Farmers holds off pesky Northwood
Week three of the Budd Grebb Memorial Summer Basketball League kicked off with the first indoor tripleheader of the season at California Area Middle School.
While two favorites picked up wins, it was defending champion BeeGraphix picking up its first win of the season in the most exciting game of the night.
In the opening game, Farmers Insurance remained perfect on the season, besting upstart Northwood Realty, 76-64.
Coach Dana Zajicek's team led by as many as 20 points in the second half, but Northwood's never-say-die attitude and performance got it to within nine with just over four minutes to go.
Noah Brown led the way for Farmers (5-0) with 22 points.
Leading 11-7 in the first half, Farmers extended its lead to 23-7 with a 12-0 run behind eight points from Ringgold's Luke Beveridge.
Beveridge's ability to slash and drive to the hoop proved to be a problem defensively for a young Northwood team.
Brown made it a point to get into the head of Northwood's Kass Taylor, causing the officials to bring the pair together. Jared Smith was the player that kept Northwood in the game.
The Washington junior scored a game-high 26 points and finished with 14 rebounds to lead Northwood (2-3).
Taylor, a sophomore from California Area, finished with 15 points, eight in the second half.
Cameron Sarber from Thomas Jefferson added a double-double for Farmers, garnering 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Northwood battled back from a 48-28 deficit thanks to the hot shooting of Smith and Laurel Highlands freshman Bryce Laskey.
Smith scored seven consecutive points for Northwood during a 9-0 run that cut Farmers' lead to 48-37.
Belle Vernon Area's Griffin LaCarte nailed a 3-pointer from the corner for Northwood, followed by five more points from Smith.
With 5:17 left, BVA's Brennan Morgan made an uncontested layup followed by five points from Laskey, the last a deep 3-pointer that cut the lead to nine.
Farmers squashed the comeback immediately when Zajicek's top line re-entered the game and went on a quick run to push the lead back to 16 with two minutes remaining.
BeeGraphix 68, Dairy Queen 64
With his team trailing by two with just over a minute to go in the game, Monessen's Noah Rullo nailed a 3-pointer to give BeeGraphix a one-point lead that it wouldn't relinquish.
Rullo nailed five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points to carry BeeGraphix (1-4) to its first win.
Octavius Vasser, a Ringgold sophomore, finished with 12 points and sealed the deal with two free throws to put the defending champs up by four with 11 seconds left.
Cole Griffin, a junior at the Linsly School, finished with a team-high 17 points to lead Dairy Queen (2-3).
Charleroi duo, Matt Carr (13) and Sam Miceli (11) combined for 24 points for Dairy Queen.
Ringgold junior Jared Yahnite finished with 10 points for the winners.
Union Cleaners 68 , Campy's Pizza 55
Charleroi Area's John Arnold cleaned up in Union Cleaners' big win over Campy's.
The 6-foot-8 junior-to-be cleaned the glass, grabbing rebound after rebound when he was in the game finishing with 16 points and 20 rebounds in, arguably, his best game for Union Cleaners (4-1).
He achieved his double-double in the first half when he finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Joe Sabolek, who will be a freshman at BVA, also finished with a double-double, netting 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Union Cleaners kept Campy's (1-4) at bay, not allowing them to get within double digits in the second half, despite strong performances by Monessen's Jaden Altomore.
Altomore struggled early, shooting 1 of 9 in the first half, but ended up leading Campy's with 17 points, 14 in the second half.
California Area's Tray Matthews (11) and Monessen's Justice Rice (8) combined for 19 points in the second half to help Union Cleaners hold off any Campy's charge. Rice finished the game with 12 points.
League play continues Thursday with Farmers Insurance and BeeGraphix playing in the 7 p.m. opener, Campy's and Northwood Realty at 8 p.m. and Dairy Queen taking on Union Cleaners in the nightcap at 9 p.m.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2667.