Kiski Area boys outlast Plum
The Kiski Area boys basketball team must have thought it was seeing a repeat of a bad movie.
After squandering a double-digit lead last Friday against Central Catholic, Kiski Area had a 17-point lead against Plum only to see the Mustangs cut the lead to two in the fourth period.
But several key baskets and accurate foul shooting down the stretch carried the Cavaliers to a 57-50, nonsection win over Plum on Tuesday.
“That's happened from time to time to us,” Kiski Area coach Harry Rideout said of the difficulty holding leads. “We're trying to work through it. We just have to get better at handling the ball.”
Nick Stone led the Cavaliers with 21 points.
Kiski Area was 11 for 11 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Austin Dedert scored 24 points for Plum, going 8 of 9 from the foul line.
After a close first half, the Cavaliers got hot in the third quarter, staging a 13-2 run to seemingly take control. A 3-point play by Adam Robison put Kiski Area up, 31-16.
A pair of free throws by Stone with 1:35 left in the third quarter gave Kiski Area a 37-20 advantage.
But Plum outscored Kiski Area, 11-1, at the end of the third quarter.
Nick Stotler banked in a 3-pointer as time expired after Stone was called for charging with 3.7 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs continued to chip away at the lead, with Austin Dedert scoring twice from down low to cut the Plum deficit to 45-43 with 2:19 left.
“We finally made a couple of shots, and that fed in to what we were doing defensively,” Plum coach Ron Richards said. “The first three games, we've just struggled to make our shots. We finally made some shots, and that picked up our intensity level.”
But Mitchell Murdock took a feed from Robison for a key basket. Robison then stole the ball and fed Stone to make the score 49-43 in favor of Plum with 1:17 left. Kiski Area scored its final eight points from the free-throw line.
“We shot poorly from the free-throw line the first part of tonight's game and the last part of the Johnstown game,” Rideout said. “I told the guys at halftime tonight just to relax and use their technique.”
Robison had 16 points for the Cavaliers, and Joey Brungo had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
George Guido is a freelance writer.