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Top-ranked GCC holds off Class 3A Shady Side Academy in regular-season finale

| Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, 9:57 p.m.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Asa Klimchock (2) passes to teammate Dominick Eisaman during the first quarter against Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic players and students celebrate an undefeated season with a win over Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Asa Klimchock (2) celebrates the Centurions' undefeated season following his team's victory over Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Ryan Quinn (left) and Asa Klimchock (2) celebrate victory over Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Jack Liberatore (21) is fouled by Shady Side Academy's Skyy Moore (23) as GCC leads by four points with 19.4 seconds to play in the game on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Shady Side Academy's Grady Munroe (32) misses on a 3-point shot over Greensburg Central Catholic's Jack Liberatore (21) with under two minutes remaining in the game on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic players and students celebrate an undefeated season with a win over Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic players and students celebrate an undefeated season with a win over Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Neal McDermott (11) congratulates Dominick Eisaman (15) as GCC has a two-score lead with 2.2 seconds left to play against Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic students react as Dominick Eisaman scores on a 3-point shot shot to extend GCC's lead over Shady Side Academy late in the fourth quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Jack Liberatore (left) and Neal McDermott (11) celebrate victory over Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon. Greensburg Central Catholic won 57-50 to end the regular season with a 22-0 record.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Ben Hertzog (left) and Shady Side Academy's Skyy Moore (23) chase down a loose ball during the second quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Neal McDermott (11) shoots free throws as the student section cheers him on during the second quarter against Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Ben Hertzog (14) attempts a shot in front of Shady Side Academy's Kirf Olander (11) during the first quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Neal McDermott (11) drives to the basket and scores during the second quarter against Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Neal McDermott (11) is fouled by Shady Side Academy's Skyy Moore (left) late in the second quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Asa Klimchock (2) reacts as he is introduced prior to a game with Shady Side Academy on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Shady Side Academy's Frankie Fuhrer (4) scores against Greensburg Central Catholic as the first quarter clock expires on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Neal McDermott (11) tries to move around Shady Side Academy's Skyy Moore (23) during the first quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Shady Side Academy's Frankie Fuhrer (4) looks for room around Greensburg Central Catholic's Neal McDermott (11) on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Shady Side Academy's Etai Groff (right) makes a move to the basket on Greensburg Central Catholic's Dominick Eisaman (15) during the second quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Jack Liberatore (21) grabs a rebound in front of Shady Side Academy's Dan Counihan (14) during the first quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Alvin Ross (3) saves the possession in front of Shady Side Academy's Skyy Moore (23) during the second quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Shady Side Academy's Etai Groff (21) takes a 3-point shot in front of Greensburg Central Catholic's Jack Liberatore (21) during the second quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Asa Klimchock (2) looks to move around Shady Side Academy's Frankie Fuhrer (4) during the second quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Neal McDermott (11) scores over Shady Side Academy's Skyy Moore (23) during the first quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Greensburg Central Catholic's Neal McDermott (11) goes up for a shot on Shady Side Academy's Grady Munroe (32) during the second quarter on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Carbon.

Neal McDermott had a bloodied scratch below his eye. Jack Liberatore limped off with a tweaked right ankle. Ben Hertzog was visibly frustrated after fouling out.

This was a tough one for Greensburg Central Catholic players, and it left some of them cringing, but they also walked off the floor with unmistakable confidence — and perfect smiles.

Class 2A No. 1 Greensburg Central Catholic capped its first undefeated regular season by holding off 3A No. 5 Shady Side Academy, 57-50, on Monday night in Carbon.

The Centurions take a 22-0 mark into the playoffs.

“We never doubted we were out of this game,” said McDermott, who scored 22 points. “Shady Side is a good team, but we finished the way we always do.”

Liberatore left with 5:16 in the third quarter but returned. Hertzog later fouled out.

Shady Side was getting all the rebounds and forcing the Centurions to play its game.

GCC forward Dom Eisaman said he didn't want to lose in his final home game.

“This was a great atmosphere,” Eisaman said. “We have a bigger intentions, but this was a great win.”

Said Liberatore: ““For us seniors, this is the last time on our home floor. We couldn't lose this game.”

Shady Side (16-6), the last team to beat GCC in section play three years ago (the teams are in new sections now), got 24 points from Etai Groff and took a 45-43 lead with about three minute to go. But GCC rallied for some late-game heroics to stay perfect.

Lulled into a halfcourt set, the Centurions passed around the key before McDermott spun and dished to a wide-open Eisaman, who calmly sank a 3-pointer from the wing with 2:37 left. On the ensuing Indians' possession, Eisaman came up with steal near midcourt and went the distance for a layup to make it 48-45.

Groff scored to cut it to 51-48, but McDermott threw a baseball pass to Eisaman, who couldn't convert but Alvin Ross grabbed the rebound and scored for a 57-48 advantage with 30.6 seconds left.

“They took away our fast break,” GCC coach Greg Bisignani said. “They played us really tough. Our seniors made some big plays for us.”

Groff kept it close for Shady Side early, scoring 11 first-half points as the Indians took a 25-22 deficit into halftime.

The lead never got above five in the first half. The Indians tried to slow down GCC with a zone, and kept the Centurions out of the paint for the most part.

GCC put the game away with late free throws. For the game, the Centurions made 25 of 33 attempts, including 11 of 15 in the fourth.

McDermott made 9 of 12 foul shots. Shady Side made 2 of 10 for the game.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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