quarterfinals at a site and time to be determined.

North Catholic defeated Bishop McCort, 54-39, last night at Hempfield Area.

Jeannette coach Jim Nesser was more content with team's defensive effort. The Jayhawks limited a strong perimeter-shooting team from getting into any type of rhythm.

"I was extremely pleased with how we played on defense," Nesser said. "We have a special group of guys. They knew what they had to do to stop them and they did it."

Harris and Pryor gave the team a spark in the second quarter after the Yellowjackets (25-6) cut the lead to 11-8 on a 3-pointer by Jeff McDonald.

Pryor hit a turnaround jumper, followed a miss with a dunk and nailed a shot from the top of the key to push Jeannette's advantage to 17-10.

Harris scored eight consecutive points, and the Jayhawks finished the quarter on a 15-2 run to take a 26-10 lead into halftime.

Nesser wasn't happy with his team's performance in the first half. The Jeannette football team had higher-scoring first halves.

"We did some uncharacteristic things, and we know better," Nesser said.

Pryor did not score in the first quarter, but hit 7-of-15 shots to go with 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks the rest of the way.

Hall added seven assists, and Harris grabbed five rebounds.

"We came together when we had to," Harris said. "We are on a mission, and that mission is to win at states. We didn't give them any room to beat us."

"I can't say enough about Harris and (Kenny) Grant," Nesser said. "They really picked it up for us."

District 10 Girard, which beat Greensburg Central Catholic, 49-36, in the first round, was only called for three fouls in the first half, the first coming at 3:04 of the second quarter. That call led to a three-point play by junior guard Cameron Baradzeij to give Jeannette a 20-10 lead.

Jeannette, which has won seven in a row since a loss to Chester, the state's No. 1 team regardless of classification, had little interference in the second half. The Jayhawks built a 23-point lead after three periods and led by as many as 34 in the fourth.

Hall converted a three-point play to make it 62-28.

Andrew Rickard had 12 points to lead Girard. Mike Droll added 11.

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